Glossary of Direct Debit terms

There are a lot of separate terms and acronyms that are used when discussing Direct Debit. These can be difficult to keep track of, so we’ve compiled them into one handy glossary of terms for you to refer to.

Term Definition
ADDACS messages This stands for Automated Direct Debit Amendment and Cancellation messages. These messages inform the seller of any amendments or cancellations made by their customers to their Direct Debit Instructions.
Advance Notice The notice period that must be given to customers of each payment before it leaves their account. This is compulsory.
ARUDD messages This stands for Automated Return of Unpaid Direct Debits messages. These messages notify the seller of any unpaid Direct Debits.
AUDDIS This stands for the Automated Direct Debit Instruction Service, through which all new direct Service Users must submit requests to Bacs.
AUDDIS messages This stands for Automated Direct Debit Instruction Service messages. These messages are used to notify sellers of any issues setting up or cancelling a Direct Debit Instruction.
Bacs The clearing system that administers the Direct Debit scheme – all Direct Debit communications go through Bacs. Bacs was originally an acronym for Bankers’ Automated Clearing Services, so you might see Bacs written as BACS sometimes.
Bacs payment cycle The working cycle that all payments are subject to.
Bacstel-IP The secure internet-based service provided by Bacs. This is what is used for communications between Bacs and sellers.
Bacstel-IP software A Bacs approved software package. Only these types of software can be used to communicate over Bacstel-IP.
Bureau An organisation that submits Direct Debit requests to Bacs on behalf of a third. party.
Counterclaim The claim raised by a seller to dispute a customer indemnity claim. Counterclaims must be made within 14 days of an indemnity claim being settled.
DDICA messages This stands for Direct Debit Indemnity Claim Advice messages. These messages notify sellers of any indemnity claims that their customers raise.
Direct Debit Guarantee The guarantee given on all Direct Debit payments. This states that payments won’t be taken in error and that customers are entitled to a full refund if there is an error.
Direct Debit Instruction An authorisation from your customer to automatically collect future payments. This is often shortened to DDI. To set up a DDI, your customers have to fill in a standardised form.
Direct Debit Instruction form A physical, paper form that customers must complete to authorise a Direct Debit Instruction.
Direct Debit Mandate Another name for a Direct Debit Instruction.
Due date The date payment is due to be debited from the customer’s account.
Indemnity Claim A request for a refund under the Direct Debit Guarantee. Claims are assessed by the payer’s bank and funds are then automatically taken back from the seller.
Input file A standardised format file which is submitted to Bacs by sellers to log new Direct Debit Instruction and payment requests.
Input report A summary report of any payments or DDIs submitted to Bacs.
Paperless Direct Debit Authorising a Direct Debit Instruction online or on the phone, instead of with a paper form.
Paying bank The bank or building society at which a customer’s DDI is lodged, i.e. your customer’s bank.
Service User An organisation approved by a sponsor bank to submit Direct Debit requests to Bacs, i.e. your business.
Service User Number (SUN) A unique 6 digit identifier issued to every Service User.
Sponsor Bank A bank that enables you to access the Direct Debit Scheme and provides you with a Service User Number.

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