What is a Direct Debit Bureau?
Bacs, the organisation responsible for the Direct Debit Scheme in the UK, define a Direct Debit Bureau as a “computer bureau that submits transactions through the Bacs service on behalf of third party organisations”. This is different from a “Facilities Management Service” which is more suited to organisations who cannot get their own SUN (Service User Number) from their bank.
Having your own SUN has major advantages over Facilities Management where you do not retain the relationship with the payer. This can cause problems further down the line especially if you want to move suppliers in future. With Facilities Management providers, the funds are collected into one of the providers bank accounts rather than your own bank account. It is then transferred to you at a later date. This model also has problems with visibility of the collections as your customers could see the name of the facilities Management company on their bank statement, rather than the name of your organisation.
Bureau – A Preferred Approach
Over half of the organisations using Bacs services in the UK make their Direct Debit and Bacs Direct Credit payment submissions through a Bacs Approved Bureaux. They are referred to as indirect submitters, (rather than submitting files themselves, directly to Bacs). All Bacs approved Bureaux are subject to regular inspection and review by Bacs to ensure they meet the standards set by the scheme.
If your organisation has or is able to gain approval to operate your own Service User Number (sometimes referred to as an Originators Number) then we can process your Direct Debit collections for you. If you are not able to gain your own Service User Number then you may still be able to collect Direct Debits but you will need to contact a Bureau that can offer a Facilities Management Service, as described above.
With the Clear Direct Debit Bureau we can:
- submit your new Direct Debit Instructions to Bacs
- process your on-going Direct Debit collection files
- retrieve your Bacs reports and make these available to you