There are many ways to pay money out of your bank account - you can pay your regular bills by direct transfer or by cheque, you can use a bank card for purchases in shops or online and for withdrawing cash from cash machines.

You can take cash out (withdraw) from most bank or building society cash machines (ATMs) using your personal identification number (commonly referred to as your PIN), most ATMs are free of charge but it is important to check before using one. There is usually a limit to the amount of money you can withdraw, and the money is deducted immediately from you account.

If you do not have enough money in your account, you will not be allowed to make a withdrawal and the ATM will notify you. As well as for withdrawals, ATMs can be used to check the balance of you account.

If you have a debit card you can also pay for items using your card in shops. Like an ATM the money is usually removed from your account immediately, and the payment will need to be approved by entering your PIN.

If you need to pay bills, you can organise payments by cheque, Direct Debit, standing order, Internet banking or telephone. Help and advice on payment is available from MoneyHelper.

When paying bills it is important to make sure the details you provide are accurate. If you are paying by cheque make sure the name and title of the payee is clearly written, if you have details such as account numbers include these, always remember to cross and blank spaces on the cheque so that the figures you put down cannot be tampered with.

More information on making payments is available at the following links:

If you are paying bills to magazine subscriptions or gyms, which will entail regular charging of your card, a slightly different system works to a Direct Debit - you supply the company with your debit card number instead of your account number and sort code as regular payments will be made. This is called “Recurring Payment” – to cancel this set up you need to contact the company taking the payments and cancel your subscription, it is advisable to keep a copy of any correspondence you send in case they dispute your claims. You should also inform you bank or building society that you have cancelled the Recurring Payment.

A guide to transferring money from your bank account is available at this link.

A downloadable template letter (requiring MS Word) is available Letter to set up a standing order

To find out your rights when payments are made  from your bank account, and how long it should take to make a payment, follow this link.

Paying by Mobile Phone

More than one million people are now registered to transfer money to family and friends securely using their mobile number, without needing to wrestle with sort codes and account numbers.

For advice on how to pay by mobile and security, follow this link.

Problems with payments

The right way to handle a problem with payments or transfers depends on how the payment is made. For a guide covering the full range of payment methods, with advice on how to handle problems that arise and what you can do to avert problems in the first place, follow this link.

Unauthorised payments

Your bank must refund you for an unauthorised payment, except in certain circumstances. To find out your rights when money is taken from your account without your permission, follow this link.

Stopping a Payment

To find out what you have to do and your rights when stopping a payment being made from your account, follow this link.

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