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Paper or Paperless?

Paper Based Direct Debit

Ever since the introduction of AUDDIS (Automated Direct Debit Instruction Service) in 2005, all communications between Direct Debit Originators and BACS are carried out electronically via a secure online network.

Despite this, the majority of businesses and organisations continue to receive signed Direct Debit instructions from their customers on a paper mandate. However, the paper instructions are retained at your premises instead of being sent to the banks and building societies. Once customer instructions have been recorded on your organisation’s computer records, the data can be sent to the paying banks via FastPay to enable them to record the authority in their own customer Direct Debit records.

You will then send Direct Debit payment requests electronically via FastPay to BACS who in turn will send those instructions onto the paying banks. Payments are collected automatically by BACS and if, for any reason, the payer is unable to honour that payment, the payer’s bank will request a refund from BACS who will forward the request to FastPay. The refund is expected within 3 days. Should one of your customers query a payment or instruction with their bankers, their bank may request a copy of the paper instruction held by you. You will have to provide a copy of the instruction to the bank within seven working days. If you store Direct Debit Instructions digitally, the bank will normally accept a copy of the original instruction bearing the customer’s signature.

Being in possession of a signed instruction puts you, the Originator, in a very secure position in the event of any dispute. This is the reason why, even in today’s world of electronic communication, the banks favour the security of the paper based method over Paperless Direct Debit.


To view more sample mandates, please visit ‘Other Downloads’.

Paperless Direct Debit

Please click here to view our Paperless Demo

In a world where shops and financial services offer 24-hour access and instant responses, relying on paper-based Direct Debit processing is not providing the sort of service people want and expect.

Paperless Direct Debit offers customers immediacy and simplicity, and provides organisations with reduced processing costs and greater efficiency. It allows new customers and donors to move through the decision-making process to the moment of sign-up seamlessly and quickly. With Paperless Direct Debit, once someone has visited your website and decided they want to purchase your product or subscribe to your services, they can sign up immediately and you can begin to process that request.

Paperless Direct Debit enables organisations to sign up customers for Direct Debit collections over the telephone, Internet, touch-tone technology or via interactive TV.


Here are some of the benefits of Paperless Direct Debit:

  • Substantially reduce the paperwork, delay and postage costs associated with Direct Debit;
  • Convenient, safe and popular with customers resulting in increased sales. Companies using Paperless Direct Debit have reported an increase in sales of over 25% when compared with Paper Instructions;
  • You can begin the collection process earlier, as there is no need to wait for the customer to complete and return the Direct Debit Instruction;
  • Direct Debit is less expensive and more flexible than credit card payments, especially for recurring fees;
  • By allowing your customers to sign up online, you will be offering an improved quality of service to your customers in line with many large organisations that already offer this service.

Please click here to view our Paperless Demo


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