Stopping a payment from your account

Find out about your rights and what you have to do if you want to stop a payment being made from your account.

If you want to stop a payment being made from your account, what you have to do depends on whether it’s a:

Find out more about these payment options and what you can do if there’s a problem.

Cancelling a direct debit

A direct debit gives a company or individual permission to take money regularly from your bank account.

You can cancel a direct debit by writing to your bank or payment service provider, or using your online or telephone banking service. You might also want to tell the company or individual you are paying, but you don’t have to.

Under the Direct Debit Guarantee Scheme, if a company or individual wants to change the amount or date of a payment you make, it must tell you about the change in advance. 

You are guaranteed a full and immediate refund if a company, individual or your bank makes an error.

Cancelling a standing order

A standing order is an instruction you give your bank to regularly pay a set amount to another account.

You can cancel a standing order by writing to your bank or using your online or telephone banking service.

To cancel a standing order before a payment is made, you need to cancel it before the close of business on the working day before the payment is due.

If you tell you bank to cancel a payment within this deadline, and it’s still paid, it will be considered an ‘unauthorised transaction’ and your bank must give you an immediate refund.

Find out more about unauthorised transactions.

Cancelling other regular payments

When you give your credit or debit card details to a company, and give them permission to take regular payments from your account, it’s known as a ‘continuous payment authority’ or ‘recurring transaction’.

These payments might be set up for something like a gym membership or a magazine subscription.

These regular card payments are often confused with direct debits, but they don’t offer the same guarantee if the amount or date of the payment changes.

In most cases, you can cancel these types of regular card payments by telling (or writing to) the company taking the payments.

However, you have the right to cancel these regular card payments directly with your bank or card provider. Your bank or card provider must then stop the payments. It can’t tell you to agree this with the company first.

Even if you stop payments, you’ll still be responsible for paying any money that you owe to the company or individual.

Stopping a cheque

If a cheque hasn't been paid, you can stop it by writing to your bank, or using your online or telephone banking service.

Cancelling direct payments from your account

If you make a payment directly from your account (for example, by using Faster Payments) you won’t be able to cancel the payment after making it.

Cancelling debit and credit card payments

If you make a payment using a debit and credit card (that it not a continuous payment authority or recurring payment), you won’t be able to cancel the payment after making it.  

If you made a payment in error, you may be able to claim a refund from your bank or card provider, if the company that you paid doesn’t return the payment. 

You should contact your bank or card provider to find out more and make a claim. 

Page updates

19/08/2021: Information changed Money Advice Service to MoneyHelper
19/03/2021: Editorial amendment