It may not be an entry in too many people’s diaries, but this year represents a golden milestone for Direct Debit, reaching a half-century of continued year-on-year growth.

What began as a quiet revolution has forever changed the way British people and businesses manage their finances. With the launch of Direct Debit in 1970, consumers no longer needed to write out cheques or queue up in bank branches to pay their bills – and at the push of a button, businesses could manage their cashflow more easily than ever before.

Today, three-quarters of UK adults have at least one direct debit commitment; the average person has at least eight. A trusted brand, which has become synonymous with ensuring bills are paid reliably and without fuss, Direct Debit plays a quiet yet essential role in moving £1.3 trillion behind the scenes, each year.

"During this unusual, difficult year, Direct Debit has continued to run quietly, securely, and reliably in the background... We are determined that will remain the case for as long as end users need and value it," says Maha El Dimachki, chief payments officer at Pay.UK, which operates the service.