Sep 08, 2017

Direct Debit Service User Number Explained

In this blog article, we explain the terms Service User and Service User Number (SUN). We also briefly explain what a business or organisation must do to obtain one.


SUN Service User Number explained


What is a Service User?

A Service User is a company or organisation that is sponsored to use one or more Bacs services, such as Direct Debit.

What is a Service User Number?

A Service User Number (SUN) is a unique six-digit number allocated to a Service User collecting payments by Direct Debit. You can think of it as a license given from a bank to a business/organisation to join the Direct Debit scheme.

So, what do I need to do in order to obtain a SUN?

The first thing to do is to contact your bank. Each bank has its own application process and it will advise you of the steps you should take in order to become a Service User.

You will also need to check whether your business or organisation is eligible to obtain a SUN. Your bank will most probably check/ask for the following:

  • A UK sterling bank account
  • Your business’ financial standing
  • Quality of your administrative control
  • Contractual capacity
  • An indemnity in favour of all banks participating in the Direct Debit scheme

If your application is successful, your business will be allocated a SUN. The sponsoring bank will provide information regarding the rules for participating in the scheme.

What happens if I can’t get a Service User Number?

Not every business or organisation can obtain its own SUN. In that case, you can still process your Direct Debit collections through a Facilities Managed (FM) solution provided by a Bacs approved third party. This service is suitable for businesses and organisations of all sizes, whether you collect 20 or 20,000 Direct Debits.

The third party will manage the whole process on your behalf. The data is processed securely and any Bacs reports are made available online to your business.

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