in Announcements

GoCardless named ‘Xero App Partner of the Year’ at Xerocon London

We’re overjoyed to share the news that GoCardless has been named ‘Xero App Partner of the Year’ at this year’s Xerocon London awards ceremony!

We were up against some stiff competition in the Xero App Partner category from our friends at Futrli, Receipt Bank and Movemybooks, so we’re over the moon to have been handed this award by Xero founder, Rod Drury, and Xero MD, Gary Turner.

Our sincere thanks go out to everyone who’s supported our new and improved GoCardless for Xero integration in 2016 – you’ve made it a fantastic journey, and very special thanks must go to our partners at Directli and at Xero HQ. Thank you so much.

Continue reading...

GoCardless for Xero
Find out more
in People

Where are we in October?

Join the GoCardless team

We’re still catching our breath from the many exciting announcements made in September (our new funding and partnership with Sage to name a few), but October is already here and it seems we're as busy as ever...

Talks

Watch out for:

South Summit - Madrid - 4 October
Listen to Duncan Barrigan, our Head of Product Management, as he discusses helping small & medium sized enterprises grow. South Summit connects leading innovators with investors, and alongside other panelists from Fundbox, Lendix and Euronext, it’s one talk you don’t want to miss.

Data Insight Leaders Summit - Barcelona - 18 October
Want to learn how to build an analytics function? You’re in luck! Here’s your chance to hear from our Director of Data, Jim Anning, on this topic. The Data Insight Leaders Summit brings together heads of data from the most progressive companies to share their tips for success and, most importantly, learnings from not-so-perfect projects gone by.

Continue reading...

Want to work with us?
We're hiring
in Announcements

Five SaaSy highlights at SaaStock 2017

GoCardless at SaaStock

It’s that time of year again; when the movers and shakers of the SaaS world come together to explore the best and brightest developments in the field.

SaaStock has quickly become the most important gathering of global SaaS companies in Europe, enabling the SaaS community to learn from one another.

This year, Team SaaStock is bringing 1500 founders, VCs and execs together in beautiful Dublin to learn how to build a category leading B2B SaaS business, while networking and having fun at the same time.

GoCardless is one of the event sponsors, so we’ve put together a run-down of our top five unmissable highlights coming up at SaaStock 2017. They include our selection of most hotly anticipated talks, panels, and social events. We hope to see you there!

Continue reading...

Interested in the world of SaaS?
Join us at SaaStock 2017
in Engineering, People

Internationalisation and Automation: Interning at GoCardless

Work for GoCardless

As my summer placement draws to a close, I thought I’d reflect on and share my last five months at GoCardless:

I can remember my first morning at GoCardless quite clearly; I was greeted by chocolates, a card (I know, the irony!) signed by the engineering team, a MacBook Pro waiting to be unboxed, and a GoCardless jacket hanging on the back of my chair. I instantly felt very welcome.

Continue reading...

Want to work with us?
We're hiring
in People

Where are we in September?

Work for GoCardles

After a relaxing summer, we’ve got a busy month ahead of us at GoCardless HQ. Find out what the team has got planned for September (and end of August!), including some of our people giving talks, conferences, seminars and meetups - not just in London, but also further afield.

Continue reading...

Want to work with us?
We're hiring
in People

GoCardless Career Switchers: From office manager to marketing executive

Work for GoCardles

At GoCardless, we believe in supporting our people to develop their strengths in different ways, to help them reach their full potential. Some even end up embarking on a whole new career path while still working at GoCardless.

In our new Career Switchers series we meet some of the GoCardless people who have changed careers during their time with us. First up is Sally, who started out as the GoCardless office manager, then made a big leap into the marketing team.

Who are you?

I'm Sally, I've been at GoCardless for nearly two years. I joined the company almost fresh from university, where I studied Spanish and Portuguese - and got to enjoy living abroad for a year.

Continue reading...

Want to work with us?
We're hiring
in Announcements, Business

Removing obstacles to Direct Debit bulk changes: action by the regulator

The UK’s Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has just announced a public consultation on whether Bacs should be required to change its Direct Debit rules.

Currently, organisations not sponsored by a Bacs member can use Direct Debit providers/bureaus to maintain Direct Debit payments on their behalf. This includes providers that manage the money flows, as well as the setting up of the Direct Debits themselves (known as FM providers, of which GoCardless is one).

