Paying your bills

You can use your current account or other payment methods to pay your bills. The most common ways include:

Direct debit

A direct debit is where people or companies take payments directly from your account when it is due. The person or company to whom you owe the payment is known as a creditor. Common examples of creditors include other banks, utility providers or insurance companies.

You should receive advance notice of the amount of money due to be collected and the exact dates it will happen. Direct debit may be set up as a single or recurring payment. You will need your BIC and IBAN to put it in place.

Cancelling a direct debit

You can cancel a direct debit by telling both your bank and creditor in writing to stop it. You may also be able to cancel it through your mobile banking app. If you see an unauthorised direct debit on your account, request a refund immediately. You may need to provide additional information or proof that the transaction was unauthorised if it’s eight-weeks since the payment.

Paying your direct debit

If you don’t have enough money in your current account to meet your direct debit, it may be returned unpaid. Your bank may also charge you a penalty. unpaid. Your bank may also charge you a penalty. The other possible outcome is that it gets paid, and your account goes into unauthorised overdraft. This will most likely incur more fees.

Top Tip

Irish businesses cannot refuse to accept a valid international IBAN from a bank account anywhere within the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA).

If the direct debit is to a financial services provider (such as a bank or insurance company) and they refuse to accept your SEPA IBAN, you should report it to the  central bank.  If the direct debit involves a business to consumer transaction, for example a utility company,  you can report it to the CCPC.

Standing order

A standing order is where you tell your bank to make regular fixed payments from your current account to another account. The amount stays the same change unless you change it yourself. For example, paying your rent, a club membership, donating to a charity or saving money into a different account.

You can set up, amend or cancel a standing order in your local branch, over the phone, online, in writing or through a mobile app. You can choose for the payment to be made weekly, fortnightly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly. If there is not enough money in your current account to pay your standing order, you may be charged a penalty by your bank. The other possible outcome is that it gets paid, but your account goes into unauthorised overdraft. This will most likely incur more fees.

Online transfer

You can transfer money online from your account to somebody else’s once you have their account details. You usually need their BIC and IBAN along with the name and address of the receiving bank. You may do this online through your mobile banking app or in person using an in-branch ATM.

When transferring money this way, always make sure you include a reference so that the person you’re paying knows what the payment is for and where it came from. This option for paying bills is handy for one-off payments, for example, your car tax or car insurance. It might not work so well for regular monthly bills as it does not leave your account automatically and you must remember to do it!

Debit card payment

You may be able to provide your debit card details online or over the phone for certain repeat payments which will be taken regularly. Examples of this might include your monthly gym membership, movie streaming service or waste collection.

Think it through before you choose this quick and straightforward payment option. You could find yourself having issues with a provider and need to stop payments. For example, you want to stop payments coming out for a gym membership or subscription service you have cancelled.

Budget account

A budget account is a form of credit that allows you to pay your household bills whenever they are due. It helps you to spread out the cost of them over the year. You should ask your bank or credit union if they offer this type of account as they are not common.

How does a budget account work?

You pay a set amount from your normal current account into the budget account every week or month. Your bills are then paid from the budget account as they fall due. This works very well if you get paid weekly or fortnightly and have monthly bills to pay.

There are some things you should be aware of with budget accounts:

  • You may have to pay interest on any overdrawn balance
  • There may be a regular maintenance fee for having a budget account, check with your bank/credit Union
  • There could also be fees for setting up standing orders or for missing direct debit/standing order payments
  • The provider may check your credit history as it’s a credit application

Check our budgeting section for more information and helpful tips.

Last updated on 9 January 2024

Tags: ,