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  Documentation

BACS Direct Debit

Learn how to accept BACS Direct Debit payments.

Bankers' Automated Clearing Services (BACS) Direct Debit is a widely used payment method in the United Kingdom. The scheme is owned by Bacs Payment Schemes Limited, which have very strict rules to protect shoppers. Shoppers are further protected by the Direct Debit Guarantee.

Both one-off and recurring payments are supported by BACS. Due to the risk of chargebacks, we don't recommend using BACS Direct Debit for one-off payments or the sale of physical goods.

When making a BACS Direct Debit payment, the shopper is redirected to an Adyen-hosted page to enter their payment details and complete the payment. Here they are also given the option to download a copy of the Direct Debit Instruction (DDI) or 'mandate'. Adyen submits the DDI and the payment to BACS for processing. Taking the BACS processing cycle into account, it can take four to six days before a payment is cleared and settled.

Payment Type Payment Flow Recurring Refunds Partial Refunds Captures Partial Captures Chargebacks
Direct Debit Redirect Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes

You can accept BACS Direct Debit payments with:

Integrate with Checkout SDKs

Our Checkout SDKs support BACS Direct Debit payments without any additional configuration.
However, to make recurring BACS payments you'll need to use an API call.

To know whether a payment is successful, you'll also need to set up notifications.

Integrate with API

In this section, we show the API integration steps for BACS Direct Debit.

Before you begin this section, make sure you read and understand our API Integration guide.

Step 1: Present payment method

  • Present the payment method BACS Direct Debit to the shopper.

Collecting the payment details happens at a later step.

Step 2: Make a payment

  • When the shopper has selected BACS Direct Debit, make a POST request to /payments, specifying:

    • reference: Your unique reference for this payment.
    • amount
    • paymentMethod.type: directdebit_GB.
    • countryCode: GB.
    • shopperLocale: en_gb.
    • returnUrl: The URL the shopper will be directed back to after they complete the payment.
    {
       "merchantAccount": "YourMerchantAccount",
       "reference": "BACS test payment",
       "amount": {
           "currency": "GBP",
           "value": "49900"
       },
       "paymentMethod": {
           "type": "directdebit_GB"
       },
       "countryCode": "GB",
       "shopperLocale": "en_gb",
       "returnUrl": "https://your-company.com/..."
    }

    This returns a /payments response containing a:

    • resultCode of RedirectShopper.
    • redirect object containing a url.
    {
       "resultCode": "RedirectShopper",
       "details": [
           {
               "key": "payload",
               "type": "text"
           }
       ],
       "paymentData": "abcxyz...",
       "redirect": {
           "method": "GET",
           "url": "https://test.adyen.com/hpp/details.shtml?brandCode=directdebit_GB&countryCode=GB..."
       }
    }

Step 3: Redirect shopper

To complete the payment, the shopper needs to enter their payment details on an Adyen-hosted page. This page is designed to comply with the BACS scheme rules and prompts the shopper to download the DDI.

  • Redirect the shopper to the URL specified at redirect.url.

    When the shopper has completed the payment, they are redirected to your website or app using the returnUrl you specified earlier. The returnUrl will be appended with a payload which contains the payment details.

    https://your-company.com/?payload=sdfsdfsdf...&type=complete&resultCode=authorised

    Do not use the resultCode you receive from the returnUrl to determine whether the payment was successful. Instead, verify the result on your server.

Step 4: Present payment result

  1. To verify the result of the payment, make a POST request to /payments/details, to submit the payload.

    {
     "details":{
       "payload":"sdfsdfsdf..."
     }
    }

    The response contains a pspReference, which is our unique identifier for this payment, and a resultCode.

  2. Use the resultCode to present the payment result to your shopper via your website or app.

BACS result codes

The resultCode values you can receive for BACS Direct Debit are:

  • Received: Adyen has received the payment and will submit the DDI and the payment for processing to BACS. You will receive a notification when the status of the payment has been updated. There will be a settlement delay of four to six days. Inform the shopper that you've received their order, and are waiting for the payment to be completed.

  • Cancelled: The shopper cancelled the payment while on their bank's website or app. Ask the shopper whether they want to continue with the order, or request that they select a different payment method.

To find out more about result codes and how you can action them, see Result codes.

BACS notifications

Setting up notifications is required for BACS Direct Debit payments. When you have set up notifications, we keep you updated on the transaction status. Also, notifications are needed to be able to tokenize the shopper's payment details for recurring BACS Direct Debit payments.

If you haven't already set up notifications, refer to our notifications documentation for instructions.

Successful payments

You'll know a payment has been successful when you receive a notification for the transaction that has: 

  • eventCodeAUTHORISATION.
  • successtrue.

