Is my business eligible for a Bacs Service User Number?

A Service User Number (SUN), also known as an originator ID, is a unique identification number. It is used by Bacs as a distinguisher between organisations that collect Direct Debit payments.

Your SUN is a six numbers long and can be found on all forms of communication as a way of maintaining transactional records. This is handy in the event of, say, payment errors or fraud.

Suppliers can either apply for their own SUN or submit indirectly through a Direct Debit Bureau.


How do you obtain a SUN?

In order to obtain your own SUN, you must first apply for sponsorship. This is usually done through a bank. Each bank has its own standards which need to be met. However, it is compulsory that a business:

  • Has a UK sterling bank account
  • Completes and lodges an indemnity with their sponsor

Furthermore, other variables include:

  • An organisations contractual capacity
  • Its financial standing
  • The quality of its administrative control


SUN via a Direct Debit bureau

Alternatively, if you don’t have access to your own SUN, you can manage your Direct Debit collections through a third party. This will still necessitate a SUN, but it doesn’t have to be your own. There are two options for this:

  1. Facilities Management – the direct debit bureau will collect and administer Direct Debits themselves through a SUN set up specifically for the merchant. The Facilities Management will maintain ownership of this SUN.
  2. Payments Institution – Payments Institutions are regulated under the Payments Service Directive and manage all their operations via one single SUN. Payments go through the bureau before being paid onwards to the client.

At DFC, we operate using our own SUN. Even so, a large number of our clients still use us to collect payments on their behalf using their own SUN – the choice is yours.

Find out more by getting in touch here or contacting us on 01908 422026.

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