Direct Debit Bureau

Be in Control With LandZ Direct Debit Bureau
By using our simple online systems you do not need to make a capital investment in software systems or pay for upgrades and training. London & Zurich’s secure web-based solution submits your file to Bacs to debit your customer’s account on the requested date. The funds collected are paid directly into your nominated bank account. After a short reconciliation phase, the London & Zurich system will tell you what collections have failed and why the failure has happened. This allows you to initiate your credit control processes without delay.

A Direct Debit Bureau You Can Trust

Even if you have your own Direct Debit software our web based systems can provide you with a disaster recovery solution that allows you to continue to collect funds in the event of you being unable to process files. You can avoid your cash flow grinding to a halt, unhappy customers and disgruntled staff with London & Zurich’s convenient standby service. Should your building or hardware be compromised or your BACS Smartcard lost or locked then our file transfer service which keeps an off-site back up of customer data will offer you business continuity and the greatest peace of mind.GUIDESAPPLY TODAY

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Direct Debit Bureau?

Every year, thousands of businesses sign up to Direct Debit, as it offers them the most cost effective and efficient approach to collecting payments from customers. One option of handling direct debits for your business is through a third party known as a Direct Debit Bureau. More than half of the businesses and organisations in the United Kingdom using BACS services, make their Direct Debit payments through a BACS approved bureau rather than submitting files themselves, directly to BACS. A Direct Debit Bureau is a third party that takes charge of handling direct debit payments on your behalf. They do this either using your own Service User Number (SUN) or the Bureau’s own. Service User Numbers are explained in more detail below, or you can read our guide on Service User Numbers. There are a number of reasons that a business might choose to use a Direct Debit Bureau, including:

  • The business only makes a small number of direct debit or BACS direct credit transactions each month
  • The business is unable to fulfil all of the required criteria to be able to make direct submissions themselves to BACS
  • The business has only recently been established and their payment collection process is not currently sufficient or reliable
  • The business is an SME with a relatively low turnover
  • For whatever reason a business chooses to use a Direct Debit Bureau, it ensures that the process for collecting payments is smooth and limits the responsibility of the business owner.

Bureaus are an extremely secure method of payment collection. Every single BACS approved bureau is subject to regular inspection and review by BACS to ensure that they meet the standards set by the scheme.

What Services Do Direct Debit Bureaus Provide?

Merchants who choose to use a Direct Debit Bureau collect paper and paperless Direct Debit Mandates themselves, but it differs in terms of the next stages, based on the services provided by the bureau.

  • Firstly, rather than submitting payment details directly to BACS, an email or Excel file is uploaded to the bureau
  • Submissions are the handled on your behalf by the bureau, who email details of any failures
  • Large businesses receive payments collected through a direct debit bureau directly into their bank account
  • Smaller businesses or merchants, however, have their payment collected by the bureau and paid out 3-7 working days later
  • Typically, 5-20% (approximately) of each collection is typically withheld by the bureau to cover any future chargebacks

Direct Debit Bureau’s such as London & Zurich provide an excellent solution in ensuring that your direct debit services are smoothly run and your payments are completed with minimal fuss.

What types of direct debit collections can I set up through a bureau?

Our intuitive online system makes it easy to set up any type of collection and manage a wide range of collection profiles. We have experience and expertise in a wide range of industry sectors. We work with companies of all sizes to meet the specific needs of your business, whether you’re a utilities company collecting variable amounts from your customers, or a fixed fee subscription service.

What’s the difference between using your own SUN vs a Bureau’s SUN?

One important aspect of using a Direct Debit Bureau is the Service User Number. Bureau’s such as London & Zurich can set up a Service User Number for your payments, naming this “facilities management”. For businesses wanting their business name to show on their customer’s bank statements, this is the preferred option. Businesses may also choose to use a Bureau’s SUN. This option allows Bureaus to submit and manage payments on your behalf. For those looking for a swifter option, with less concern over the appearance of a Bureau’s name on your customers’ bank statements, this may be the ideal solution. It also provides businesses with less aspects to manage, and essentially, a more workable solution.

How do I sign up customers through a Direct Debit Bureau?

When taking payments through a Direct Debit Bureau, signing up new customers is an easy process that can be completed with paper or online forms, or over the phone, if customers prefer. Generally, most Bureaus will use paper forms, but London & Zurich offer an online platform to do so, as well as a phone service.


PREMIUM (Collect in your name)
from £ 29.99 PER MONTH
Ideal for start-ups and SME’s Variable/fixed direct debit values Bacs approved correspondence supplied 2 collections per month (more available on request) No collection value caps Online training included Access to management software Indemnity claim management available Bespoke reporting available
Ideal for clients with their own SUN (SUN is required) Daily unlimited Collections Low transaction rates Faster settlement of funds Amounts paid straight to your account Access to management software (managed service only) Access to Bacs reporting

Our Process

You enter your customers’ details on to London & Zurich’s systems

Enter the amount due onto the customer profile within the online system

London & Zurich submit Direct Debit data file to BACS

Bacs debits the customer’s account and credits your account

London & Zurich reconcile account and check for failures

London & Zurich pay funds to you and reporting made available online


We understand that collecting card payments can be confusing and you may need some assistance in making the right decision for your business. We would be more than happy to visit you to discuss your needs in more detail and help you understand why we’re the Direct Debit Bureau you can trust. To arrange a visit, please complete the form and we will contact you.

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