Under current rules, an organisation can request that an outgoing FM provider transfers over all existing Direct Debit mandates to a new provider, known as the bulk change process, but the outgoing FM provider is under no obligation to meet that request.

After almost two years of lobbying, our regulator (the PSR, part of the FCA) has drawn a number of preliminary conclusions, and has set out its intention to require Bacs to implement a rule change. This will ensure bulk changes can’t be blocked by outgoing providers.

Why are bulk changes refused?

Some Direct Debit providers won’t allow their customers to bulk change to GoCardless - for no good reason. This is bad for merchants, their customers, and the industry as a whole. Since late 2015, our legal team, armed with evidence and insights from our customers and support team, has been working hard to bring this unfair and anti-competitive practice to an end.

PSR public consultation

GoCardless initially raised the issue with the aforementioned providers, but with no luck. Having pursued the issue as far as possible with our sponsor bank, and Bacs themselves, we turned to the regulator. We first wrote to the Payment Systems Regulator in early 2016, setting out the issue, and our view of the impact on the payments ecosystem. That was followed by a series of meetings with the PSR and consultations by Bacs.

The PSR can require Bacs to implement a change to the scheme rules if it deems a change necessary to further the PSR's purposes: to promote the interests of users, to promote competition, and to promote innovation.

Therefore, following our meetings, we wrote a second letter to the PSR, asking them to consider requiring Bacs to implement a new rule for the Direct Debit scheme. This would make using the bulk change process mandatory if requested by the incoming Direct Debit provider, and the FM provider client (i.e. the merchant).

Changing the rules around switching

The result of this is the PSR's public consultation on switching Direct Debit FM provider. In summary, the PSR has provisionally agreed that the current regulations are unfair and inappropriate, and is looking to require Bacs to change the rules. This change will require existing Direct Debit FM provider to use the bulk change process unless certain exceptions apply.

We would urge all affected businesses, customers and Direct Debit providers to read and respond to the consultation. If you as a merchant experience any issues when trying to switch away from your current Direct Debit provider, please contact the PSR here.

Our view

"We believe that every business should be able to choose and move between payment providers freely. In fact, a process to enable efficient switching has existed for some time,” said our head of legal, Ahmed Badr.

“Unfortunately, we’ve encountered multiple instances of Direct Debit providers exploiting a loophole in the scheme rules that allows them to effectively prevent clients switching to a new provider.” he continued.

“This leaves clients stuck using a less than ideal service against their will, stifling competition and innovation in the process.

"At GoCardless, we see no justification for these exploitative practices and fundamentally believe they shouldn’t be allowed. In 2017, business customers expect the same choice and freedom of movement as they have in their personal banking lives.

"We took this issue up with the PSR almost two years ago, so are happy to see them publishing a public consultation. We urge all affected businesses, customers and direct debit providers to read and respond to it."

Our commitment

We commit in our Merchant Agreement, and have done for some time, to helping you - our customers, switch providers, including through the use of the bulk change process, if you choose to do so. We're confident you won't want to.

Find out more about bulk changes
Check out our guide
in Business

How to optimise online new member acquisition

Memberships Direct Debit

In the first of a short series of GoCardless sponsored blog articles (by MemberWise Network Founder, Richard Gott) we investigate why your website is key to improving new member acquisition and retention.

In an increasingly virtual world many prospective new members will find out about your organisation either by searching for and/or visiting your organisation’s website direct. It will almost certainly be their gateway into membership. Let’s consider what might be on their minds when they visit your website:

  • This membership organisation may be of interest to me
  • I want to find out more now
  • I expect to see a clear online and offline member value proposition (MVP)
  • If I see value I want to join online now and I want immediate access to content
  • If I don’t see value I will either seek an alternative or I won't bother

For many organisations, this critical online membership journey needs optimising and, for many, has not been sufficiently considered/mapped.

Call to action 1 - Has the online joining journey been truly optimised?

In the first instance it might be helpful to consider your website as a shop. The shop needs to have a window and prospective shoppers (prospective members) need to be tempted inside via rich content, effective hooks, incentives and clear, intuitive navigation.

The shop door (online joining/payment processing) needs to be open and once inside (following successful online joining) the shelves need to be well-stocked (i.e. content should be interesting and immediately accessible).

