Differences between Direct Debit and standing order
Whereas Direct Debits authorise a creditor to take the money owed to them (which could be different amounts, sometimes on different dates), a standing order only transfers the exact amount chosen by the account holder (which may or may not be money owed).
With a Direct Debit, your bank also has to pay you back any incorrect amounts if a mistake was made – that’s what the Direct Debit Guarantee is about and what makes it more secure. In contrast, banks are not liable to make any corrections or reversals of standing order payments.
If you want total control over the automatic payments, a standing order gives you that since the payer specifies the amount and collection dates on a schedule. Direct Debits, on the other hand, can be more convenient with variable bill amounts, since the creditor adjusts the payment details on behalf of the debtor.