Top Direct Debit Solutions in Australia (We Compare 4!)

May 27 2022
Business Payments Insights

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If you’re looking to work with a direct debit solution, it’s likely that you’re looking for a solution that will:

  • Reduce the risk of fraud.
  • Allow you to get the right authority from your customer electronically.
  • Offer a great experience to your customers.
  • Will support your other payment activities.

At Zai, we’ve been setting up and managing direct debit payments for over 10 years, which means we have experience setting up direct debits and other payment functions and we know what matters most to companies with complex transactions.

In this article, we’ll be covering the features of various direct debit solutions in Australia and which one is good for your specific business needs.

Note: Ready to skip the list and see how Zai can give you the direct debit solution that grows with your company? Collect payments via direct debit with Zai now.


Zai has been in the payment processing space for over 10 years, and as a scale-up ourselves, we understand the complexities that come with growing a startup. Our experience being a startup has helped us work with other innovative companies to get their payment systems up and running.

With Zai’s solution, you’ll be able to set up direct debits with our API – we’ve built a scalable direct debit solution that offers multiple payment options and is flexible enough to fit your workflow. 

Here are some of the features and benefits that come with working with Zai:

A full stack payment process that grows with you

At Zai, we don’t just do direct debits. We focus on helping our customers better manage payments across the board. That means we also offer real-time payments, BPAY and many more payment options.

By using our API, you’ll have the flexibility to set up direct debits that fit your platform best, and we can help build other features as you expand. It also means that as you grow, you won’t have to piece in different providers for each step of the payments journey. By using Zai, you’ll have a solution for several of your payment flows – that also helps reduce build time and operational risk if one function goes down.

We can handle complex transactions

Our origins are in working with split payments and complex transactions, which means we have experience working with multiple parties and handling complex transactions.

For example, we can do a multi-step release of milestone payments, based on a specific trigger. We can also do partial releases that keep building on each other. If you have multi-party transactions that require credit cards, direct debits and BPay, our API can help enable that solution.

A direct debit API means you can offer a customer-centric experience

With a direct debit API, it’s a lot easier to integrate direct debits into your own platform. Your team won’t have to set up redirects or container overlays, which means you’ll be able to protect your brand experience and most importantly, have total control over the user experience. Our technical documents are clean and easy to read for both product managers and developers.

We also understand that customers can get nervous about enabling pull payments. With Zai’s API, you’ll be able to clear funds in one to three business days, customise the frequency of payments (including ad-hoc and recurring payments), eliminate repeat authorisations and accept payments from all Australian banks.

To learn more about what we do at Zai, read our article on payment orchestration platforms.

Ensure security and compliance to keep your customers at ease

Some customers might still be uncomfortable with a payment method that pulls customer payments directly from their bank account, which is why it’s important to reassure them of the highest level of security and compliance. 

Zai is fully compliant with Australian direct debit BECS scheme rules. With Zai’s API, you won’t have to rely on screen scraping practices or ask for customers’ banking logins.

Pay flat fees so you can forecast various growth scenarios

With Zai, you’ll be paying flat fees. This allows your product and finance team to get pricing right as well as forecast different growth scenarios.

We only charge one fee for successful and delinquent transactions, and you can also choose to pass on some, or all, the fees to your customers (e.g. dishonour fees). With Zai’s fees, you can actually move away from credit cards and see a boost in your bottom line.

Who is Zai good for?

Zai is a great solution if you’re a company with complex payment workflows and multi-party payments. For example, if you’re a property technology company, we can help set up your whole ecosystem and workflow, making it a lot easier to set up payments in a way that aligns with your business model.

We understand that Zai might not be a good fit for everyone – If you just need support with direct debits and nothing else, then you might be better off looking at the other solutions on this list.

You may like: Top marketplace payment providers in Australia: We compare 4!


Ezidebit got its origins at the end of the last century when a small business owner decided to build the online payment solution he was looking for. The Queensland-based company took off, creating financial tools for small and medium enterprises. Today, Ezidebit is part of the Global Payment group headquartered in the United States.

Its features include:

Online portal for quickly adding an integration, along with an API for developers

Ezidebit's focus on integrations means it can quickly get deployed into pre-existing stacks. For example, many wellness centres use custom software to manage subscriptions. Ezidebit can plug into many of these platforms without having to code. For those needing more flexibility, the company also has an API.

Fast onboarding

With Ezidebit, there's no need for a business or merchant account to start accepting direct debit. This lack of friction can get companies just getting started to market and accept payments much faster. That said, compliance issues could arise, creating potential business disruptions later on. 