From member outputs (benefits) to positive outcomes

Many organisations use practical case studies to enable prospective members to establish the value of membership. These case studies ordinarily mirror key member personas and are much more powerful than listing member benefits alone (member outputs). The key is to clearly communicate one or more positive member outcomes. This membership marketing approach is much stronger.

Case study: The Caravan and Motorhome Club

In 2017 the Caravan Club rebranded to The Caravan and Motorhome Club and underwent a radical change, shifting from member outputs (benefits) to outcomes. As an organisation it went from ‘we are a club for people who own caravans’ to ‘we are a club that enables our members to go on adventures’. This powerful approach will impact positively on new member acquisition.

Consider the online joining process and opt-out payment options

The online joining process should be simple and straightforward. It requires clear instructions and a growing number of membership organisations are using illustrations/videos/images to prospective members to join.

Two thirds of membership organisations have their websites connected directly to their CRM (membership database) and this can help massively with the online joining process/administration. It can also be the reason why online joining journeys for some organisations can be clunky and unintuitive. In real terms this will impact on the number of abandonments and you need to actively work to reduce these.

A number of membership organisations are now providing live web-chat functionality that can be accessed by the joiner at any stage of the online joining process. Some organisations are now actively tracking online joiner behaviour. For example, if the user starts to move their mouse to the top-left of the screen relatively quickly this may indicate a potential exit (I.e. pre-empting the browser screen being closed) and so ‘Can we help?’ is displayed. Similar content may also be displayed if there is a level of inactivity on an online joining page/form.

Critical to the online joining process is online payment functionality and it is now industry-standard for the joiner to have the option to pay either via debit/credit card, Direct Debit or offline via invoice.

Call to action 2 - Consider online subscription and opt-out payment options

Opt-out membership subscription payment options will massively help existing member acquisition, so this option should be provided as ‘the way to pay’. Many organisations also provide the opportunity for members to pay in recurring monthly/quarterly payments.

I hope you found this article interesting - and I look forward to sharing my second blog article on futureproofing your membership organisation. Watch this space…

GoCardless is bringing Direct Debit into the digital age, offering our professional membership organisations a streamlined and fully-automated payments service. With GoCardless you can set up new members online within minutes - leaving them to fully enjoy the benefits of your organisation hassle-free.

Optimise your new member acquisition
Find out how Direct Debit can help
in Business

The highlights of 2015 from Team GoCardless

As 2015 draws to a close, we wanted to look back at some of the most memorable moments this year at GoCardless.

We started by thinking about all the milestones we reached this year - reaching $1bn of processing volume, expanding into Europe, being listed in the FinTech50 and growing our team to 60 people.

Then we thought about all the litres of coffee consumed, the number of office pizzas ordered and the number of late nights spent working on the product.

We even considered creating a lovely infographic to share all this info with you.

Then we sat back for a moment of reflection and thought... nah.

The best thing we could do is to hand over the spotlight to our amazing team: the ones who have made everything possible over the past year. We wanted to give them the opportunity to tell you, in their own words, what they loved most about 2015.

So, without further ado, here are the 2015 highlights from Team GoCardless.

Continue reading...

Interested in joining the GoCardless team?
We're hiring
in Engineering

GoCardless Basic API v2 Beta

We’re releasing a new system that promises a better integration experience for developers. Following the launch of our Pro API in December 2014, we've been working hard to extend some of the new Pro features to our Basic platform. In particular, we now provide better development tooling and the option to seamlessly transition your payments to your own SUN if the need arises.

We're looking for developers to beta test this new system. Do you meet the following criteria?

  • Do you plan to collect recurring / multiple payments from your customers?
  • Are you currently looking to integrate with the GoCardless Basic API?
  • Do you have the technical expertise required to perform such an integration? Our client libraries are also in development so you will be able to beta test these too.

As well as a better overall experience, we can offer the following:

  • No fees for 6 months
  • Additional support from our developers

If you match this profile or have any questions about the beta, get in touch at help@gocardless.com!

If you're currently using v1 of the Basic API, don't worry - we will continue to support the Basic API for all of our customers without you noticing the difference.

Interested in early access to the GoCardless Basic API v2?
Contact us
in Announcements

GoCardless wins Best Fintech Startup in Europe

Europas startup award

GoCardless attended the The Europas earlier this week and were flattered to pick up "Best Fintech Startup in Europe".

Founded in 2009, the Europas are the premier awards for the hottest startups in Europe. Judged by peers from the startup and investor community, the awards celebrate the most innovative and progressive tech companies in Europe across around 20 categories. Previous winners at the Europas include Spotify, Lovefilm, Wonga and GoCardless!

