Direct debit settlements: what you need to know
Understanding settlements is an important part of the payments process, as it refers to when the money from your transactions appears in your account. Here’s what you need to know about how direct debit settlements work.
How long does it take for direct debit payments to settle into my account?
Direct debit is a win-win payment solution for both businesses and their customers. Customers really appreciate the convenience of not having to worry about making sure their payments are made on time or, even worse, having to pay late fees, while businesses are much happier receiving funds when they expect to. Of course, the next consideration after the payments have been made is when exactly those funds will be made available to the business.
It's not surprising that many businesses make a point of asking, “How long does it take for direct debit to clear?” However, there are actually a variety of factors that determine the answer to that question, so we’ll start from the beginning and cover everything involved with collecting, clearing and settling direct debit payments into business accounts.
Read more: How does direct debit work?
What is BECS in Australia and how does that work?
BECS is the Bulk Electronic Clearing System for electronic credit and debit payment instructions. It is administered by the Australian Payments Network. In Australia, the industry standard for BECS Direct Debit payment timings is a minimum of one business day. However, payment failures can affect the timings, whether technical or on the part of the customer.
How payment timings work with Ezidebit
With Ezidebit, the source of your customers’ payments will affect how long it takes for the funds to become available for you. They have the option to choose between having their recurring debit come from their bank account, or from a credit or debit card.
If a customer chooses to have their funds charged to a credit or debit card, the funds from each successful transaction will be made available to you the following business day (Transaction + 1 or T + 1), as long as the transaction is made before 6p.m. For example, if a transaction is completed before 6p.m. on a Monday, the funds will be available to you the following day, Tuesday.
When a customer opts to have their payments withdrawn from a bank account instead, it will take an extra day for the funds to become available to you. Referring back to the transaction that was completed before 6p.m. on a Monday, funds from bank account payments will be available to you the second day after the transaction, which is Wednesday (T + 2).
Choosing your settlement times
Ezidebit offers businesses a great deal of flexibility in choosing when and how often they’d like to have any available funds clear into their bank accounts. This is to make it easier to align their income with their cash flow needs. For instance, you can opt to have a daily settlement between Monday and Friday (if funds are available) or alternatively once a week, on a business day of your choosing. It’s a good idea to think about when major expenses are due — such as rent, utilities or payroll — when thinking about what kind of settlement time and day you choose.
How settlement times are affected by public holidays
The effect that public holidays will have on your settlement times depends on what type of schedule you have chosen. If you have a daily settlement, then a public holiday will only delay the availability of your funds by one business day. For instance, when the Labour Day public holiday falls on a Monday, your settlement for that day will instead settle the following day, Tuesday.
However, the case is different if you have opted for a weekly settlement. For example, if you have chosen to have your available funds settle into your bank account every Monday, then that same Labour Day holiday will mean it won’t happen that week. Instead, they will be available to you the following Monday.
How to change your settlement times
If you would like to change the day or frequency of the settlement of your funds, simply email email@example.com and our Client Support team will be happy to help. Please note that the change will not affect any pending payment settlements.
Using direct debit with Ezidebit helps you get paid on time. Combined with a convenient, flexible settlement schedule, your cash flow will improve.