The Beginners Guide to Direct Debit Service User Numbers

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WHAT IS A BACS SERVICE USER NUMBER (SUN)?

The Term Service User Number or SUN refers to the unique identifier that is used by organisations and businesses collecting payment by Direct Debit. This ID is used in all communications with BACS and is stored to record the transaction. A SUN is required for all communications with BACS, creating a record of each individual transaction. The SUN is used by the bank to find the business name that is displayed on the bank statement of the direct debit payer. If the payment is charged back by the customer at a later date, the SUN can be used to identify who is liable for the chargeback.

WHO HAS OWNERSHIP OF THE SUN?

As an example, if you pay your utility bill by a monthly direct debit, the SUN belongs to your supplier or a third party agency, which uses its own SUN on behalf of the supplier in question.

For businesses looking to receive or pay money electronically, the same choice is available. Namely, to either have your own SUN or to have a third party bureau, such as London & Zurich manage it for you.

SUN THROUGH A THIRD PARTY

Organisations that do not have their own Service User Number can do so through a third party (also known as submitting indirectly). This will be either:

Facilities Management – A direct debit bureau sets up a SUN for each of its merchants, but will own each of these SUNs itself. The name on each SUN will be “Bureau re Client” before payments are collected into the bureau’s client monies account.

Payments Institution – A payment institution collects payments on behalf of their client using a single SUN belonging to them. This is then reimbursed and the client is charged a fee. Payment institutions are regulated under the PSD (Payments Services Directive).

BENEFITS OF SUNS AND BACS

The BACS system is in existence to help businesses and their customers make automated payments easier. Using direct debit collection services from London & Zurich can assist your business in a number of key ways:

Reduce Administration – Using fully managed Direct Debit services can help you to reduce the administration associated with managing finances, and allow you and your staff to worry about the important things.

Cash Flow – With a full schedule of planned payments, you can manage your cash flow situation and ensure that you have the cash flow that you need at all times.

SET UP ANY KIND OF COLLECTION

Our intuitive online systems makes it easy to set up any type of payment and manage a wide range of payment profiles. We have experience and expertise in a wide range of industry sectors, working with businesses with handfuls of clients to those with thousands of regular payments to process. This allows us to tailor our services to meet the specific needs of your business, whether you’re a utility company collecting variable amounts from your customers, or a fixed fee subscription service.

If a customer cancels their direct debit or a payment collection fails, we will inform you instantly, providing you with the information you need to make timely cash decisions. As well as benefitting from a flexible, low-cost payment system, you can also rest assured that your customers are using a safe, secure payment system, which is backed by the Direct Debit Guarantee.

GET IN TOUCH

If you are interested in collecting variable or fixed recurring payments, or would like to set up a direct debit for one-off payments, speak to London & Zurich today. We will talk you through your options and help you understand every aspect of this cost effective payment option.

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