We'd like to say thank you to everyone who makes our success possible. We will continue doing everything we can to delight you.

Interested in finding out more about the benefits of GoCardless for yourself? Simply sign up today in just 60 seconds!

Asperato integrates GoCardless with Salesforce

Asperato logo

Exciting news for all Salesforce customers: Asperato have integrated GoCardless into their Salesforce payments solution.

Asperato?

Asperato are specialists in Salesforce payments. As well as offering custom solutions for the platform, they have several out-of-the-box AppExchange products to compliment the Salesforce Nonprofit Starter Pack. It's one of those out-of-the-box solutions GoCardless is now integrated with.

How does the integration work?

Once the Asperato App is installed, Salesforce users can create branded web forms to set up Direct Debits from within Salesforce Campaign pages. Drop down options allow users to set price, frequency as well as offer customers traditional card payment routes if required.

Once a Direct Debit is set up recurring payments are taken automatically, and the rest of your Salesforce App is kept informed. Branded confirmation emails and custom object updates are all handled neatly by Salesforce.

If you're interested in learning more, we suggest you get in touch with Asperato, who can also customise the solution in a number of ways.

Customer reactions

Customer reactions to the integration have already been extremely positive. Nicholas Smith, Director of Strawberry Hill House, commented:

Collecting membership payments via GoCardless was the perfect solution for us. We were instantly approved to collect Direct Debits. The Asperato integration with Salesforce enabled us to take our first Salesforce integrated payments within 5 days. Managing our members has never been simpler.

Visit the Asperato site to find out more.

in Announcements, Customers

Teaming up for easy gym payments

Teamup Logo

Managing your gym just got easier: teamup now supports GoCardless.

Introducing teamup

Teamup take the pain out of managing a fitness business. If you're looking for an easy way to collect recurring membership fees, manage classes, and collect one-off drop-in fees, you should check them out.

Seamless integration

Teamup have done a fantastic job of integrating Direct Debit into the heart of their product. It's the UK's preferred way to take recurring payment, and with GoCardless and teamup, it's now an even more attractive proposition:

  • It's incredibly cheap - taking Direct Debits is much cheaper than taking card payments. GoCardless costs £0 to sign up. It's £0 per month. Our monthly minimum is £0. All it costs is 1% per transaction, capped at £2.
  • It's incredibly easy to use - teamup was built specifically to make managing fitness payments easy. With the addition of GoCardless, it just got even easier. We take care of all the complexities of Direct Debit, and you can manage everything within teamup.
  • Signing up is instant - you'll be collecting payments using GoCardless within 60 seconds, and with absolutely no up-front fees or commitments.

Get started instantly, for free

Getting started with teamup is free and instant, just as with GoCardless. If you're a fitness business why not give it a try today?

Building your own application?

If you're interested in allowing users of your own application to collect money via GoCardless, our partner programme could be perfect for you. You can even take a commission for yourself.

Interested? Get in touch with us at help@gocardless.com.

in Announcements

Two awards in two days

Europas startup award TheNextWeb startup award

We're flattered to have won two awards last week. GoCardless was voted "Best UK Startup" at The Europas, and "Best Web App" at TheNextWeb Startup Awards.

We'd like to say thank you to everyone involved. We'll continue doing everything we can to delight you.

PS. Register your interest using GoCardless across Europe here.

in Announcements, Customers

A big welcome to Clear Books!

We've got some exciting news: all Clear Books customers can now collect their invoices using GoCardless!

Clear Books?

Clear Books take the pain out of accountancy for thousands of freelancers and small businesses. If you're looking for an easier way than spreadsheets, paper receipts and accountants, you should check them out.

Seamless integration

We've been working incredibly closely with the Clear Books team over the last couple of weeks. Pooling our resources, including working from each other's offices, we've delivered an integration that feels completely seamless:

  1. Signing up is a cinch - you'll be collecting payments within 60 seconds. Check out our helpful guide if you have any trouble.

  2. Automatic payment collection - with GoCardless your customers can authorize you to bill them a variable amount each month. Invoice payment is then automatic!

  3. Payments reconcile themselves - no more matching bank statements with invoices;  an invoice's status will update automatically the moment it's paid.

