Direct Debit mandates
Making a payment
Identify a payment
What is a Direct Debit mandate?
A mandate (also known as a "Direct Debit Instruction") is set up on a customer's bank account when a Direct Debit is authorised for a specific merchant, usually via our online form. An active mandate needs to be in place before any Direct Debit payments can be collected.
How do I set up Direct Debit?
The organisation you wish to pay through GoCardless will need to provide you with an authorisation link, most commonly via email. Clicking this link will open a payment page for you to fill in with your details and submit. This will set up your Direct Debit mandate.
Once your mandate is active, we will then be able to charge your account according to the payment parameters set for you by the merchant.
My bank are asking me to whitelist payments to GoCardless. What does this mean?
Some banks may require you to approve or 'whitelist' the GoCardless Company ID. The Company ID is a unique identifier provided to GoCardless by the bank that we will use to process your payments.
If you are paying an organisation via GoCardless and your bank require this approval, please note that our Company ID is 0514670203.
How do I update the bank account I'm making payments from?
In order to change the account you're making payments from, you can cancel your current Direct Debit authorisation and complete a new authorisation form with the updated bank details.
To do this, please get in touch with the merchant you're paying who will be able to cancel your current authorisation and send you a new payment form to complete.
How do I cancel a Direct Debit mandate?
You can cancel a Direct Debit mandate in one of the following ways:
If submitting a ticket with us, please ensure you include the email address you've registered against your authorisation and the name of the merchant you're paying.
- Directly with your bank or via your online banking
- By contacting the merchant you're paying and request that they cancel it
- Or by submitting a ticket with us to request the cancellation
How can I reinstate a cancelled Direct Debit mandate?
Once a mandate has been cancelled in our system, we are not able to reinstate it. If you accidentally cancel your mandate, the best thing to do is contact the merchant you're paying directly and ask that they send you a new authorisation link.
Please note that GoCardless will not be able to send you a new mandate link.
Can I pay using a credit or debit card?
GoCardless is an online Direct Debit provider and as such, we do not offer customers the option to pay merchants via credit or debit cards.
If you would prefer to make a payment outside of the Direct Debit system, please contact the merchant you’re paying directly.
How long does it take to process my payment?
Due to the nature of the Direct Debit scheme, payments are charged two working days after they are created in our system. Providing your payment is not part of an ongoing subscription, we will notify you of the payment via email when it is created.
Your payment will be paid out to the merchant three working days after the charge date.
You’ve taken a payment I didn’t authorise. How do I get my money back?
If a payment has been collected from your bank account that you didn’t authorise please don't panic! You are fully protected by the Direct Debit Guarantee and will be able to receive a full refund via your bank.
Under the Direct Debit Guarantee, as a customer you are afforded the right to obtain a refund for a Direct Debit payment collected from your account in error via your bank. Once it is established that an error has occurred, your bank will return those funds on the same working day.
Please note that GoCardless are unable to claim a refund on your behalf as this must be done by the account holder.
Please do inform our team if a payment has been collected from you in error so that our accounts team can investigate further.
Why do I have a Direct Debit set up when I was only making a one-off payment?
We collect all payments, whether one-off or recurring, via the Direct Debit network. In order to do this a Direct Debit mandate must be put in place on the bank account we collect the payment from. This authorises GoCardless to process these funds on behalf of the merchant.
What if my funds don’t reach the merchant?
If, for any reason, the merchant you’re paying contacts you to advise that they have not received your payment, we recommend the merchant contacts us directly so we can investigate this further.
We are not aware of a payment having ever failed to reach its destination. However if this were to occur for any reason, you would have the right to chargeback the payment under the Direct Debit Guarantee.
What emails can I expect to receive?
You will receive emails for the following:
- To confirm the setup of your Direct Debit mandate, or if the mandate should fail or is cancelled.
- Payment notification, three working days before an ad-hoc (one-off) payment is due to be charged.
- If a payment is cancelled or fails. (Please note failure notifications are sent the next working day, after the charge date).
- When a failed payment is retried.
- When a new subscription (recurring payment) is set up. The email will contain information to let you know the amount of your payments and how often they are collected. (Please note that if your payments are part of a subscription you will not receive an email before each payment is collected).
- If your subscription amount is changed or when a subscription expires or is cancelled.
Why am I not receiving my notification emails?
If you have not received an email it is worth first checking your Spam or Junk folder to make sure it has not been diverted there. We would advise you to add ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ as a contact to make sure our emails are not blocked.
If you are still not receiving your notification emails, please submit a ticket with our Support team so we can investigate further. Please ensure you include the email address you have registered against your Direct Debit authorisation.
How do I update my registered email address?
You can change your email address in the following ways:
- By contacting the merchant you're paying
- By submitting a ticket or sending an email to email@example.com. If emailing, please send your request from your registered email address if possible. Please ensure you include the current email address registered to your payments, your new email address and who your payments are being collected on behalf of.
I've seen GoCardless on my bank statement. Who are you?
GoCardless process Direct Debit payments on behalf of other businesses and organisations.
These businesses and organisations create payments for their customers using our system and we then process these according to the parameters they have set.
How will payments appear on my bank statement?
A reference will appear on your bank statements in the following format:
- [MERCHANTNAME] refers to what the merchant you’re paying through GoCardless has registered against their account with us.
- The "XXXXXXX" represents a unique reference, usually between five to seven characters, that relates specifically to your Direct Debit mandate with a specific merchant.
This reference helps us locate the associated customer account in our system if additional information about a payment or corresponding customer account is requested.
Please note: Some banks may only display “GoCardless Ltd” on your bank statement. These banks choose to ignore the full references we provide them and simply put our company name as we are processing the payment through our 10-digit Direct Debit Company ID.
How do I find out what company I’m paying?
If you do not recognise a payment we have collected from your account, we recommend using our Payment Lookup Tool to help identify it.
If for any reason, this doesn't return a result, please submit a ticket or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can provide you with some more information. Please send us as much of the following information as you can to help us locate your payment:
- Your billing address
- The amount paid
- The date it was paid
- The mandate reference*
* Every payment we collect is submitted to the bank with a mandate reference which can help us identify your payment. This reference is a mixture of letters and numbers and should be available from your bank.
What do I do if I believe I have been a victim of fraud?
Please let us know immediately by contacting our support team either by email at email@example.com or calling +44 20 7183 8674.
We will then investigate the matter further and advise on how you can reclaim your funds if required.
How does GoCardless keep my details safe?
Security is of utmost importance at GoCardless. We take a number of steps to ensure customer data remains safe at all times:
- Our access to the Direct Debit system is provided by some of Europe's major banks, who have approved our systems
- All customer data is treated in accordance with European data protection laws, including the Data Protection Act 1998
- All client-server communication is 256-bit SSL encrypted
- We regularly perform internal and external security audits on all our systems and processes
- We will never share any data we collect from you with third parties, except for the specific purpose of processing your payments
We are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to provide payment services as an Authorised Payment Institution. We serve more businesses than any other Direct Debit provider.
All money collected is held in a secure client monies account with either the Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays Bank or SEB before being paid out to the merchant you're paying.