Top Up Balance

Decided to Top Up my balance last week only option available is Direct Debit ? surprised debit card isn’t there ?

Anyway the Top up I made is still pending so will that be taken on top of my normal direct debit amount on the due date next month ?

Seems a bit odd especially as I have spare funds now to top up but might not next month


Seems a bit odd especially as I have spare funds now to top up but might not next month

This makes no sense. Either the funds are spare or they are not. If you have the funds now and budget for them to be used, then they are no longer spare, so you can’t spend them now and suddenly not have the funds next month. Well, not without having budget and cashflow issues.

This seems to be more of a budgeting related question than the method of payment.

Direct debits can take a good 10 days to process. Yes the topup you’ve made will go through eventually and your normal payment will also be taken. Since you know this you can mark the funds as used in your budget, even though they are not yet taken, and so you wont accidentally spend money that you’ve already spent on something else.

It took a full 10 days for my Top-up payment to reach my account last month.

It’ll be treated as separate activity to your usual Direct Debit payments.

The timeline I was given of events when making a top-up payment is… .

I believe most top up balance payments are processed the same as Direct Debits. So it’s:

  • Day 1: Bulb sends the request to their bank (as long as it’s before 4pmish - otherwise add a day)
  • Day 2: Their Bank (Metro) receives the request and sends it to BACs (who coordinates Direct Debits between banks).
  • Day 3: BACs sends the request to your bank
  • Day 4: Your bank debits your account and sends a message to BACs to say it has been paid.
  • Day 5: BACS receives the message
  • Day 6: BACs sends it to Bulb’s bank
  • Day 7: Bulb’s bank receives the message and queues sends it onto Bulb.
  • Day 8: Bulb receives the request.

Because of ‘historical issues’, Direct Debits are processed on ‘overnight batch requests’ usually around midnight-4am (when bank transactions are at their lowest) and therefore there’s no immediate responses/confirmations and things have to wait until the next batch update to run to send the next message in the sequence. This worked alright for monthly statements and no ‘online transactions’, but it does show how slow it is in the modern era - but the timing of the Direct Debit system is out of Bulb’s control

Oh - did I forget to mention, the entire system shuts down on weekends and public ‘bank’ holidays because obviously computers cannot operate without humans involved for some reason…(end Quote)