  4. Our fees are as low as ever - GoCardless costs £0 to sign up. It's £0 per month. Our monthly minimum is £0. All it costs is 1% per transaction, capped at £2.

Get started instantly, for free

Getting started with GoCardless is instant, and it's free. Just follow our helpful guide.

in Announcements, Customers

Hello SpreedlyCore!

We have some good news: all SpreedlyCore customers can now collect their invoices using GoCardless!

What is SpreedlyCore?

SpreedlyCore is an API for payment gateways. It allows you to take payments through multiple methods: GoCardless, PayPal, Dwolla as well as traditional credit cards. Developers who want to take payments in multiple territories can now take payments using GoCardless, allowing you them to expand their reach to customers by using GoCardless as well as taking advantages of SpreedlyCore's other offerings. 

They support 39 gateways and are planning to offer more. To see their full list, click here.

How can I use GoCardless with SpreedlyCore?

You can use us with SpreedlyCore in two different ways:

(1) Work directly with the SpreedlyCore API to develop an application that accepts payments via multiple methods. This includes secure storage, creating your own UI, working with whatever payment gateway you prefer, and support for newer payment types.

(2) Use one of the SpreedlyCore partner offerings for your business. These include:

Subscription billing management

  • Fusebill

  • ChargeBee

Ecommerce

  • Zenbilling 

  • Cloudswipe 

For more detail on these offerings, check SpreedlyCore's blog here.

We hope that this helps more people take advantage of our super low pricing and smooth, hassle-free payment collection.

For enquiries on how to get GoCardless set up on SpreedlyCore, contact SpreedlyCore support at support@spreedly.com

in Customers

ChurchApp

ChurchApp has switched all their UK customers over to using GoCardless in order to collect the monthly subscription payments through Direct Debit.

Gavin Courtney, founder of ChurchApp, describes how useful GoCardless has been:

"No more cheques and BACS payments. GoCardless makes collecting B2B payments so much easier.

"Using GoCardless has made a huge difference to us, enabling us to do away with cheques and BACS transfers. Our entire billing system has become much less time consuming and at the same time it's much cheaper."

Anyone can use GoCardless to start collecting money online in minutes. Learn more.

in Customers

The Hoxton Mix

The Hoxton Mix are one of several co-working spaces using GoCardless to take one-off and subscription payments online. Alongside desk rental, they offer mail and telephone forwarding as part of their virtual office solution. Given the virtual nature of the product, they wanted an easy way for customers to pay online.

PayLinks (now GoCardless Dashboard) from GoCardless was the perfect solution. Ben Rometsch, founder of The Hoxton Mix, describes how easy setting up with GoCardless was:

"We had GoCardless set up in 3 minutes - it was incredibly simple, and didn't require any technical knowledge. We're now putting through close to £2k per month in one-off and subscription payments, and it just works."

Anyone can use PayLinks to start collecting money online in minutes. Learn more.

Hello FreeAgent!

We've got some big news: all FreeAgent customers can now collect their invoices using GoCardless!

FreeAgent?

If you haven't heard of FreeAgent, you've been missing out. Just like KashFlow, they take the pain out of accountancy for thousands of freelancers and small businesses. If you're looking for an easier way than spreadsheets, paper receipts and accountants, you should check them out.

Seamless integration

We've been working incredibly closely with the FreeAgent team over the last couple of months. We've even dabbled in some epic commuting between London and Edinburgh. The result is an integration that feels completely seamless.

1) Signing up is a cinch - you'll be collecting payments within 60 seconds. Check out our helpful guide if you have any trouble.

2) Invoices are automatically marked as paid - FreeAgent will update an invoice's status the moment your customer pays, so you'll never have to reconcile payments.

3) Our fees are as low as ever - GoCardless costs £0 to sign up. It's £0 per month. Our monthly minimum is £0. All it costs is 1% per transaction, capped at £2.

Pre-authorizations are on their way

If that's not enough, we're working on something even bigger with FreeAgent - automatic payment collection from your customers. Soon they'll be able to authorise payment to you just once, and then take payment automatically each time you invoice.

Never chase payment again. If you want to see that sooner, let us know.

in Announcements

Start collecting money in seconds with PayLinks

It’s like a Bit.ly for payments - when someone clicks your link, you get paid!

Accepting payments online has long been a painful process; payment companies seem to delight in getting in people’s way. At GoCardless, it’s our mission to change that. We believe a great payment experience is all about getting out of the way.

