Megathread: Introducing Direct Debit

Hi everyone :wave:

Hot on the heels of our recurring orders launch, we’ve got another highly-requested feature launch for you: Direct Debit.

Direct Debit lets you automatically top up your Freetrade account on a monthly basis on your day of choice. This is another step towards Autopilot, our end-to-end solution for regular investing, making it simpler for you to build your portfolio over the long term.

If you’re on our Plus plan - you get early access to this one! Just make sure you’re on the latest version of the app.

If you’re on our Standard or Basic plan - don’t worry, you’ll be getting this one too! We’ll be gradually rolling it out to you over the next month, so keep an eye on this thread for updates :eyes:

How do I set up a Direct Debit?

Head to the Account tab on your app, and tap “Set up” next to the Direct Debit option to get started. You’ll need to have a linked bank account first!

Choose the amount you want to put in each month and the date you’d like the cash to leave your bank account. Please note - it will take 2 working days from the date you choose for the cash to become available to invest in your Freetrade account.

You can also edit, pause, and resume your Direct Debit at any time from within the app.

What if I’ve set up a recurring order?

If you want your Direct Debit to hit your account in plenty of time for it to be invested by your recurring order, we’d suggest leaving a week between the date of your Direct Debit and the date of your recurring order.

When you invest your capital is at risk, the value of your investments can go down as well as up and you may get back less than what you invest.


I’m struggling to see the advantage of direct debits over standing orders, particularly with the two-working day wait. Can anyone enlighten me?


The beauty @rehpot is we now let you do both! Those who prefer standing orders are still able to continue doing so.

We know that while some people are comfortable setting up a standing order by copying details across from the Freetrade app to their banking app, quite a few of our customers drop out of this flow and elect not to continue because of the friction involved. On top of this, we have a long-running issue which we are waiting for Lloyds to resolve as standing orders from customers with Lloyds banking group are not picked up by us - see MEGATHREAD: Standing orders - #35 by latarzanla.

The benefits of Direct Debit are that customers can set these up easily via the Freetrade app. We then have visibility of this (unlike standing orders) and are able to provide this to customers within the app as well as the ability to manage their Direct Debit. This is important as we build out Autopilot and enable customers to set-up and manage recurring investments end-to-end all within Freetrade.


I’m one of those people that prefer direct debit over standing order, purely because of the (minor) amount of additional friction involved.

I’ll be setting up a dd as soon as i can.


More options and alternatives are always a good thing.

Making good progress FT :clap:


This is good, I have now set up a DD for the SIPP account so with recurring orders i can set up and let it sort of automates itself so that I only need to look at it every now and again :slight_smile:


I’ve set up the direct debit today for the isa. Was a brilliant process. 3 clicks total, enter the amount and took possibly no more than 15 seconds at most.

No leaving the app, no copying to clipboards etc etc am very pleased. Thanks ft


Any chance freetrade might let us know a ball park figure of new direct debits set up with this feature over the next week?

Would be great to hear the effect.

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We’re deliberately ramping up the feature slowly to monitor how customers are using it and get feedback so we expect numbers to be quite subdued to start with. In fact, the only communications we’ve made about the feature is here on the forum as we want all of your feedback first. We expect higher uptake when we open it up to Standard and Basic as well as promote it more, we’ll let you know when we get to that stage. In the meantime, please keep the feedback coming!


I’ve just set up direct debits for my Isa and Sipp. It’s a seamless process, much simpler than copying references and bank details to set up standing orders.


I’ve just paused one of my direct debits (I think it was triggered by the direct debit rather than me pausing the reoccurring order which I did at the same time) and received this email that I don’t think is worded very well:

It’s not my subscription I’ve paused and ‘they decide to resume it’ isn’t correct either.


Thanks for the feedback @Kumnaa, this is really helpful for us as changing the emails is one of the things we are deciding when to prioritise.

For your background, these emails are currently from a template which our Direct Debit provider helps us send. We aren’t able to customise these so will need to build our own emails and trigger them should we want to change what they say and how they look.

Please keep the feedback coming!


Hmm, it makes me wonder why DDs take 2 days to clear when Fast Payments method is instant. Still better than nothing …
Anyway couple of requests :

  1. could we have a yearly option as well as monthly - I get some money from my mum on yearly basis and would be nice to put that straight in.
  2. can we have DD for the subscription as well as Topups
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Thanks for your feedback @Hitesh! We are considering different frequencies. So far we haven’t had a lot for requests for yearly, but it’s helpful to hear about your use case. We are also thinking about direct debits for subscriptions.

Please let us know any other feedback.

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Direct debit is now available on Standard!

All users on a Standard or Plus plan will now be able to set up a Direct Debit. To set up a direct debit, head to the Account tab on your app, and tap “Set up” next to the Direct Debit option to get started.

We’ll be rolling out to customers on our Basic plan soon!


Direct debit is now available to all customers!
We’ve now rolled out direct debit to all customers, including those on a Basic plan. You can set up a Direct Debit from the Account tab by tapping the new Direct Debit option. If you can’t see the option, you may need to link you bank account first.


What about direct debit/standing order to pay fees?

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Direct debit option seems to be locked to the linked bank account. Is there a way around this?

If you’re now technically able to support Direct Debit, can we also have the option of using DD to pay the monthly subscription fee? Freetrade is literally the only UK monthly subscription I have which is paid with a debit card!

As a lower priority/nice to have would also be the ability to explicitly choose the monthly payment date (eg, first of the month).