How to set up a direct debit online

Written by stephen benham
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How to set up a direct debit online
There's no simpler way to pay your regualr bills than setting up a Direct Debit online. (computer image by Angie Lingnau from

In the United Kingdom (UK), a Direct Debit is the most popular method of setting up regular payments directly from your bank account. It's considered a safe and convenient way to manage your bills, and a Direct Debit guarantee applies to all Direct Debits accepted by your UK bank or building society.

Direct Debits are produced and set up by the company you intend to pay. The company then sends the Direct Debit instruction to your bank. If you use Internet banking, you can cancel a Direct Debit at anytime. However, you can't set up or amend a Direct Debit via your UK online bank account.

The majority of UK organisations now provide the ability to set up a Direct Debit online. You can set up a Direct Debit online to pay your council tax, insurance, TV licence, utility bills and much more.

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Things you need

  • Bank account details
  • Account reference number

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  1. 1

    Go to the website for the company where you want to set up a Direct Debit online. This may be your UK electricity supplier or your insurance provider. In fact, you can set up a Direct Debit with any company you pay money to regularly. You will need your bank account details, and the account or reference number of the company you intend to pay.

  2. 2

    Check the website to see if you need to register for online facilities before you can set up a Direct Debit. Most UK companies require you to register. It means you get to view your account details and make changes online. It often means that you can obtain savings by choosing paperless billing.

  3. 3

    Register for online billing. Follow the simple instructions. You will need to set up a login name and password. The process only takes a few minutes and once registered, you will be able to set up a Direct Debit online.

  4. 4

    Log in to your account and navigate to the section where you can set up a Direct Debit. All websites vary, but it is usually easy to find as most companies prefer you to pay by Direct Debit.

  5. 5

    Click on "Set up Direct Debit" or something similar. Have your bank account details nearby. Complete the Direct Debit form. You will need to enter or confirm your account or reference number. Enter you bank details. Read the Direct Debit guarantee, and check the box to confirm you accept the terms and conditions.

  6. 6

    Click "Submit" or something similar. Your Direct Debit will be set up. A copy of the Direct Debit details, including the payment date and amount, will be mailed to you.

Tips and warnings

  • You can cancel a Direct Debit at any time by contacting the company directly or contacting your bank.

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