Guide to GIRO

notes calculator

25 Oct 2018 | 3 min. read

GIRO lets you make monthly payment to the billing organisation from your bank account directly. Find out what it is, how it works and how to set it up.

Key takeaways

  • With GIRO, your bill payment is automatically deducted from your bank account.
  • Sign up for GIRO by completing a GIRO Direct Debit Authorisation form.
  • Make sure your account has sufficient funds for the GIRO deduction; otherwise, a service fee may be charged.

What is GIRO?

GIRO is an arrangement with your bank to make payments directly to a billing organisation (BO) for any outstanding bills.

There are two common types of GIRO:

  • GIRO direct debit allows a BO to debit your designated bank account to pay your bills on a regular basis.
  • Some banks provide GIRO-on-demand services where you have to authorise each GIRO payment through the phone/internet.

How to sign up

You can sign up for GIRO by completing a GIRO Direct Debit Authorisation form. Some BOs will send you the form together with your monthly bill. You may also download a soft copy from your BO’s website.


Your GIRO application will take about 14 days. Your BO will advise you of the actual date when the first GIRO deduction will be made. Meanwhile, continue to pay your bills through alternate means (e.g. by cheque). The GIRO arrangement will be in place once your application is approved.

Your bank may also offer the signing up of GIRO arrangements via their online channels.

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

How to keep track of your payments

Check the bill from your BO as soon as it arrives. Verify the deduction against your bank statement. If you disagree with the amount to be deducted or the amount already deducted, you can take these steps:

  • Before deduction: Contact the BO immediately to have the amount adjusted. Otherwise, the deduction will go through.
  • After deduction: If it is agreed that the wrong amount has been deducted, the BO should refund the difference. If the bank has deducted the wrong amount, the bank will correct the wrongful deduction.

What if there are insufficient funds?

A service fee may be charged by the BO or the bank if there are insufficient funds in your bank account to cover the GIRO deduction. Some BOs may carry out one or all these actions:
  • Inform you of the unsuccessful GIRO deduction. Suggest alternative payment modes or extend the 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.

Changing bank accounts

You may need to change bank accounts for your GIRO payments. The process may be different depending on whether it is to another account with the same bank or to an account with another bank.

Please check with your bank. Some banks allow you to change the bank account without re-applying for GIRO. If so, your bank will arrange with the BO to receive payments from the new account.

It could take 14 working days or more to set this up. Ensure that you have sufficient funds in the existing bank account until then.[/accordion-inner]

To an account with another bank

You will need to inform your BO 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.

Note: Some BOs will automatically terminate the previous GIRO payment upon the commencement of the new arrangement. If your BO does not provide this service, you will need to terminate the previous arrangement with your BO and your bank.

Setting an expiry date and limit

Check with your BO and the bank if it is possible to set an expiry date or a limit for your GIRO payments.

Setting a limit may result in unsuccessful GIRO deductions if the deduction amounts exceed the limit. This may result in a fee charged by the bank or the BO.

Stopping a GIRO arrangement

Once a GIRO arrangement is in place, it can only be changed or cancelled when you specifically give instructions to your bank to do so. Make sure you receive a confirmation of your request from your BO.

Most banks and BOs:

  • Don’t terminate an inactive or dormant GIRO automatically.
  • Don’t allow the temporary suspension of GIRO payments. Check with your bank whether they can do this. They may charge a fee for the service.

Tips

  • Read and understand the terms and conditions before signing up for GIRO.
  • Check your bank accounts and statements regularly to ensure that deductions are correct.
  • Keep note of the billing dates for all GIRO arrangements. Make sure there are sufficient funds in your bank account on those dates.
  • Review GIRO arrangements and terminate the ones that you no longer need.

Last updated on 02 Nov 2018