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Frequently Asked Questions

Solution / Workaround / Advised action

  1. What is direct debit?
  2. What are the advantages of direct debit?
  3. How do I register for direct debit?
  4. Can I select the currency to be invoiced?
  5. What must I do if I do not have a bank account to make invoice payments in EUR or USD?
  6. When is my direct debit service activated?
  7. What happens to invoices that are pending after the activation of the direct debit?
  8. How can I know the total amount of my invoice?
  9. What if I have a dispute on an invoice?
  10. Can I print my invoices online?
  11. What must I do to change my direct debit account?
  12. What must I do to close my direct debit account?
1. What is direct debit?
Direct debit is a payment method, by which a pre-authorised agreement enables one organisation to automatically debit money from the bank account of another individual or organisation. Direct debits are made automatically, and on a regular basis. SWIFT operates a system of payment by direct debit and highly recommends this method of payment. This method is favoured by 70% of SWIFT customers.
2. What are the advantages of direct debit?
This service offers the following advantages:
  • Automatic and electronic settlement of invoices after 40 days (manual payment terms: 30 days)
  • No overdue interest charges and no reminders
  • Automatic refund of credit notes
  • Reduced administration costs in handling payments
  • No prepayment
  • Board Audit Committee decision
3. How do I register for direct debit?
First, contact the commercial administrator of your region to find out the currency that you are invoiced (EUR or USD).
Then, click How to register for direct debit? from the SWIFT Customer Payments page on swift.com.
4. Can I select the currency to be invoiced?
No. We send an invoice to you in either euro (EUR) or US dollars (USD). To find out the currency that you are invoiced, contact the commercial administrator of your region.
5. What must I do if I do not have a bank account to make invoice payments in EUR or USD?
Open a EUR bank account in one of the SEPA countries (link to list of SEPA countries) or a USD bank account.
Alternatively, you can subscribe to our International Drawdown (IDD) service. This service requires you to have either a EUR or a USD account with one of the banks that participate in this service. For more information about IDD, click here.
For more information, contact SWIFT Treasury through the following:
6. When is my direct debit service activated?
For EUR direct debit, we activate the service when the duly completed form is approved by your correspondent bank.
For USD direct debit, SWIFT does a debit test of USD 0.10 on your new account. If this test is successful, then your account is activated. The activation procedure can take up to a month to complete.
If you are connected to the SWIFT network, then you get a notification of activation through an MT 999. If not, then you get the notification by mail or fax.
7. What happens to invoices that are pending after the activation of the direct debit?
When your direct debit is activated, SWIFT deducts the payment for all invoices from your account automatically. This includes invoices that are pending, and new invoices that become due.
If you are charged twice during the activation process, then use the Case Manager to report this in order to get a refund.
8. How can I know the total amount of my invoice?
We send a notification seven days before the value date of the direct debit. If you are connected to the SWIFT network, then you get this notification through an MT 999. If not, then you get this notification by mail or fax.
The notification shows the total amount to be debited, the invoice numbers and amounts, and the direct debit value date.
You can also see your invoices from the Billing Services page on swift.com. For more information about Billing Services, see tip 87276.
9. What if I have a dispute on an invoice?
To report your dispute, use the Case Manager. The invoice can be blocked for direct debit within 30 days of the invoice date. After the 30 days, and after an investigation by SWIFT, you are issued either a credit note or a debit note. This shows on your next invoice.
10. Can I print my invoices online?
Yes. You can print your invoices from the Billing Services page on swift.com.
11. What must I do to change my direct debit account?
For USD direct debit, contact SWIFT Treasury through the following: Make sure you describe the following:
  • your BIC code
  • your new account number for direct debit
  • the name of your correspondent bank and its ABA number
  • the closing date of your old account
SWIFT then does a debit test of USD 0.10 on your new account. If this test is successful, then your new account is activated.
For EUR direct debit, you must complete a new direct debit form. To get this form, click How to register for direct debit? from the SWIFT Customer Payments page on swift.com.
In this form, make sure that you describe the closing date of your old account.
For International Drawdown (IDD), select the appropriate check box at the top right hand corner, complete the new account details, have the form approved by your executing bank, and then send it to SWIFT.
12. What must I do to close my direct debit account?
To close your direct debit account, do one of the following: Make sure that you describe the closing date of your direct debit.
SWIFT sends a confirmation when your direct debit account is closed. You must make manual payments to the accounts shown in these invoices.
For International Drawdown (IDD), select the appropriate check box at the top right hand corner, complete the new account details, have the form approved by your executing bank, and then send it to SWIFT.