Direct Debit and Pennies

Take your Direct Debit offering to the next level by partnering with Pennies

You can now take your Direct Debit offering to the next level, by offering your customers the chance to round-up payments to the nearest pound, to help support good causes.

The solution is provided by Pennies, which is the UK’s leading charity in working to protect and grow micro-donations, and allows companies to effectively raise vital funds for causes in the communities they serve, and beyond.

With a track record of working with a wide range of leading brands, Pennies has helped drive nearly 190 million donations, at a value of £45 million, since 2010. These efforts have already helped more than 890 different charitable organisations. You and your customers are now able to contribute in this way, for the first time.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how you can extend this offering to your customers, and play an important part in raising funds for deserving causes, email, or visit the Pennies website.

To help you understand more about Pennies and how this works with Direct Debit, we have pulled together some commonly asked questions below. 

Will this affect my liability arrangement?

There is no impact on liability arrangements, they remain the same.

Will this affect the Direct Debit Guarantee?

There will be no impact on the Direct Debit Guarantee.

The Pennies donation is pre-payment and is added to the Direct Debit payment. Your customer's Direct Debit plus the donation are processed in one payment and authorisation. If a refund or indemnity claim is required, then this will be for the total debit transaction. 

Can a donation be refunded?

If the donation element has already been settled to the charity – then under UK charity law, donations are non-refundable (unless made in error). In this rare instance, you must honour the donation at your own cost, and still give your customer a full refund.

For reassurance – in 12 years of operation, with 100+ merchants enabling 190 million individual donations – Pennies has had to help process less than 10 donation refunds.

What happens if the Direct Debit is returned unpaid?

Because Pennies is pre-payment and the donation is authorised as part of the Direct Debit payment – if the Direct Debit is unpaid, then so is the donation. If the Direct Debit is not collected, Pennies will not receive the charity donation.

To avoid any donation reporting errors – the Pennies API allows you to report donations in real time, or through a delayed batch file, ensuring the donations reported are only from successfully paid Direct Debits.

Who are Pennies?

Established in 2010, Pennies is an award-winning charity that, with its partners, fundraises by using the power of digital micro-donations. It then grants out what is raised to other charities. It’s a leader in ​and expert at, providing customers with easy, digital ways to give small change donations to charity. It promotes and helps deliver a simple way for organisations to collect charity donations via their digital payment system. 

How long will it take to implement Pennies?

This will depend on a few factors, including your technology. If your solutions are Pennies enabled, the implementation process is very straightforward. Pennies always encourage their partners to take all the time they need with testing and piloting. 

Can I support any charity?

Yes, within reason, you can support any charity registered in the UK and Ireland. However, Pennies will carry out due diligence on any charity that you nominate.

How much of the donation goes to charity?

Pennies is a charity and gives its technology and services away for free. Every single penny donated goes to charity – 90% to your nominated charity and 10% to Pennies (registered as a charity in England & Wales no: 1122489). Pennies share of donations is entirely reinvested into its charitable mission. For every £1 spent on this mission, they unlock a further £12 for the UK charity sector.

How does it work for e-commerce?

Pennies has a free API and extensions for the major e-comm platforms. These can be implemented anywhere in your customer journey and make it easy to ask for the donation, as well as reporting and reconciling the donation.

How does the donation reach my nominated charity?
  • The donation is added to your customer's Direct Debit payment
  • Your customer’s Direct Debit, plus the donation are processed in one payment and authorisation, meaning the donation goes into the your bank account
  • On a monthly basis, you settle the donations with Pennies
  • Pennies acts as a grant maker on your behalf – granting donations to your nominated charities
  • 100% of donations go to charity. 90% to your nominated charity and 10% to Pennies.

Information Hub

Info Hub

Our search facility will help you find everything you need. To search for documents enter your search requirements above

Not registered yet?

Some areas and assets are password protected and only available to eligible registered users. To gain access to all the information you need register for your password and log in first every visit