What’s the difference between a Direct Debit and a standing order?

The main differences at a glance

A Direct Debit

  • Is set up by a company, with your permission.
  • Can only be changed or cancelled with consent of the company collecting the Direct Debit.

A standing order

  • Is set up by you.
  • Can be changed or cancelled by you at any time.

Direct Debit 

A Direct Debit is an agreement between you and a company, which gives the company permission to collect money from your account on a regular basis (e.g. bi-monthly, quarterly or annually). They’re used for phone bills, utility bills or gym memberships. They don’t have to be a fixed amount, but the company has to tell you in advance if the amount changes.

Standing order 

A standing order is a payment method set up by you, to automatically send a fixed amount of money to another bank account on a regular basis. They can be used to pay rent, or to move money into your savings account each month.