Originally Posted by HarryT
But is that with you having to actually manually make the transfer via your online banking account? The point about Direct Debit is that the customer doesn't trigger the transfer - the company does. The customer doesn't need to do anything at all, after authorising the DD agreement in the first place. As far as I know, the US banking system doesn't have any equivalent of Direct Debit, as far as I'm aware.
With most vendors you can setup payment either way. Either I can go to their website and pay each month telling them to take the money from my bank account or it can be setup in the manner you call "Direct Debit" although they call it something different. That's been around for many years.
EDIT: I guess the direct debit term does get used some times, but the term I was thing of was ACH (Automated Clearing House
) which is the overall system used. This system is also what's used when companies offer direct deposit of employee paychecks.