Wire Transfer, Direct Debit & Standing Order

Automated transfer of funds to and from an account can be authorised by the account holder by way of wire transfer and direct debit. You can authorise a transfer or set up a regular direct debit in-branch, online, by telephone, and via Digital TV and WAP, where offered. If you transfer money between two accounts within the same financial institution, the funds should be transferred instantaneously. Transfers between different financial institutions will usually be processed via the Bankers Automated Clearing Services (BACS), which has a minimum processing time of three working days, including the day that the transfer was made. BACS is frequently used by employers to transfer their employees' wages directly into their current accounts. The Clearing House Automated Payment System (CHAPS) is a similar service, although payments made using this system usually incur charges in return for same-day transfer of funds: see Further Specialist Services.


Direct Debit
The direct debit system allows you to authorise a variable payment to your creditors on a regular basis. These payments will be debited from your account on an agreed date each month. You need only authorise the direct debit once; you will need to inform your bank or building society that you allow your creditor to access your account and take the amount that they are owed on a regular basis. You can authorise a direct debit in-branch, online, or via telephone banking if available. Direct debit is a popular payment method for paying recurring bills, such as your telephone bill, since it eliminates the need for you to authorise the individual payments each month. There is also a much lower risk that you will forget to make the payment on time and incur late payment charges.


Standing Order
In contrast to a direct debit, a standing order allows you to authorise the regular payment of a standard amount. You can authorise a standing order in-branch, online and via telephone banking if available. Standing orders can be a useful way of making regular payments when you know that the payment amount will be fixed. You may opt to use a standing order for example when transferring a certain sum of money from your current account into your savings accounts each month.