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How to Cancel a Direct Debit

By Lulu Meade

One of the best ways to get on top of your finances is to have a review of the direct debit payments you have set up. You’d be surprised at what you might find! There might be that long-forgotten membership to a gym you haven’t visited in months or perhaps an annual pass to a gallery you now live on the other side of the country from. Weeding out those unnecessary expenses can make a huge difference to your bank account and make sure you stay in control of your money.

A quick word of warning

Cancelling direct debits with your bank is an easy enough process but make sure you double-check in with the company you’re cancelling the payment to. You might be obligated to give notice of cancellation and could be stuck with a penalty fee if you’re breaching a contract agreement.

What is direct debit?

Direct debit is a payment instruction you give your bank allowing money to be automatically and periodically taken out of your account to the company you want to pay. It’s a great system for paying bills that allows you to forget about paying for them. Not having to think about those payments, however, also means you can forget you’re paying for things you may no longer need!

How to cancel a direct debit

You can cancel your direct debit payments online, through mobile banking, by phone or in person at your local branch

How to cancel direct debit

Mobile and Online Banking

This is one of the easiest ways to cancel a direct debit payment! Most mobile banking apps and online banking services for high-street banks including Barclays, NatWest, Nationwide and HSBC, have a ‘manage my payments’ or ‘direct debit’ section. Once you find the direct debit payment you want to cancel, just follow the on-screen instructions to stop the payment.

Cancelling direct debit using your mobile banking app

You also cancel a direct debit payment over the phone if you have telephone banking set up. Keep your account details close by as well as information on the payment you’d like to cancel.


To cancel a direct debit payment in person, head over to your local branch. You’ll need to bring some form of identification (e.g. passport or driving licence)

When will the payments stop?

Technically, once the direct debit payment has been cancelled, no more money will be taken out of your account. Some banks do have deadlines for when the cancellation needs to be requested ahead of the scheduled payment. Natwest, for example, will allow cancellations online up to 8:20pm (GMT) on the day the payment is due whereas HSBC specifies cancellation requests must be submitted at least 2 working days before the payment deadline.

Reviewing your memberships and subscriptions is always a good idea when it comes to taking control of your finances. If you’re looking for better ways to monitor your bills and spending and take control of your budgeting check out the free Nova app. Start your financial journey now!

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