A Direct Debit is set up by a company to collect money from your current account on a regular basis. To create the Direct Debit, you’ll physically or digitally sign a form or mandate giving permission for an amount to be taken from your account. This could be for telephone and electricity bills, TV licensing and subscriptions, and even credit card bills. The amount taken from your account can change but you must be notified in advance if the amount leaving your account will change. Direct Debits are covered by the Direct Debit guarantee.
A standing order is set up by you to send a fixed amount to another bank account on a regular basis. This could be to another one of your own accounts, for example, to move money into a savings account, or to another individual’s or company’s bank account as a regular payment. As you set it up, you can amend or cancel the standing order at any time.