GIRO


What is GIRO?

GIRO helps you pay regular bills. It allows the billing vendor to debit your designated bank account to pay your bills. For example, you may wish to pay your utility bills via GIRO. In this case, the billing vendor will be Singapore Power Services.

Once authorised, GIRO deductions are made automatically at every billing due date. To terminate the GIRO arrangement, you need to notify your bank and the billing vendor.

How do you sign up for GIRO?

To set up a GIRO arrangement, you need to authorise your bank to allow the billing vendor to deduct the amount billed from your designated bank account. Complete a GIRO application form from the billing vendor. Some vendors will send you the form together with your monthly bill.

In this form, you must provide:

  • name of your bank
  • name of the account holder (your name)
  • account number
  • contact numbers
  • your signature according to the bank's signature record; and
  • your particulars as the user of the services provided by the billing vendor(s).

The GIRO arrangement is set up once your application is approved by the bank and the billing vendor. No further action is needed once it is in place, but you should ensure there are sufficient funds in your bank account to pay for the deductions.

Your vendor will advise you of the actual date when the first GIRO deduction is made. If the debit arrangement is on a regular basis, your vendor will advise you of the deduction schedule and amount.

How long does it take?

About 14 working days from the date of your application. You should continue to pay your bills in your usual way until your billing vendor notifies you that your GIRO application has been activated.

What fees and charges are there?

Currently, there are no fees and charges for setting up a GIRO arrangement.

How do you know that your bill has been paid?

The amount paid plus a code to identify which bill it is for, will be shown in your savings passbook or bank account statement. The billing vendor may also notify you of what has been deducted.

How can you keep track of your GIRO payments?

Check the bill from your billing vendor immediately and verify the deduction(s) against your bank statement or savings passbook. If you disagree with the deducted amount or the amount to be deducted, you can take the following steps:

(a) Before deduction has been made
Contact the vendor immediately to have the amount adjusted. Otherwise, the deduction will go through.

(b) After deduction has taken place

  • If it is agreed that the wrong amount has been deducted, the vendor should refund the difference.
  • If the bank has deducted the wrong amount, the bank will correct the wrongful deduction.

What happens if you have insufficient funds in the account to cover the GIRO deduction?

A service fee may be charged by the bank if there are insufficient funds in your bank account to cover the GIRO deduction. Vendors may carry out one or all of the following actions:

  • Inform you of the unsuccessful GIRO deduction, and suggest alternative payment modes or extend payment period;
  • Recover charges imposed by the banks for the unsuccessful deduction from you;
  • Suspend or terminate the GIRO arrangement and request that you pay via other means.

Can you change your GIRO payments (a) from one account to another within the same bank or (b) to an account with another bank?

(a) Changing your GIRO payments from one account to another within the same bank
You should check with your bank. Some banks allow changes of bank accounts within the same bank for GIRO payments without the need to re-apply. If so, your bank will make arrangements with the vendor to receive payments from the new bank account.

It could take about 14 working days or more to make this change. In the meantime, you should ensure that you maintain sufficient funds in the existing bank account for the scheduled GIRO deductions.

(b) Changing your GIRO payments to an account with another bank
You will need to inform your vendor of the change and apply for GIRO deduction from the other bank account. It will take about 14 working days for the new application to be processed and activated.

Your vendor will advise you of the actual date when the first GIRO deduction is made. Please ensure that you have sufficient funds in the existing bank account for the scheduled GIRO deductions. If the existing bank account is closed, you should make other arrangements to pay your bills until the new GIRO arrangement is in place.

Some vendors will automatically terminate the previous GIRO arrangement upon the commencement of the new GIRO arrangement. If your vendor does not provide this service, you will need to terminate the previous GIRO arrangement between your vendor and your bank.

Can you specify an expiry date or set a limit for your GIRO payments?

You should check with your vendor and / or the bank if it is possible to set an expiry date or a limit for your GIRO payments.

But setting a limit may result in unsuccessful GIRO deductions if the deduction amounts exceed the limit set. This may result in an administrative fee levied by the bank and / or the vendor.

If you do not use your GIRO arrangement, will your bank / vendor terminate it automatically?

No, your bank and vendor will not terminate your inactive or dormant GIRO arrangement automatically. But you should review your existing GIRO arrangements regularly, and terminate them if they are no longer required.

Can you temporarily suspend your GIRO payment for a particular vendor?

Most banks do not allow temporary suspension of GIRO payments. But you may wish to check with your bank whether they can do this. Ask your bank if you will be charged for this service.

What if you want to stop paying a vendor by GIRO permanently?

You should inform your bank in writing, with a copy sent to your vendor, if you want to terminate a GIRO arrangement. Some vendors may accept telephone-call instructions to terminate the GIRO arrangement.

How will you know if your GIRO arrangements have been terminated?

If your vendor does not send you confirmation that your termination request has been accepted, you should contact your vendor to confirm the status of your GIRO termination.

 

The above information is prepared in collaboration with the Association of Banks in Singapore and Consumers Association of Singapore.