An automatic payment is an instruction from you to your bank to pay a fixed amount at a regular frequency from your nominated bank account to another party.

The benefits

Automatic payments are useful when making regular payments for the same amount. (e.g. rent, subscriptions, charitable donations or transfers into a savings account).

It is a 'set and forget' type of payment that will continue until the final payment date is reached (if set) or you cancel it.

It reduces the possibility of overlooking (missing) a payment.

You can choose the frequency of the payment (e.g. weekly, fortnightly, monthly, etc) which can be when your wages or salary is due to be paid so you know you will have sufficient funds in your account when the payment is due.

If you need to stop an automatic payment temporarily it can be suspended for a short period and restarted, rather than having to cancel and re-establish it.

Things to keep in mind

An automatic payment authority form can be obtained directly from any bank or via their website, but you can set up an automatic payment yourself via online or phone banking.

If the payment amount and/or the frequency is variable, it is generally better to make your payment by online or phone banking, or use direct debit if the option is available.

If you receive payment by automatic payment you will see it as a deposit into your bank account

Security

If the bank receives an automatic payment form they will only establish it if has been signed by you or someone else that has authority to do so.

You can amend or cancel an automatic payment at any time via online banking or by contacting your bank.