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The Australian Payment Network Limited (AusPayNet) has made amendments to the Direct Debit Request (DDR) guidelines for Direct Entry payments made through the Bulk Electronic Clearing System (BECS).

You need to update your Direct Debit Request (DDR) form and Direct Debit Request Service Agreement (DDRSA) to ensure that you can accept new Direct Debit Requests from your customers and provide your business with additional protection against claims.

These changes have been introduced to:

  • Simplify the DDR and DDRSA and ensure that customers signing the form have authority to operate the account to be debited.
  • Assist with Direct Debit claims by ensuring that you have a reliable method to identify your customers and obtain their agreement for Electronic and Telephone DDR.
  • Ensure the DDR cancellations process is clear, and cancellation requests are acted on promptly, in line with the new Banking Code of Practice.

What has changed?

Below is an overview of the key changes that you will need to make to your DDR and DDRSA for new customers.

DDR New Requirements.

  • “Amount of Debit” – added field
  • “Financial Institution address” has been removed
  • “Second Account Signatory” – added field
  • Additional details requested in “Signing for a company”.

DDRSA New Requirements.

  • Definition of “Direct Debit Request” on the DDRSA has been changed.
  • “Amendment by us” – the Notice Period has been changed to 14 days
  • “Amendment by you” has been renamed as “How to cancel or change Direct Debits” and includes the cancellation steps

What you need to do

Update your existing DDR and DDRSA and ensure that any new customer receives the updated forms. 

  • You won't need to change the format of existing customer DDRs which are already in place (i.e. changes do not apply retrospectively.)
  • Follow the amended guidelines when establishing new electronic or telephone DDR arrangements and ensure you keep a record of their method
  • Act promptly on a request to cancel any DDR, whether it was entered into before or after you’ve made the changes to your documentation.

Important reminder about your privacy obligations

Please note that when you obtain a DDR from your customer, you are collecting personal information about your customer. Remember that:

  • you are solely responsible for ensuring that your customer’s information is stored securely;
  • the sample DDRSA (available under reference materials section of this page) includes an undertaking from yourself to keep your customer’s information confidential and secure;
  • if the Privacy Act 1988 applies to you, you need to ensure that you comply with your obligations under that Act (including the Australian Privacy Principles). This includes informing individuals that St.George will use their personal information to process direct debit transactions in accordance with St.George’s Privacy Statement as updated from time to time, or call us on 13 33 30.
  • St.George does not accept responsibility for the adequacy of your security systems and processes, and is not responsible for the way in which you store information or for ensuring that you comply with your privacy obligations; and
  • you should make your privacy policy accessible to your customer.

Frequently Asked Questions