Centrepay for Businesses

A way for people to pay your Business, directly from their Centrelink payments.

About

How Centrepay works

People receiving welfare payments may ask to pay their bills and other costs through Centrepay.

We use secure, electronic transfer to deduct amounts from a person's welfare payment. If you are approved to use Centrepay, we pass these payments on to your Business.

People can request Centrepay by:

You will have access to our Centrelink Business Online Services to:

  • get deduction and payment reconciliation reports
  • add, vary or cancel deductions in accordance with a person’s deduction authority

Getting your customer’s consent is critical. It’s the Business’s duty to understand and make sure your staff understand:

  • your customer must provide consent to all new or changed deductions
  • your customer can cancel a deduction at any time
  • by cancelling a deduction, a person is taking away their consent for it to continue
  • customers must provide you with a new consent before you can make deductions

We will send an advice to the customers confirming any deductions.

Read the Centrepay Policy and Terms to:

  • find out if your Business can use Centrepay
  • see included and excluded goods and services

For further details about how Centrepay works read the Procedural Guide for Businesses.

If you provide goods and services under the Household Goods Lease and Rental service reasons, read the Consumer Leasing and Credit Representatives Policy.

Read more about applying to use Centrepay.

Features of Centrepay

There are features that make it easier for you and your customers to customise their deductions.

There’s a $10 minimum amount for each regular deduction. Each deduction can have an end date or target amount in place.

Setting target amounts

Where a specific amount needs paying, you can set a target amount. When this is reached deductions will stop. You can add target amounts to an existing deduction or create one with a new deduction.

Setting an end date

You can set end dates for deductions that require payments for a set timeframe. Such as temporary accommodation or school term education costs. Deductions will stop on the end date. You can add an end date to a new or existing deduction.

Suspending and tailoring deductions

You can suspend, increase or decrease deductions for up to 13 weeks.

If a deduction is not required for a short period of time, suspending it can help to avoid an over payment. The deduction will start again on the suspension end date.

Temporary increases or decreases to deductions will go back to the original amount on the chosen end date.

Benefits for your Business

Centrepay can help your Business reduce administrative costs. This may include costs related to withdrawal and reconnection of your service to your customer.

We provide approved Centrepay Businesses with:

  • a payment option that helps your customers pay their bills on time
  • secure transfer of payments to your chosen bank account directly from a person's Centrelink payment
  • automatic deduction of agreed fees from your customer's deduction before the payment transfers to your Business's bank account. You cannot charge your customer this fee
  • access to Centrelink Business Online Services which allows you to:
    • get regular payments and deduction reports
    • get tax invoices
    • process authorised deductions - which may include starting, varying or cancelling deductions
    • access to various Centrepay user guides

You can get support from our Centrepay for Businesses team from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm local time, Monday to Friday.

New goods and services

The latest service reasons are:

  • disability and community services - these may include respite for carers, training programs, travel and transport
  • savings – deposits paid to savings plans provided by a partnership between not for profit organisations and financial institutions, to promote a person’s savings

The savings service reason supports other options to consumer leasing and has the potential to help with financial capability.

For more details about service reasons, read the Centrepay Procedural guide for Businesses.

If your Business provides relevant goods and services, and meets the eligibility criteria in the Centrepay Policy and Terms, you may apply to use Centrepay by submitting a Business Application. If you have an already approved Business, contact your account manager to discuss applying for a new service.

Applying

Applying to use Centrepay

To use Centrepay, you must complete an application.

Read more about applying to use Centrepay

Costs for using Centrepay

There are no fees for Centrelink recipients.

For each Centrepay deduction paid to a Business there is a transaction fee of $0.99, including GST. The transaction fee covers our costs to administer Centrepay.

Fee deductions usually come from the payment made to your Business. You must not pass this fee on to your customer.

 

Resources

Centrepay forms

Use these forms to change your details with us.

Centrepay - Business change of details form

To notify us of changes to your Business if you are a current Centrepay Business.

Business Online Services User details form

You need to provide details of at least one of your staff who will register to access Centrelink Business Online Services for Centrepay.

Centrepay deduction form

Your customers must complete this form to start Centrepay deductions to your Business.

User and procedural guides for Centrepay

Deduction and Payment Application User Guide

Use the online Deduction and Payment Application service to find details about customer deductions and payments made to your Business.

Centrepay Bulk Upload Service User Guide

Use the online Centrepay Bulk Upload Service to submit a file of requests to update your customer records. Depending on your Business’s access, you can process deductions including starting, varying and stopping deductions.

Procedural Guide

The Centrepay Procedural Guide for Businesses explains how Centrepay operates. Read it with the Centrepay Policy and Terms. It contains details about applying for Centrepay, day to day use of Centrepay and the obligations of Centrepay Businesses.

Promotional products

Centrepay promotional products include:

  • take the hassle out of paying your bills - brochure 12135
  • manage your bills for free - poster 9578

You can order these products by calling our Centrepay for Businesses team.

A Business can have up to 30,000 brochures free each year. You can talk to us about larger printing requests, which we will generally charge at cost.

Upcoming scheduled maintenance

Check scheduled maintenance for Business Online Services.

Centrepay Business directory

To help people find services, we list all approved Centrepay Business on the Business Directory.

If you don’t wish to be on the directory, call our Centrepay for Businesses team and ask for your state Account Manager.

Find a Business or Organisation.

Your obligations

Businesses that use Centrepay need to:

  • comply and act in accordance with the Centrepay Policy and Terms as part of your approval to use Centrepay
  • meet and maintain a set of eligibility criteria. Businesses are expected to conduct their Business in a lawful and ethical manner. In a way which is helpful to your customer and not detrimental to us
  • comply with all laws that regulate the Business, including, but not limited to:
    • consumer protection
    • registration
    • licensing and accreditation
    • financial and privacy laws
    • layby services
    • anti-hawking
    • cooling-off periods, and
    • consumer credit services
  • behave ethically and deal with your customers in a fair and honest manner which doesn’t take unfair advantage of them
  • notify us of any changes to your Business or the goods and services you provide
  • keep records of your customer’s Centrepay payments for up to 2 years and storing them securely
  • have other payment methods to give your customers options on how they want to pay for goods and services. It’s their choice to use Centrepay or not
  • not pass on the transaction fee to a customer and make sure the full amount of the transaction fee is covered by your Business
  • obtain your customer’s consent to use Centrepay
  • stop deductions if your customer doesn’t need to pay them anymore
  • return the money to your customer as soon as possible, if overpaid. Or arrange to reduce a person’s deductions for a temporary period

We aren’t responsible for any outstanding amounts your customer might owe you. This includes unpaid deductions due to an insufficient amount available from their Centrelink payment or departmental error.

You must have a way to handle complaints and resolve disputes with your customers.

Page last updated: 27 August 2017