in Business

Five ways to skyrocket your Direct Debit take up rates

Our merchants often ask us: “What level of Direct Debit uptake can I expect from my customers?”

The answer is, well, it depends!

Here we outline five simple ways to increase the take up of Direct Debit among your customers. Following these best practices can mean a huge difference in take up rates - anything between 10% and 100% increase!

1. Sweeten the deal

The best way to increase take up rates is to offer a discount for choosing Direct Debit. Or why not consider charging for using other payment options, such as credit cards? They may cost you more to process anyway.

We’ve even seen some merchants offer free trials of their product for customers signing up to pay by Direct Debit.

2. Put Direct Debit first

If you prefer customers to pay by Direct Debit, make it the first option on your website’s payment page. Also, make sure customers can easily sign up to pay by Direct Debit both over the phone and in person (please note that phone and paper mandates are only available on GoCardless Pro).

We sometimes see merchants who prefer Direct Debit, remove other payment options altogether. Others offer alternatives to maintain flexibility for their customers, but introduce a barrier, such as sign up by phone only, not online, as a way to nudge customers towards Direct Debit.

3. Flexibility counts

GoCardless Pro offers your customers a wider range of sign up options. They can sign up online, using a paper mandate form, or over the phone. Other payment options don’t usually offer so much flexibility and convenience.

When migrating existing customers over to Direct Debit, we recommend emailing them a link to the online mandate form two or three times (including one or two reminders). The following month, your team can call to remind those customers that haven’t yet actioned your email.

4. Sell the dream!

Make sure you explain the benefits of Direct Debit to your customers. Tell them that they only need to set up Direct Debit once, with no further need to worry about actioning the payment again. This is very different to credit or debit cards, which can expire, or get lost or stolen. Direct Debit saves the customer time and hassle in the future.

5. Offer peace of mind

Direct Debit is one of the safest and most secure payment methods available. All transactions are covered by the Direct Debit Guarantee. This means customers can request an immediate refund of any Direct Debit payment taken from their account, simply by calling their bank and asking for it. You can’t get much better peace of mind than that.

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in Business, People

Springtime productivity tips from GoCardless

With spring now upon us, it’s time to refresh your working day and think about how to squeeze more value from your time. Working smart is something we think about a lot at GoCardless, so here’s a selection of our favourite tips and productivity hacks. From standing desks to white noise, and clever apps to handwritten lists - we hope you’ll find some useful ideas in here to turbocharge your own workflow.

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in People

A day in the life of developer support at GoCardless

Who am I?

I’m Nicola Pellatt and I work in the Developer Support team at GoCardless. I support merchants and partners who are building integrations using our API. My team also provides support to the rest of the company on more technical internal issues. I’ve been working here for a year and two months now - so I recently celebrated my first GoCardless birthday (and got a lovely bottle of champagne)!

What does my typical day look like?

Unlike Sam in Design and Ahmed in Legal, my typical day doesn’t start with exercise! I get into the office at around 9am and the first thing I do is grab a bagel and a cup of tea. It's always the same combination as I’m a creature of habit, but I do like to buck the office trend of coffee. That also means I don’t have to queue for the busy coffee machine!

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in Business

‘Golden era’ for UK tech: GoCardless attends Tech Nation 2017

Optimism was certainly in the air today at the Tech Nation event, where the UK’s brightest technology minds gathered to discuss the newly released report from Tech City.

Despite Brexit looming on the horizon, the UK tech scene is well-equipped to make the most of the country’s departure from the EU. As the digital capital of Europe, the UK secured £6.8 billion in tech investment in 2016, over 50% more than any other European country. That's likely to stand the country in good stead as its EU divorce gets underway.

Although the lion’s share of investment is still London-centric, the rest of the UK is starting to grab its share of the pie too. The shape of digital tech investment is changing and regional players are now accounting for two-thirds of UK tech investment; that’s £4.6 billion.

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in Engineering

All fun and games until you start with GameDays

As a payments company, our APIs need to have as close to 100% availability as possible. We therefore need to ensure we’re ready for whatever comes our way: from losing a server without bringing the API down, to knowing how to react if a company laptop is compromised.

To accomplish this we run GameDay exercises. What you will read below is our version of a GameDay. We hope that by sharing how we do GameDays we can give you a starting point for running your first GameDay.

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What keeps the GoCardless engineering team motivated?

The UK tech scene is becoming increasingly competitive, with companies constantly on the hunt for great developers to join their ranks. With so much choice out there, developers can afford to be ultra-picky when choosing a job.

Today’s tech companies offer a wide range of perks to attract the best developers ahead of the competition. These can range from office treats such as well-stocked beer fridges and team lunches, to joining bonuses, conference budgets, and company holidays.

It’s great having office pizza for lunch. But when considering that all-important next career move, many developers also search for more meaningful factors in their work environments.

GoCardless recently won the Techies 2017 prize for ‘Best Place for Developers to Work’. In the process of creating a great work environment for all our people, we’ve learned a few things about what developers want in a role.

We chatted to some of our engineering team to find out what they look for in a role and what attracted them to GoCardless.

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in People

A day in the life of a Product Designer at GoCardless

Who am I?

I’m a Product Designer here at GoCardless, which means I design the interfaces our customers use when they interact with GoCardless products.

At GoCardless, we maintain a number of products that create the experience our customers know and love. There's the dashboard, where our customers control their payments, our payment pages where they sign up new customers, and the admin screens where our operations team provide customer support.

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in Announcements

We’re launching our new Sales Graduate Scheme - and we want YOU

At GoCardless, we’re proud to work with an incredibly diverse, driven and interesting team. We’re always looking for creative ways to hire and develop amazing people. So as we move into 2017, we’re delighted to announce the launch of our very first Sales Graduate Scheme.

In this post, we’ll answer the following key questions:

  • What does the grad scheme involve?
  • What’s the recruitment process like?
  • Why GoCardless? Why now?

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in Announcements

Our response to Cloudflare's bug disclosure

At the end of last week, Cloudflare and Google Project Zero published details of a security issue that affected sites using Cloudflare's web proxy service.

When triggered, the bug led to request data intended for different websites to be mixed together. This meant that a page served by website A could include the contents of a request made to website B.

Because of how widely Cloudflare is used - some measurements put around 5% of the web behind Cloudflare - this is a true internet-scale problem, and warrants a quick response from everyone involved.

As users of Cloudflare's proxy service, we've taken the time necessary to properly assess the risk to our customers and we've done that in partnership with Cloudflare's support team. While the risk to GoCardless data is extremely low, we'd rather be clear with our customers about what's happened.

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Announcing the launch of GoCardless Plus

We’re excited to announce our new service plan - GoCardless Plus.

With Plus, when you collect payments from your customers, your name stays at the forefront of their minds.

When using GoCardless Standard, customers see ‘GoCardless Ltd’ on their bank statements, followed by a mandate reference which includes your company name. However, only some banks display the second part of the reference we provide.

GoCardless Plus gives you your own Service User Number (SUN) for Bacs or Creditor Identifier (CID) for SEPA. Your customers will always see your business name on their bank statements, every time a payment is collected from their account on your behalf.

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