Direct Debit and Electronic Transfers
Electronic payments including direct debits, direct credits and other bill payment services are a simple, easy and convenient way to transfer funds and pay bills. About one third of all non-cash payments in Australia are direct credits and direct debits and these types of payments continue to grow by about 10% each year. Access to these services can be arranged through your financial institution. Some general information is provided below.
Direct credit is widely used by businesses to make regular, low value payments into transaction accounts. Common examples are salary payments, payments by government departments such as Centrelink benefits, and dividends and interest payments.
In recent years, direct credit is also being used by many financial institutions to offer widespread access to internet-based (sometimes called Pay Anyone) and phone-based banking services. By registering for these services, you can transfer funds from your account into accounts at any financial institution in Australia.
Direct debit is the “set and forget” way to pay regular bills. It is most often used for ongoing payments like mortgage repayments, insurance premiums and utility bills, but can also be used for one-off payments. Amounts can be fixed, for example for loan repayments, or can vary with each payment for example for mobile phone bills or utility bills.
To start paying by direct debit, you simply need to complete the biller organisation’s Direct Debit Request authority form. From then on payments will be deducted automatically from your account.
Australia's direct entry system is administered by APCA. A separate system for the payment of bills is the BPAY system.
Financial institutions offer BPAY through phone, internet, and in some cases mobile banking. Using the Biller Code and Reference Number that appear on your bills, you can pay your bills at any time direct from your account.
There are a number of alternative electronic and online payment schemes that are available to merchants and consumers in Australia including PayPal, PayMate and POLi.
For more information on any of the above, contact your financial institution.