Instead of your company name, the company name that will appear on the shopper's bank statement against the Direct Debit is Adyen Payments with Service User Id 298288.

Chargeback notifications

A notification for a chargeback has:

  • eventCodeCHARGEBACK.
  • reason: Reason for the chargeback.
  • successtrue.

Here is an example of a notification for a chargeback due to insufficient funds in the shopper's bank account.

{
   "live":"false",
   "notificationItems":[
      {
         "NotificationRequestItem":{
            "additionalData":{
               "directdebit_GB.mandateId":"424544",
               "directdebit_GB.serviceUserNumber":"298288",
               "directdebit_GB.serviceUserName":"Adyen Payments",
               "directdebit_GB.sequenceType":"OneOff",
               "directdebit_GB.dateOfSignature":"2016-10-21"
            },
            "amount":{
               "currency":"GBP",
               "value":1000
            },
            "eventCode":"CHARGEBACK",
            "eventDate":"2016-10-21T11:34:15+02:00",
            "merchantAccountCode":"YourMerchantAccount",
            "merchantReference":"TMRef1234",
            "paymentMethod":"directdebit_GB",
            "pspReference":"9914770424540842",
            "reason":"Insufficient funds",             
            "success":"true"
         }
      }
   ]
}

Recurring BACS payments

If you have a recurring or subscription business model, we recommend tokenizing the shopper's payment details. When you create a shopper token from a BACS Direct Debit payment, we store the shopper's payment details with the token. You can use this token to make recurring BACS Direct Debit payments.

You can create a shopper token with either the SDK or API integrations, but to make recurring payments with the token you'll need to use the /payments endpoint.

We strongly recommend that you request explicit permission from the shopper if you intend to make recurring BACS Direct Debit payments. Being transparent about the payment schedule and the amount they will be charged will reduce the risk of chargebacks.

Under the Direct Debit Guarantee, if there is a change in the collection date or the amount, you must give the shopper advance notice of the payment.

Create shopper token

Tokenize the shopper's payment details when you make the initial BACS Direct Debit payment. The steps for doing this depend on whether you integrated with our Checkout SDKs or our API integration.

Checkout SDKs

  1. When you call /paymentSession to create a payment session, additionally include:

    • shopperReference: Your unique ID for this shopper.
    • enableRecurringtrue.
  2. When you receive the successful payment notification, note the recurringDetailReference. This is the token you will need to make recurring payments for this shopper.

API integration

  1. When you make a POST request to /payments to make a payment, additionally include:

    • shopperReference: Your unique ID for this shopper.
    • paymentMethod.storeDetailstrue.
  2. When you receive the successful payment notification, note the recurringDetailReference. This is the token you will need to make recurring payments for this shopper.

Make recurring payments

For each recurring payment for this shopper:

  • Make a BACS Direct Debit payment with a POST request to /payments, and additionally include:

    • paymentMethod.recurringDetailReference: Token for the shopper received in the successful payment notification for the initial payment.
    • shopperReference: The same unique shopper ID you used to create the shopper token.
    • shopperInteraction: ContAuth.
    {
       "merchantAccount": "YourMerchantAccount",
       "reference": "BACS test payment",
       "shopperReference": "yourShopperId_IOfW3k9G2PvXFu2j",
       "shopperInteraction":"ContAuth", 
       "amount": {
           "currency": "GBP",
           "value": "49900"
       },
       "paymentMethod": {
           "type": "directdebit_GB",
           "recurringDetailReference":"7219687191761347"
       },
       "countryCode": "GB",
       "shopperLocale": "en_gb",
       "returnUrl": "https://your-company.com/..."
    }

    If the payment was successfully received the response will contain the resultCode Received and a pspReference, which is our unique identifier for this transaction. You can track whether the payment was successful using Notifications.

Chargebacks

The BACS scheme and the Direct Debit Guarantee give significant consumer rights to the shopper, such as:

  • An immediate money back guarantee if an error is made in the payment of a direct debit.
  • The right to cancel the DDI at any time.

Unpaid direct debits are booked as chargebacks. A chargeback can indicate that:

  • The DDI was changed or cancelled.
  • The shopper disputes the due date, amount, or frequency of the direct debit.
  • The shopper has not paid the direct debit.
  • There were insufficient funds in the shopper's bank account.

You cannot defend against BACS chargebacks. These will always result in the shopper receiving a refund.

For more information on the chargeback process, refer to Dispute management.

Testing BACS payments

Before accepting live BACS Direct Debit payments, test your integration.

  1. Make BACS Direct Debit test payments using:

    Account Name Account Number Sort Code
    David Archer 40308669 560036

    The form also prompts for address details. These are not verified so you can enter anything you want.

  2. Check the status of the BACS Direct Debit test payments in your Customer Area > Transactions > Payments.

See also