It would seem that banks are regularly coming up with new ways for us to conduct our financial transactions. From the paper checks and credit cards to the ATM cards, debit cards, and ACH electronic transfers, we’ve always had reliable means of paying our bills and transferring our money. Of course, with each new method comes a special set of regulations and fees passed on to account merchants and holders.
A smart businessman or an account user will know how to fully take advantage of any new system. But to do that, they need to know the characteristics and the features of a certain system. The purpose of this article is to cover the direct debit system, which has quickly become one of the most popular payment systems in the world. Therefore, if you are not quite familiar with it, stick with us. Additionally, you could also check Debit Direct, if you need a good direct debit advice or some extra info.
The basics of Direct Debit
This payment method is undoubtedly one of the easiest methods of deducting a payment straight from a user’s bank account. While it is based on a premise of a paper check, it takes it to a whole new level, thanks to its electronic means of transfer. Simply put, with a direct debit, you will not have to write paper checks ever again. Your clients and customers will simply give you the permission to collect your debts and payments by taking funds directly from the savings or checking accounts and transferring them to your account.
Typically, direct debit is used for regular transactions or auto-recurring billing, such as energy bills or monthly rents. With it, a customer does not have to write checks each month, and they only have to provide a single written permission to allow funds being withdrawn from the account.
Key differences between a Direct Debit transaction and a Debit Card Transaction
Now, since Direct Debit and Debit cards function similarly, you might be confused as to what are differences. Each method authorizes a money transfer from the user’s account and, from a customer’s point of view, they are the same.
However, from a business’ point of view, they are quite different. The transactions themselves are conducted via different networks, while the processing charges are also different too.
A debit card transaction will require a business owner to obtain a special business account and to sign a long-term contract. Additionally, they will be required to pay a certain fee to open an account. These transactions are typically processed via the same network as credit card ones, and deposited to a business owner’s account, but without a flat commission. This lack of a flat commission is also known as a discount rate, which is usually lower as opposed to credit card transactions.
On the other hand, the Direct Debit method utilizes the ACH (Automated Clearing House) network, to move funds from one account to the other. With it, you can also use your standard business checking account too. But first, you will have to sign a contract with an institution that will manage the ACH transactions. In most cases, this is not a long-term commitment. There is not an initial fee, but you will have to pay a fee for every transaction. Fortunately, this is usually a flat fee, which is quite low and which does not depend on the size of the transaction.