Do you know who and how you are paying?
Over the years, I have had the pleasure to speak with numerous elderly customers, and as I have got to know them, they have told me things as if I were a friend or even in some cases as I were a family member. It is these that sometimes open up and discuss some of their issues and concerns such as the changing faces of banking and how they once knew it. Such as using cheques still and how they can now make alternative payment - but do not know what these payment methods are and what they do.
Therefore, I have taken a quick look into this area, and purely as a helpful guide, I have tried to detail and explain on what 3 of the payment methods mean.
1. Standing Order
This is a regular fixed payment from a current account set up by the customer with their bank. A fixed amount is then regularly withdrawn and sent to the company/organisaton or service provider. The standing order continues to be made until the customer (YOU) speak with the bank or the standing order contract runs out.
2. Direct Debit
A company gets regular payments, with the receiver known as the 'mandate holder'. It must tell/instruct a customer's bank and apply for any payments when due. The amount may vary under the agreement. Under the Direct Debit Guarantee Scheme, a provider must inform cusomers of any changes.
For more information on the above 2 payment methods, please click on: https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/direct-debits-and-standing-orders
3. Continuous Payment Authority
These are set up on credit or debit cards and give permission for money to regularly be taken off cards by the company/organisaton or service provider. Often these are used for subscriptions such as magazines or memberships - however they do not offer the customer guarantees as direct debits do.
If you are not sure how you are paying for something and find it confusing or hard to understand. I suggest you contact your bank who should be able to tell you how any payment is being made from your bank account. Additionally, The Financial Services Authority publishes 'Bank Accounts: Know Your Rights', a free booklet that offers advice on payment processes. Or for more helpful information please call: 0845 606 1234
For more information on the above 2 payment methods, please click on: http://www.fca.org.uk/news/continuous-payment-authorities-your-right-to-cancel http://www.fsa.gov.uk/consumerinformation