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Standing orders and Direct Debits

What is a standing order or Direct Debit?

A standing order is an agreement between you and first direct to send a fixed sum of money on a regular basis to a person or company.

A Direct Debit is an agreement between you and the payee. To set up a Direct Debit you'll usually sign a Direct Debit mandate or instruction. This gives us permission to allow the company to claim payments from your bank account. Once the agreement is in place the company will collect the payments from your account, with the payment amount and date often specified on the agreement or on an invoice.

Companies are carefully vetted before they're allowed to join the Direct Debit scheme. You're also protected under the Direct Debit guarantee against payments claimed incorrectly.

Please note: first direct has no control over Direct Debit payments unless it's to a first direct credit card.

Creating a standing order

To create a standing order, choose 'Move Money' and then 'New Standing Order‘, and follow the instructions on screen.

To set up a standing order you will need to provide the:

  • payee account name
  • payee sort code (6 digit number)
  • payee account number (8 digit number)
  • payment reference
  • payment amount
  • first payment date
  • payment frequency (how often)
  • payment duration (number of payments needed)

If you're unsure about any of the above, we recommend you contact the payee.

Managing your standing orders and Direct Debits


Direct Debits

You can cancel a Direct Debit via ‘Standing Orders and Direct Debits'. In the App this is in the ‘Move Money’ tab, in Online Banking it’s in ‘Manage Money’.

To stop a payment being made you must cancel your Direct Debit before 4:30pm the working day before the payment is due. You should also let the payee know that you’ve cancelled the Direct Debit.

Standing orders

You can easily change the amount you pay or cancel a standing order via ‘Standing orders and Direct Debits'. In the App this is in the ‘Move Money’ tab, in Online Banking it’s in ‘Manage Money’.

Select the standing order you want to change and you'll see the 'Manage Payment' option, which will reveal the 'Amend Payment' screen.

If you need to change anything else - the date or destination account number, for example - you'll need to set up a new standing order by selecting the 'Move Money' option and creating a new standing order. Don't forget to cancel the old standing order if you no longer need it.

What is the Direct Debit Guarantee?

The Direct Debit Guarantee is offered by all banks and building societies that accept Direct Debits. If there are any changes to the amount, date or frequency of your Direct Debit, the organisation will notify you, normally at least 10 working days in advance of your account being debited or as otherwise agreed. If you request the organisation to collect a payment, confirmation of the amount and date will be given to you at the time of the request.

If an error is made in the payment of your Direct Debit, by the organisation or first direct, you're entitled to a full and immediate refund of the amount paid from first direct.

If you receive a refund you're not entitled to, you must pay it back when the organisation asks you to.

You can cancel a Direct Debit at any time by contacting your bank or building society. Make sure you also notify the payee.