FAQs: Why are we asking you to switch to Direct Debit?

From January 2014, we have been asking all our new members to pay their membership subscription by Direct Debit. From June 2014 onwards, we are also asking all our existing members to change the way they pay their subscription fee from Standing Order to Direct Debit. Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions about this change.

You may also wish to consult the FAQs of BACS, the organisation which runs Direct Debit.

Why are we asking you to change from Standing Order to Direct Debit?

How do I cancel my Standing Order?

Are Direct Debits safe and secure?

Can I keep paying my membership subscription via Standing Order?

If you can’t find the answer to your question below, please contact our membership team by emailing membership [at] medact.org. The membership team is led by office staff but is run by volunteers, we will aim to respond to your query within 7 days.

Why are we changing to Direct Debit?

Almost all of our members pay by Standing Order, but we are now asking our members to support Medact by Direct Debit instead. This will help Medact in the following ways:

  • Monthly giving: Under the new Direct Debit system all members will pay their subscriptions monthly. This benefits our members, many of whom prefer the smaller monthly payments over the annual fee. It also helps Medact better predict its income and thus plan for the future.
  • Saving on staff time: With Direct Debit, everything is electronic, so there will be a significant reduction in staff time spent on administration. It also decreases the risk of mistakes being made.
  • Reduced postage costs: Both Medact and our members will benefit from not having to pay for forms to be sent forms in the post, and there’s a reduced likelihood of information going missing or being delayed.
  • Easier to change payments: If you would like to increase or decrease your membership fee, or stop your payment altogether, this is very simple and can be done by office staff upon your request – unlike with a Standing Order. We cannot and will not increase your membership subscription without your consent.

Saving staff time on administration is going to become more important as Medact grows and changes over the next five years. By streamlining our administrative procedures we will be able to dedicate more time to our education, research and campaigning work.


How do I cancel my Standing Order?

Medact cannot cancel existing Standing Orders. Only you can do this. It can be done in writing, over the telephone, or via on-line banking. We can provide you with information on your Standing Order, please contact our membership team by emailing membership [at] medact.org.

Click here to see a sample letter to your bank.

If you need information or advice on cancelling your Standing Order, please contact our membership team as above.

Are Direct Debits safe and secure?

Organisations using the Direct Debit Scheme go through a careful vetting process before they’re authorised, and are closely monitored by the banking industry. The efficiency and security of Direct Debit is monitored and protected by your own bank or building society.

In addition, the Direct Debit Guarantee applies to all Direct Debits. It protects you in the rare event that there is an error in the payment of your Direct Debit.

Direct Debit Guarantee:

  • The Guarantee is offered by all banks and building societies that accept instructions to pay Direct Debits
  • If there are any changes to the amount, date or frequency of your Direct Debit the organisation will notify you (normally 10 working days) in advance of your account being debited or as otherwise agreed. If you request the organisation to collect a payment, confirmation of the amount and date will be given to you at the time of the request
  • If an error is made in the payment of your Direct Debit, by the organisation or your bank or building society, you are entitled to a full and immediate refund of the amount paid from your bank or building society
    • If you receive a refund you are not entitled to, you must pay it back when the organisation asks you to
  • You can cancel a Direct Debit at any time by simply contacting your bank or building society. Written confirmation may be required. Please also notify the organisation.

Can I keep paying my membership subscription by Standing Order?

Of course. We will still be supporting all our existing members who wish to pay by Standing Order, but are asking that all our new members pay by Direct Debit.