These are payments made by deduction of the amount from your bank account.
Setting up a direct debit mandate
- If you wish your bank to pay amounts you may be charged in future by a business or an individual for goods or services purchased, then you should sign an express mandate for it to do so from a particular date.
- You may either instruct your bank to make a single direct debit payment, or a recurring one (monthly, quarterly, annually, etc.), in which case, you do not need to authorise each individual payment, but simply all payments, until further notice.
Cancelling a direct debit mandate
- Cancelling a direct debit mandate requires specific instructions in a signed and dated document.
- Cancellation will only be valid if the bank receives the instructions to cancel before the end of the last working day prior to the date payment is due to be made. If they are received later, the cancellation will only stop subsequent payments.
Recovering a payment
Your right to a refund of a payment made by direct debit is governed by the Law on payment services.
If you authorised the direct debit, then you have eight weeks in which to claim a refund, as long as the amount of the payments was not specified at the time of authorisation and the debited amount exceeds what would be expected given the amounts of previous direct debit payments.
For instance: if you set up a direct debit to pay the annual premiums due on an insurance policy, which specifies their amount as €500, and the following year you are charged €510, you are not entitled to a refund of the direct debit. However, if the insurance policy does not specify the premium amount and one year you are charged €500 and the next year €800, you are entitled to claim a refund of the direct debit within eight weeks.
If you did not authorize the direct debit, then you have 13 months in which to claim a refund.
Find out more about direct debits, in our 2017 Complaints Report (in Spanish) (143 KB)