Startup and small business-friendly pricing

Ezidebit keeps its pricing transparent and manageable. Fees start at $0.99 per bank account transaction and go up to 2.70% for credit cards. The onboarding fee per end-user is a flat $2.20. For failed payments, end-users shoulder the burden with a charge just shy of $10.00. 

That said, these fees are for recurring and direct transactions only. For companies looking to use Ezidebit as an integration, that amount will change depending on the platform.

Flexibility to build a brand around direct debits

Ezidebit lets users create unique sign up forms that work across all devices. It also enables them to put their brand directly into payment screens. Combined, companies can ensure that they're setting up direct debits in line with their user experience and marketing goals.

Support for Australian small businesses both domestically and abroad

Clients of Ezidebit have access to a suite of tools to help them manage their business better. These include automatic failure notifications, financial reporting and customer trend analysis, and a local support team. Ezidebit can also accept cross-border direct debits for those with customers abroad.

Good for: Smaller, physical businesses looking to add only direct debits through partner integrations.

Debit Success

For over 20 years, Debit Success has carved itself out as a direct debit specialist in Australasia. The company prides itself on focusing on direct debits in two specific verticals. They are also part of the Xplor group.

Wellness and education direct debit experts

Debit Success built its business on helping gyms, wellness centres, and education facilities improve their cash flows with direct debits. To that end, the company offers industry-specific dashboards encapsulating many unique aspects of those respective business models.

Clubware is a gym management tool that enables fitness club owners to manage members, customise reports, simplify data entry, and improve customer experience. Perfect Mind has similar offerings for wellness and leisure centres. If these comprehensive tools aren't enough, Debit Success also provides an API for developers that allows for cloud integration.

Outsourced client services centre

Debit Success's focus on two industries enables them also to provide an outsourced client service centre. For gyms and wellness centres looking to expand, they provide the necessary support for a growing customer base, all with payments included.    

Full coverage in Australia and New Zealand

Debit Success works on both sides of the Tasman. As many Australian small businesses look east for their first overseas expansion, Debit Success will help support them with their growth.

Good for: Business owners in the education, fitness, or wellbeing sectors looking for industry-specific direct debit only solutions with customer support.


As one of the largest payment providers globally, GoCardless also has a presence in the Australian market. Started in London in 2011, the company is now a “unicorn” (a private company valued at over US$1billion), helping companies with subscription and invoice management.

Different features depending on business size

GoCardless has two business offerings: one product for small businesses and another for established enterprises. Your needs will determine which service you use. Smaller companies will likely appreciate the integration into popular accounting tools like Xero.

Larger firms could appreciate the focus on pain points for the corporate treasury, such as reducing payment cycles and overhead.

Australian companies of either size looking to expand internationally will also appreciate GoCardless's ability to collect payments in over 30 countries. 

That said, there isn't much of a middle ground for digital-first startups looking to scale. For those entrepreneurs looking to make the jump from startup to scale up, GoCardless might not be the best springboard.

Hundreds of integrations and a comprehensive API

GoCardless offers 200-plus integrations available to users. These partnership integrations run the gamut of services, including memberships, accounting, health and fitness, CRM, utilities, and more.

However, it's worth pointing out that the number of available partner integrations for Australian businesses is closer to 50 than the 200 available in the entire network.

Capture late payments more intelligently

GoCardless also offers Smart Retries and a Success Plus tool. The feature uses various data points to guess when a customer might have an outstanding balance on their account. From there, it will initiate the direct debit and collect the payable. This functionality helps reduce payment failure and makes late collections more successful.

Dashboard for ease of use

GoCardless gives users a full-featured dashboard to manage payments, users, and other aspects of their direct debit system. This interface also displays key stats, including the number of users, payment fails and churn rates.

Payment links

Speaking of dashboard functionality, GoCardless can let users create a one-time payment link to send to clients. This tool is helpful for solving a customer service issue, settling a one-off payment, or resolving a missing payment.

Flat pricing

GoCardless's base pricing is flat and per transaction. Users will pay 1% and $0.40 to $4.00 per direct debit below $3,000. (An additional 0.3% fee applies afterwards). International transactions sit at 2% plus $0.40.

In addition to that, users must pay $100 per month to add their brand colours and business name to their payments page and statements, respectively. Any additional customisation outside of this amount will run $4,200 annually. 

GoCardless also offers bespoke pricing for enterprise-level customers. 

Good for: SMEs looking for a direct debit only payment provider or established companies needing an enterprise-level direct debit solution.

We hope this summary of the top Australian direct debit providers gives you a clearer picture of which solution is right for you. If you’re looking for a solution that will help you with direct debits and will also support your company with other workflows, then Zai might be a good fit for your company.

Want to learn more? If you have any enquiries please contact us here.

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