A Direct Debit is an agreement between you and a service provider (such as a telephone company) giving authority to the service provider to withdraw money from your bank account.
In this agreement, you authorise the service provider you want to pay to collect an amount (which may be variable or fixed) from your bank account (even an overdraft facility) on a periodic basis or as a one-off payment without any further action on your part.
Once you have agreed to the contractual terms of a Direct Debit, the money will be deducted automatically. A Direct Debit can be set up to pay on a particular date every month, quarter or year.
The service provider will give you prior notice of the amount and date of collection.
If the service provider you are paying wants to change an amount or date of collection, it has to inform you before it affects any changes.
Authorising a service provider to collect payment from your debit or credit card is not a Direct Debit. See section on Continuous Payment Authority for more information.