Debit Debit

  • This Guarantee is operated by all banks and building societies that take part in the Direct Debit Scheme. The efficiency and security of the Scheme is monitored and protected by your own bank or building society.

  • If the amounts to be paid or the payment dates change, the organisation will notify you normally 10 working days in advance of your account being debited, or as otherwise agreed.

  • If an error is made by the organisation or your bank or building society, you are guaranteed a full and immediate refund from your branch of the amount paid.

  • You can cancel a direct debit at any time by writing to your bank or building society. Also send a copy of your letter to the organisation.

  • If you need to cancel a Direct Debit, simply write to your bank or building society. It is also a good idea to send a copy to the organisation concerned. Your bank or building society can make the cancellation up to and including the due date. Remember that cancelling the Direct Debit simply stops the payment to the organisation. If you carry on receiving the goods or service then you will have to organise an alternative payment method. To find out more, visit here.


Cash Machines

  • Typically, UK banks offer free cash machines in their branches and some other locations, while fee-charging machines owned and managed by independent ATM deployers (IADs), tend to be located in petrol stations, bars, newsagents and other more remote locations. Non-bank providers charge consumers to use their cash machines. Customers will however be notified on screen of any charges, ahead of making a withdrawal.
  • Irrespective of who owns the cash machine, or where it is located, it is your bank that will be able to follow up any disputes that you may have with a particular ATM. It is helpful if you have the details of the transaction to hand – such as the date, the time, location and the name of the ATM owner. 
  • The debit would usually take place the next working day, although your bank will have allocated funds for this debit at the time you made the withdrawal.



  • You can request your bank to stop payment of a cheque before it makes its decision whether or not to pay it, but it’s best to do this as soon as possible after issuing it. There may be a charge for this.   
  • The introduction of a new, easier and quicker way of clearing cheques is being planned by the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company. Called ‘cheque imaging’, it will enable cheques to be processed faster than ever before, by exchanging images of cheques between the relevant banks instead of the physical cheque itself. This will allow the funds from a paid-in cheque to be available for withdrawal much sooner than at the moment. Cheque users will still write cheques as they do today, and give or post them to recipients in exactly the same way as they always have. Cheque recipients will still be able to pay in cheques in the normal ways, such as at a bank or building society, by post or at an ATM.
  • A banker's draft or banker’s cheque is drawn directly on the issuing bank (or building society if it is a building society cheque) rather than on the account of a customer, and signed by a bank or building society official.
  • They are treated in the same way as ordinary cheques and have to go through the clearing system. Therefore you should still wait until the end of the sixth working day to be certain that the money is yours. The comfort they provide is that they will not be returned unpaid due to lack of funds as they are drawn on the account of the actual bank and are paid for in advance by the customer.
  • Banks bounce cheques usually because the customer does not have enough money in their account to pay the cheque or they have used all of their overdraft facility. In addition, they bounce cheques if they are found to be fraudulent. But banks also bounce cheques because the cheques have not been signed correctly (e.g. one signature when two are required) or perhaps not signed at all, because they are out of date or post-dated or because the amount in words differs from the amount in writing.
  • When a cheque is returned unpaid its value may be reclaimed from the beneficiary's account by the beneficiary bank – this may be after the funds have been withdrawn by the beneficiary but it will be before the end of day six after paying in the cheque.
  • Customers are advised not to post-date cheques because it is likely to be against the terms and conditions of their bank account. Problems can arise with post-dated cheques if they are paid in before the due date. Different banks have different policies, but the majority of banks discourage the practice. Many state in their terms and conditions that post-dated cheques should not be written while some include a note at the front of chequebooks, saying post-dated cheques should not be written. There are no specific rules on how banks deal with post-dated cheques if they are written and enter the clearing process. However, it’s likely that if the paying bank spots a post-dated cheque, it will return it with the reason given as “post-dated cheque”. This is inconvenient to both the beneficiary and the payer.
  • If customers wish to make a person-to-person payment on a particular future date it may be preferable to set up a standing order or one-off automated payment using internet or phone banking services. To do this you will need the recipient’s account name and number, and sort code.


Direct Credit

  • Direct Credit is a simple, secure and reliable service, which enables large and small organisations to make payments by electronic transfer directly into bank or building society accounts.
  • Direct credit is mainly used for paying wages, salaries and state benefits. However, direct credit can be used for a wide variety of other applications. Organisations use them for supplier payments, pensions, employee expenses, insurance settlements, dividends and refunds.



  • Contact your bank or financial institution concerned and keep a record of all communication. Dependent on their advice, you should report the matter to your local police station.

  • Report the incident to the police, especially if it involves stolen identification documents, and ask for a Crime Reference Number, or documentation to record the incident.

  • Check with the credit reference agencies detailed below. If applications for credit have been made in your name you can ask to have any incorrect information removed:
    Call Credit:

    Contact Cifas, the UK's fraud prevention service, on 0330 1000 180. They will earmark your name and address so that anyone applying for something using your name will automatically be double-checked.

    If you suspect mail theft, contact the Royal Mail Customer Enquiry Number on 03457 740 740.

   The three essential steps to protect your computer are:

  • Use anti-virus software and keep it up-to-date on a regular basis.

  • Install and learn how to use a personal firewall.

  • Download the latest security updates (or patches) for your web browser and operating system.

  • Put a passcode on your mobile.
  • Only download mobile apps from the official stores, such as Apple iTunes or Android Marketplace.
  • If you are concerned that someone may know your log in details for your mobile banking app, contact your bank immediately.


Debit Cards

  • Your protection is greater if you use a credit card and the transaction is for an amount between £100 and £30,000. This is because the credit card issuer is jointly liable under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act if the goods received are faulty or if they are not received at all – for example, if the company goes out of business. In these circumstances the credit cardholder will be able to get their money back from their card issuer but the debit cardholder probably wouldn’t.
  • Some retailers may charge you a small fee for using your debit card. This is a commercial decision and can vary from retailer to retailer.

  • You should be aware that if you buy foreign currency or traveller's cheques using your debit card it may be treated like a cash transaction so your bank may charge you. If they do, as with all competitive charges, it will be outlined in your terms and conditions. The travel exchange bureau/provider may also charge you for using your debit card but this should always be made clear to you up front.


Account Switching

  • You can change your bank account in seven working days, and you’ll be protected by the Current Account Switch Guarantee.

  • Almost every bank and building society in the UK offers this switching service, which will automatically transfer all the payments from your old account to your new account. On top of this there’s the safety net of a new redirection service which ensures that any payments accidentally made to your old account will be redirected to your new account, for 36 months after you’ve switched.

  • For more information visit

  • Yes, and your new bank or building society may be able to provide facilities to help you pay off any overdraft, subject to their normal lending criteria. If this isn’t the case, you must make separate arrangements to repay your old bank or building society, what you owe.


Financial Advice

For financial advice, you can talk to your bank or building society to ask what options are available to you. But there are also various charities that offer free, independent confidential advice:


Mobile Payments

  • Paym is the mobile payment service, introduced in April 2014, that allows you to send and receive payments directly to a current account using just a mobile number. Anyone using Paym to send money is also able to check the name of the recipient before confirming the payment, so they can be sure they’re sending it to the right person. 
  • Paym is available on any phone with an internet connection, on any network. Any bank that has the Paym pink symbol is connected to the service. 
  • More than 40 million customers are now able to register for Paym – representing over nine out of 10 current accounts. For more information on how the service works, go to
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