A standing order is an automatic payment mechanism that a consumer and a bank set up to transmit money to other persons or organizations. A Direct Debit works the same way, except it is authorized by a client and administered by a limited company. An organization initiates a Direct Debit, controlling the frequency and amount. It is similarly true for a standing order, except that the client has a choice over the frequency and quantity. Let’s have a look at Standing Order Vs Direct Debit – Which is Better.

What Exactly Is a Standing Order?

A standing order is a payment technique that allows you to collect fixed payments from your clients regularly,

  • A standing order reoccurs on a given date each month for a certain amount of time but cannot be changed.
  • Your client is responsible for establishing the standing order and determining the amount to be paid.
  • Your consumer creates the standing order by filling out a form with their bank.

What Exactly Is a Direct Debit?

  • Direct Debits allow you to collect payments straight from your customers’ bank accounts.
  • After setting up a Direct Debit payment, you may adjust the frequency and amount.
  • Customers’ Direct Debits are set up by having them sign a Direct Debit Mandate.

What Is the Distinction Between a Standing Order and a Direct Debit?

Let us compare them to help you decide which cash collecting technique is ideal for your company,

Who pays the bill?

Standing order: Your consumers must make weekly, monthly, or annually payments.

Direct Debit: Although your consumers must first permit you to collect from their accounts, it is ultimately your responsibility to order straight from their accounts.

Who has the upper hand?

Standing order: Your client is in charge. They choose the payment frequency and amount and may amend or cancel the payment. They are not required to inform you of any modifications or cancellations.

Direct Debit: Once your consumer has authorized the Direct Debit, you have complete control over the payments. You have full control over the value and frequency of your collections (as long as you notify your customer in advance).

What are their prices?

What are the Prices

Standing order: A standing order may be collected for free. However, there may be extra costs depending on your bank.

Direct Debit: This is determined by your Direct Debit supplier. Typically, there are set fees or a % charge depending on the value of the transaction.

Although standing orders are completely free to use, it takes a significant amount of time to handle the payments and update your accounts. Furthermore, there is no means of knowing whether a settlement failed, making reconciliation difficult.

How often are failures?

How often are the Failures

Standing order: Standing order failure rates are often high. You will not contact me if your order is cancelled or your client does not have sufficient payment. It is up to your payment systems to detect the error. You must then pursue compensation from the buyer.

Direct Debit: Typically, less than 1%, your Direct Debit provider will notify you if there is a failure. You may then call your consumer and try again to collect money.

How versatile are the payments?

Standing order: Rigorous, since your client must cancel the previous standing order and then put up a new one, which may cost you money if they refuse.

Direct Debit: Direct Debits are much more versatile. They allow you to adjust the payment date or amount without approval. You must submit a notice in advance, although this may be automated and sent electronically.

What are the consequences of late payment?

Consequences of Late Payment

Standing order: High risk since convincing clients to set up a standing order on time might be complex for sole traders.

Direct Debit: It is much safer since you may conveniently adjust the payment dates and receive the money; your Direct Debit supplier should notify you when a consumer cancels their Direct Debit.

How much management is required?

Standing orders need a lot of administration since you must monitor company accounts regularly to verify whether payments have been paid, but you must also manually amend your charges. There are also no alerts if a payment is unsuccessful.

Direct Debit: The administrative burden is negligible. Your Direct Debit provider will automatically submit payments on your behalf and update your accounts.

Standing order: Once the payment is completed, there is no protection for the consumer.

Direct Debit: Direct Debit payments are guaranteed and it may be through credit card or bank transfer. Your customers’ banks will quickly repay them for incorrect prices.

Standing Order Vs Direct Debit – Which is Better?

Standing orders are helpful if your limited company has less than 30 customers, you have a tight, trusted connection with your consumers, and you only need to accept predetermined payment amounts. However, if you have more than 30 clients and want to expand, Direct Debit is undoubtedly a better alternative.

You are alerted of failures with Direct Debit, which minimizes admin and helps tighten up your credit control and payment procedures, which is terrific for your cash flow. When utilizing Direct Debits, there is also less dependence on trust. You are responsible for collecting payments under the Direct Debit requirement, which eliminates the problem of late payments.

Direct debits work well for fixed payments, but they truly shine when collecting variable payment amounts. One of Direct Debit’s main advantages is its adaptability.


Direct Debits and standing orders ensure that your invoices are automatically paid. It is critical to understand how and when to utilize them and the expenses and resolve any issues that may arise. These enable a company to withdraw money on a specific date. Gas and electricity bills may be paid by Direct Debit.

The company must notify you of any amount or date changes. On the other hand, standing orders command the bank to regularly deliver an exact amount to their account. You might, for example, set up a standing order to pay your rent. If you have any doubt regarding Standing Order Vs Direct Debit – Which is Better? Read the step-by-step guide above.

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