A free and voluntary service to pay bills and expenses as regular deductions from your Centrelink payments.
You need to know
Centrepay is a free voluntary bill paying service. Deductions come directly 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.
Options to help you manage your Centrepay deductions include:
- 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 helps if your bills 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
We don't charge you to set up, change or stop payments through Centrepay.
We charge the approved Businesses a fee to accept Centrepay payments. Businesses are not allowed to charge you for using Centrepay. If you think this fee has been passed on, talk to the Business. If you aren’t satisfied with their response, contact us.
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
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
Using the service
Setting up Centrepay deductions is easy.
You can plan and set up Centrepay deductions 8 weeks before they start.
The minimum deduction is $10 per fortnight, and they’re made on the same day you get your Centrelink payment.
Deductions cannot start without your permission, which can be given in a number of ways.
To set up and give your permission for Centrepay deductions you can:
- use your Centrelink online account through myGov
- complete our Centrepay the easy way to pay your bills form
- visit your nearest service centre and get help from one of our staff
- phone us, or
- contact the Business directly
Information you need
When setting up Centrepay deductions, you’ll need:
- your Centrelink Customer Reference Number (CRN)
- the CRN and name of the Business you’re paying, and if available its’ address and phone number. We recommend that you complete a search to find a Business that accepts Centrepay, taking note of their CRN before you begin setting up deductions. Their CRN will always start with 555, and
- the details of the bill you’re paying, such as the account or billing number
You’ll also need to decide:
- the regular deduction amount to come from your Centrelink payments each fortnight
- which Centrelink payment your deductions will come from
- a start date for the deduction
- if you want to have an end date or set a target amount for deductions to stop. If you set an end date, it can’t be more than 52 weeks after the start date
When you start using Centrepay, we will always notify you of the details of your deduction. We recommend you regularly check your deductions online to make sure your arrangements are correct.
Read our step by step instructions to add a new Centrepay deduction using your Centrelink online account.
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:
- Sign in to myGov
- select your Centrelink online 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 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, that 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 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 about whether you need to catch up on any missed payments.
We have developed guides that step you through the process of using your online account for Centrepay deductions:
Read the Centrepay Policy and Terms to understand:
- how you give 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
The Centrepay Procedural Guide 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
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.
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
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 on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission website about protection and rights you, as a consumer, may have.
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 MoneySmart website.
We value your feedback. Making a complaint, giving a compliment or offering a suggestion can help us improve our service.
Read more about how to tell us what you think with our complaints and feedback options.
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.
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