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A couple using smartphone together on train; image used for HSBC The easiest way to pay your bills.

Easy ways to pay your bills

BPAY® or Direct Debit? Find out the key differences between these solutions and the best way to use them to make paying bills easier.

What is BPAY®?

BPAY® is a feature you can access from your Online Banking that allows you to pay bills (such as internet, mobile, electricity or gas) on a one-off or recurring basis. For example, you can use BPAY® to ensure that your rent is paid on time each month, or you can use it to pay your monthly utilities bills when you receive them.

This can be one of the easiest ways to ensure that you don't miss a payment and get charged an annoying late fee.

What is Direct Debit?

Direct Debit is an agreement that allows a company or merchant to debit, or bill, your account on a recurring basis. When a Direct Debit is established, the company will automatically move the funds from your account.

All Direct Debits are established via a contract between the company, the bank, and yourself. This ensures that payments can be as effortless, yet secure, as possible.

The most common type of Direct Debit is referred to as a 'reoccurring card payment' which uses your credit or debit card as the payment method. These are further governed by your credit card providers' scheme to ensure fair transactions.

What's the difference between BPAY® and Direct Debit?

Both BPAY® and Direct Debit are designed to do the same thing: help you pay your bills. But there are a few big differences between them. We've highlighted them in this table:

BPAY® vs Direct Debit
BPAY®
Direct Debit
How to establish
HSBC Online Banking
Direct with merchant or company
Payment type
Transfer from Savings or Transaction account
Debit from your debit or credit card
Payment frequency
Once or ongoing for up to 18 months
Automatic once set up
Fees

Free

(Do note that your account may have a limit on the number of free transactions)

Based on merchant or bank
Time to transfer
Usually within the same day as long as it's a banking business day and the payment is made before the cut-off time
Usually day of, but may take a few days to reflect on your Account Statement

Both BPAY® and Direct Debit are designed to do the same thing: help you pay your bills. But there are a few big differences between them. We've highlighted them in this table:

BPAY® vs Direct Debit
How to establish
BPAY®
HSBC Online Banking
Direct Debit
Direct with merchant or company
BPAY® vs Direct Debit
Payment type
BPAY®
Transfer from Savings or Transaction account
Direct Debit
Debit from your debit or credit card
BPAY® vs Direct Debit
Payment frequency
BPAY®
Once or ongoing for up to 18 months
Direct Debit
Automatic once set up
BPAY® vs Direct Debit
Fees
BPAY®

Free

(Do note that your account may have a limit on the number of free transactions)

Direct Debit
Based on merchant or bank
BPAY® vs Direct Debit
Time to transfer
BPAY®
Usually within the same day as long as it's a banking business day and the payment is made before the cut-off time
Direct Debit
Usually day of, but may take a few days to reflect on your Account Statement

Which is easier to use to pay bills?

This will depend on how you pay your bills and the type of bill you are paying. For example, if you are paying a bill once, then it will likely be easier to use BPAY®. On the other hand, if you have an ongoing bill or contract with a company that will not expire in the foreseeable future, then Direct Debit may be easier.

An important thing to be aware of here is that Direct Debit is a contract between you and a company. The bank just facilitates the transfer. This means that any changes to the billing must be done directly with the company.

How do you apply for Direct Debit and BPAY®?

To sign up for Direct Debit, you will need to contact the company or merchant directly. In most cases, they will tell you if Direct Debit is available and they'll also provide the instructions and relevant forms to set it up.

BPAY® on the other hand, is available via 'Move Money' in Online Banking.

Regardless of the method you select, please ensure that you have enough money in your account on the day of the transaction or the payment may not go through.

Ready to get started?

To find out more, check out our step-by-step guide on how to set up BPAY®.

To learn more about how you can get the most out of your HSBC account, or to open an account with our easy online process, visit our Accounts page.

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