Do we need approval and any formal authorisation from our bank in order to collect by Direct Debit?

No. A Direct Debit Facilities Management Service such as FastPay can sort out all the formalities on your behalf.

Must we have our own SUN (Service User Number)?

No. We will obtain one on your behalf. Please see also next question.

Will our company name appear on our customers’ bank statements?

Yes, we will purchase an SUN (Service User Number) from BACS on your behalf and register it to your company. This will ensure that your company name appears on all your BACS reports and on your customers’ bank statements alongside your collections.

Why don't banks want to provide a Direct Debiting service to us?

For a bank to provide you with a Direct Debit Service with your own SUN, they would have to sponsor you to BACS and indemnify them against any collections that may later be reclaimed if your customers take advantage using the Direct Debit Guarantee. This means that if you are unable to make the repayment your bank would have to do so on your behalf.  That means the bank is at risk when providing such services. 

How is it that you can provide a Direct Debit service when our bank has declined us?

The banks deal with millions of collections on a daily basis and these are being processed using a wide variety of transaction methods and sophisticated technology. However, due to their size they are unable to provide the human element, the type of personal involvement and diligence as a company such as ours which has a dedicated account manager for every hundred clients. Accordingly, the banks’ risk exposure to error is much higher. They therefore choose to offer this service only to huge corporations where their risk exposure is minimised due to the high value securities that these corporations can offer.

How long does it take to activate my account once I have applied?

We aim to achieve setup in 24 hours from start to finish. As soon as setup is complete you can start collecting from your customers without any further delay.

Are there any annual or monthly fees?

No. Once you have paid your one-off signup fee there are no regular, monthly or annual fees whatsoever. It is purely pay-as-you-go with individual services being charged for as per our advertised pricelist.

Direct Debit seems like a very cheap option with FastPay; are there any hidden costs?

No, there are no hidden costs. We pride ourselves on our clear transparent pricing structure and our full pricelist is available as a download from our website.

How much does it cost to change the monthly amount I will be collecting from my customers?

There is no charge at all for changing the frequency or the value of your collections. In fact, one of the main advantages of Direct Debit is that you have the ability to change the collection dates and amounts whenever you choose.

What is the difference between a Standing Order and a Direct Debit?

Please see a full and comprehensive answer to this question on this page on our website.

If the amount I collect rarely changes, will FastPay make regular collections from my customers without any involvement on my part?

As a rule, our clients prefer to be “in charge” and always maintain the file themselves. If your amounts rarely change it would probably involve no more than 5 minutes a month. However, we do have a “Fully Managed” service which does all that for you but there is an extra charge for this service.

How soon do I get my money once it has been collected?

All monies are forwarded to you as soon as they are cleared. This is generally two days after collection. There are various options as to how we pay you and the choice is yours.

How are our funds protected when using your service?

All monies are held in a specially designated client/trust account. Each client has their own “virtual” account to eliminate the possibility of cross-contamination of client monies. The client/trust account is protected by the legislation that governs such accounts. Furthermore, you are always protected by the Direct Debit Guarantee. This guarantee is one of the most powerful in the entire banking sector.

Can I set up Direct Debits via the phone or from our website?

Yes. This is achieved through our Paperless Service. Please speak to us about this service and how to implement it on your website.

What is the Direct Debit Guarantee?

Direct Debit puts you in a very powerful position, whereby you can theoretically collect monies from anyone’s account with or without their authorisation. Accordingly, there must be some protection for the payer. The Direct Debit guarantee allows the payer to reclaim any monies collected by Direct Debit from their account without their express permission.

How secure is the service?

We subscribe to the Data Protection Act, and in addition we must adhere to the rigorous security procedures as laid down by BACS and our sponsoring bank.

What is meant by BACS?

BACS (Bankers Automated Clearing System) is now operating under the name VOCA Link Ltd. It is a non profit organisation that is used by the Banks and other organisations to facilitate the transfer and collection of monies electronically through the banking system. It is run by a membership-based industry body and the entire process is closely regulated.

What is a BACS AUDDIS File and how does it differ from a BACS Collection File?

A BACS file is the method by which you submit your instructions to BACS. There are two types of submission to BACS: One is known as an AUDDIS file, the other is a Collection file. An AUDDIS file (AUDDIS = Automated Direct Debit Instruction Service) is a set of instructions relating to the setting up or cancellation of Direct Debit instructions, whereas a collection file consists of monetary collections. Whilst both types of instructions (AUDDIS & collections) can be submitted together (i.e. in one submission file,) BACS will nevertheless separate those instructions into two separate files.

What sort of ongoing support do you provide and how much does it cost?

We supply lifetime support by phone or email completely FREE OF CHARGE.

How often can I send you an AUDDIS file?

This will depend perhaps on how many new payers you plan to send in a file. If there are few then it makes sense to send as few as possible, once a month would normally be sufficient. Furthermore, it is more economical for you to combine as many New Payers in one file to cut down you submission costs.

How often can I send you a collection file?

With FastPay you can send your collection files as often or as seldom as you choose depending on your requirements. Some of our clients send us several files per day whilst others send their collection files just once a year!

Can we offer our customers a choice of payment dates?

That is entirely up to you and is restricted only by the frequency with which you plan to send us files. It should be noted, however, that any given file can only be processed on a given date. In other words, you cannot combine collections of different dates within the same file.

Do we need a signature from our customer to set up a direct debit?

The standard Direct Debit service does require a payer’s signature on the Direct Debit Instruction.  However, if you have upgraded to Paperless you will be able to accept instructions via your website or over the telephone without requiring the payer’s signature. However, you will still be obliged to send the Mandatory Advance Notice Letter , see next question.

What is the Mandatory Advance Notice Letter.

The rules of the Direct Debit Scheme require that before making your first collection from any individual customer you must send them an Advance Notice of Direct Debit wherein you will confirm the bank details they have provided you with, the Direct Debit reference you will be using for your collections and the collection arrangement. FastPay will supply you with a template to this letter (and any other letters that you may need too).

Which checks are required to validate the information a payer provides on setting up?

Modulus checking (which allows you to validate your customer’s account details) is required by BACS prior to submitting any account details to them. FastPay provides the facility for you to carry out this check.

What sort of ongoing support do you provide and how much does it cost?

We supply lifetime support by phone or email completely FREE OF CHARGE.

When do we receive BACS reports?

BACS reports are forwarded to you as soon as they are received. Bounced payments are almost always received the day after collection and other reports will be generated as and when they are actioned by the payer’s bank.

When can we recharge unpaid Direct Debits?

You can recharge them as soon as you choose, with or without informing payers. However, it is considered good practice to contact the payers either by calling or writing to them and inform or agree with them on a new collection date. This helps to ensure that they will have the required funds in their account to prevent yet another bounce.

What are the ARUDD and ADDACS reports?

ARUDD or Automated Returned Unpaid Direct Debit details payers that have not paid.  ADDACS or Automated Direct Debit Amendments and Cancellations details payers that have either cancelled their Direct Debit Instruction through their bank or have had their account details amended, for example when moving banks.

How do I open an account with FastPay?

It is easy as 1-2-3. You can download our one-page application form from the downloads page on our website and, once completed, fax or email a copy to us. We will respond with a short BACS questionnaire about your business activities and as soon as we have the answer to those question we will commence processing your application.

What should I do with the ADDACS and AUDDIS reports?

We will have updated our records and you should do likewise.

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