Continuous Payment Authorities (CPAs) are a common mechanism used by a variety of businesses to take recurring payments from customers. For example, they are used by many publishers to take annual payments for magazine subscriptions. They are also used by pretty much every payday lender to collect monthly repayments of loans.
CPAs are similar to Direct Debits – as they allow the company to control the amount taken – but CPAs don't have the same guarantees and are set up using a debit or credit card rather than a bank account number and sort code. Some payday lenders even ask for a second card, in case payment from the first is rejected.