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How to set up a Direct Debit

What is a Direct Debit?

A Direct Debit is, very simply, a way to make regular recurring payments. Direct Debits are automated, so payments leave your account when, and for the amount, you agree.

Direct Debits are most commonly used for payments such as council tax, water and electricity bills. They can also be set up for other regular outgoings including credit card, mortgage, or loan repayments.

How does a Direct Debit work?

A Direct Debit works like an automated bank transfer – the company you agree the Direct Debit with will make a request to your bank for the agreed amount, and it will be sent to them. All of your Direct Debits are protected by the Direct Debit Guarantee Scheme.

What’s the difference between a Direct Debt and a standing order?

Both standing orders and Direct Debits are ways to automate recurring payments from your bank account. The difference between them is where the instruction for payment comes from:

  • With a standing order, you give the instruction to your bank to send payment to someone
  • With a Direct Debit, you authorise someone else to instruct your bank to send the payment

How to set up a new Direct Debit

To set up a Direct Debit, you’ll need:

  • Your name and address
  • Your bank’s name and address
  • Your bank account number and sort code

A Direct Debit needs to be agreed between you and the company you’re paying – this is done using a Direct Debit instruction form. You’ll have been sent one in the post, or instructed where to find one online.

In the form, you’ll agree to the number of payments to be made (or whether they’re ongoing), when the payments will leave your account, and how much you’ll pay each time (you’ll usually be notified of the amount around 2 weeks before the payment is taken if the amount varies).

Once you’ve completed the form, you’ll send it back by post, or simply submit it online. The company will set up the Direct Debit with the information you’ve given them.

M&S Credit Card Direct DebitApply for M&S Direct Debit

How to amend a Direct Debit

If you need to amend the amount of a Direct Debit, you’ll need to contact the company you’re paying. You should be able to request the change from them online or over the phone.

How to cancel a Direct Debit

You can cancel a Direct Debit at any time, using one of the methods below. However, you’ll need to cancel before 22:00 two working days before payment is due or the payment will still be made. For example, if payment is due on Friday, you need to cancel before 22:00 on Wednesday.

When cancelling a Direct Debit, check the terms of any agreement you’ve made and notify the company you’re paying. If you have more payments due, you’ll have to arrange for payment to be made another way.

Online

These instructions apply only to current account holders registered for M&S Internet Banking.

  • Sign in to Internet Banking
  • Select the current account that your Direct Debit is set up on
  • Select ‘Standing Orders & Direct Debits’ in the left-hand menu
  • Find the Direct Debit you wish to cancel and click ‘Cancel’
  • Confirm the cancellation by clicking ‘Cancel Direct Debit’
  • Finally, a confirmation screen will appear with details of the cancelled Direct Debit
Internet BankingAccess Internet Banking Open in new window

In a branch

You can cancel a Direct Debit in a branch by taking in some photographic ID, your bank card or bank details, and information on the payment you wish to cancel.

Find a branchAccess Internet Banking Open in new window

By phone

Call us on 0345 600 5860. Have your bank details and details of the payment you wish to cancel ready. You’ll be asked security questions to verify who you are.