What you need to know
Centrepay is a free voluntary bill paying service. Deductions come from your Centrelink payments and can be used to pay many types of bills, such as child care, electricity bills or rent.
Controlling your deductions
You can start, change or cancel deductions at any time, to meet your needs.
There are several features to help you to control your Centrepay deductions:
- setting a target amount so deductions automatically stop when the target amount is reached
- setting an end date so deductions automatically stop at a date in the future - you can set an end date up to 12 months in the future
- changing deduction amounts for a temporary period up to a maximum of 13 weeks from a future Centrelink payday. At the end of the temporary period, the deduction amount will automatically change back to the original amount
- choosing the order in which your bills get paid so they are paid in the order that is important to you
- changing deduction amounts permanently from a future Centrelink payment – this has helped customers with their bills if they increase
- suspending deduction amounts for up to 13 weeks, after this, your deductions restart with the original deduction amount. For example, if you have $50 per fortnight deducted to pay child care fees but choose to suspend or pause the deduction for 6 weeks when your child isn’t in care, it will then begin again after 6 weeks
Centrepay does not charge you
Centrepay is free. We won't charge you to set up, change or stop using Centrepay.
We charge approved Businesses a fee to accept Centrepay payments. They are not allowed to charge you for using Centrepay. If you think this fee has been passed on to you, talk to the Business. If you aren’t satisfied with their response, contact us.
Bills you can pay
You can use Centrepay to pay your bills for any approved Business. You can search and find a business that accepts Centrepay.
Use Centrepay to pay for things like:
- electricity, gas and water
- education fees and expenses
- child care
- home care services and medical expenses
- household goods and services
- no interest loans repayments
Procedural Guide [docx 71kb]
Bills you can't pay
You cannot use Centrepay for some types of goods and services.
- credit card payments and fees
- payments to cash lenders, payday lenders, pawnbrokers or debt collectors
- the purchase of alcohol, tobacco products, pornographic material, gambling products and services, gift cards or vouchers, or homebrew products
- instalments for hampers, or similar products, provided through a payment plan
- vehicle leasing, or payments for taxi services or hire cars
- income protection, funeral or life insurance
- unregulated rent or lease agreements of household goods where the agreement is less than 4 months or doesn’t have an end date
Setting up deductions
Setting up Centrepay deductions is easy.
Track your deductions
To keep track of your money, we recommend you regularly check your deductions online to make sure your arrangements are still correct. You can track deductions from your Centrelink payments using your Centrelink online account.
Viewing your deductions using your Centrelink online account
To access and view your current deduction summary, with all deductions you have in place:
- Log in to myGov
- select your Centrelink account
- select MENU to access the full menu
- Select Deductions
- select View/Add/Change Deductions
You can also track your deductions using your Deduction Statement. It contains detailed information about your upcoming payments, the amounts being deducted and the balance remaining.
It also shows other deductions you may have planned to start at a later date.
Read more about Deduction Statements.
You can request a Deduction Statement online. Learn how to request a document using your Centrelink online account
Changes to your Centrelink payments
Changes to your Centrelink payments can impact your Centrepay deductions.
Sometimes we won’t be able to deduct the full amount requested from your Centrelink payment if it’s significantly reduced, suspended or cancelled. Your Centrelink payment may be reduced because:
- of your reported income or earnings
- a non-payment period, or
- other deductions, such as overpayments, have been made leaving you without enough funds for your Centrepay deductions
If this happens, you will need to contact the Business your deduction is being paid to and make other payment arrangements.
If your Centrelink payment is suspended, but restored within 14 days, your Centrepay deductions will automatically continue.
If your Centrelink payments are cancelled
If your payment is cancelled and not restored in 14 days, your deductions will stop.
If they stop, you will need to contact the Business your deduction is being paid to and make other payment arrangements.
If you move onto different Centrelink payments
If you move from one type of payment to another and there is no break in payment, your Centrepay deductions will continue.
If you move from one type of payment to another and there is a break in payment, you will need to set up your Centrepay deductions again. You may also need to check with the Business, whether you need to catch up on any missed payments.
Instructions for using your online account for Centrepay deductions
We have developed guides that step you through the process of using your online account for Centrepay deductions.
Add a new Centrepay deduction using your Centrelink online account via myGov
You can add a new Centrepay deduction using your Centrelink online account via myGov.
Cancel or suspend a current Centrepay deduction using your Centrelink online account via myGov
You can cancel or suspend a current Centrepay deduction using your Centrelink online account via myGov.
Change a current Centrepay deduction using your Centrelink online account via myGov
You can change a current Centrepay deduction using your Centrelink online account via myGov.
Centrepay Policy and Terms
Read the Centrepay Policy and Terms [docx 223kb] to understand:
- how a customer gives their permission for deductions to start
- which bills Centrepay can be used to pay
- the requirements and obligations of Businesses approved to use Centrepay as a payment option for their customers
- our responses to Businesses not complying with the policy
Centrepay Procedural Guide
The Procedural Guide [docx 71kb] details how Centrepay works.
It helps you to use Centrepay and includes:
- instructions to help you with your deductions
- a list of goods and services Centrepay can be used for
- what you can expect of us and businesses when using Centrepay
Your personal information
We may need to give your information to the Business you’ve nominated. This is to:
- check your account number and the amount you want to pay
- reconcile your payment deduction details
Read more about how we collect and use your information and your right to privacy.
We may also use some of your personal information for customer surveys run by us or by research organisations on our behalf. Read more about how we use market research.
Affordable payment alternatives for household goods
If you need household goods in the future, you may like to know there are other options available apart from renting or leasing goods.
- Centrelink advance payments
- no and low interest loans from community organisations
- lay-by, or
Read more about managing your money and access the rent versus buy calculator to help you make the most of your Centrelink payment.
Financial management support
We can refer you to financial management support services. Support can include family budgeting, saving for something you need or managing your debt. These services are free and confidential.
Read more about Financial Management Services and how to get a referral.
When purchasing goods or services remember you have consumer rights. Read more about protection and rights you, as a consumer, may have on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission website.
You can seek help with your rights from other organisations. Read more about how to complain, including how to seek help from ombudsman services, regulators, fair trading offices or free legal services on the ASIC’s MoneySmart website.
Depending on the payment you receive, or if you qualify for a concession card, you may be eligible for a fee free bank account with your financial institution.
Talk to your financial institution to ensure your account is right for you and your needs.
There is support available to help you manage your money if you have overdrawn your account. Read more about what to do if your account is overdrawn.