We’re extremely excited to announce the launch of PayLinks (now GoCardless Dashboard): a simple web interface for the GoCardless API that lets you start collecting money in 60 seconds. We’re also pleased to announce PayLinks will share our market-leading pricing: just 1%, with no hidden fees or monthly minimums.

There’s no complicated sign-up process or merchant account requirements; you can sign up in 60 seconds and start collecting money immediately. All you need is an email address and a UK bank account.

Once signed up, you can create a PayLink in two clicks. Simply enter an amount and a description, and we generate a shortened link - a PayLink - you can share with anyone. When someone clicks that link, they’re sent to our secure payment page to pay using their bank account number and sort code. It’s like a Bit.ly for payments - when someone clicks the link, you get paid!

You can use PayLinks for pretty much anything. Want to add a ‘Buy now’ button to your website? Embed a PayLink on your site. Tired of waiting for your customers to pay their invoices? Send them a PayLink via email. Trying to collect money for an event? Tweet out a PayLink. If you’re a developer, you can also use PayLinks to try out GoCardless before a full API integration. You can find out more about how it works on our site.

While in beta, PayLinks has already been used for everything from beef jerky subscription boxes to bill-splitting between friends. We can’t wait to see what you’ll do with it!

Our mission is to make payments cheap & simple, both for customers and merchants. We believe that PayLinks (now GoCardless Dashboard) does both of these things.

So what are you waiting for? Sign-up now. It will take 60 seconds to get started and there’s no commitments. Go on, it might just be the best thing you do today!

in Customers

GoneCardless with KashFlow: Leadstoyou

Today we’re pleased to showcase Leadstoyou, an online leads generation company. They’re a great example of how any small businesses can benefit from using GoCardless with the KashFlow online accounting package.

Asked about GoCardless, Mark Thomas, Office Manager said “We would absolutely recommend GoCardless to other companies who are taking regular payments but want to avoid expensive credit card commission fees and who want to free up time and resources to focus on other parts of their business”.

Leadstoyou have discovered three major advantages to using GoCardless for their payment needs

  • GoCardless is easy to use, set up and manage on a daily basis
  • GoCardless offers savings on every transaction with its low 1% fees
  • GoCardless saves time every day, leaving more time to focus on growing the business

Before moving to GoCardless, Leadstoyou customers topped up their accounts by credit or debit card. Collecting these topups was expensive, customers didn’t like the arrangement, and the system wasn’t flexible enough to grow with the business.

Now with GoCardless, Leadstoyou spend less time managing payments and more time focusing on growth, benefiting from the speed of taking payments directly from KashFlow. On top of this, their customers really appreciate the added simplicity.

Leadstoyou were able to sign up and get started with GoCardless in seconds, and you can do the same today. Take a look at our five-minute guide to using GoCardless with KashFlow.

 

in Customers

GoneCardless with KashFlow: Marketing by Web

Today, we’re proud to be able to showcase how we’ve helped Marketing by Web, an internet marketing company, take payments online easily and cheaply.

Marketing by Web use GoCardless through KashFlow, their online accounting package. Asked about their experiences Claire Jarrett, Managing Director told us: “We’ve been delighted with GoCardless. They provide an easy service which is so affordable with great customer service. I would absolutely recommend them to other businesses who want to take payment regularly”.

They’ve discovered three great benefits to taking payments with GoCardless:

  • GoCardless saves them time every day; now that online payments are easy they can focus on what they do best
  • GoCardless saves them money every transaction; our pricing is fantastic compared to other payment methods
  • GoCardless is easy to set up and manage

Before using GoCardless, Marketing by Web collected payments by standing order. They’d also tried and been unsatisfied with another Direct Debit provider who charged high fees and made management difficult. With GoCardless and KashFlow payments cost just 1% and are easy to manage through our merchant dashboards. Marketing by Web tell us they’re saving at least twenty minutes a day which they were spending on chasing unpaid bills and laboriously marking off invoices.

Marketing by Web took less than an hour to sign up with GoCardless, and any business using KashFlow can do the same. If you’d like to get started, take a look at our step-by-step guide to using GoCardless with KashFlow!

in Business

What do customers see when they use GoCardless?

We know how important it is to see what your customers are seeing, so we've put together a screen by screen walkthrough of the payment process with GoCardless. This blog post will show you how simple and quick using GoCardless is for your customers, as well as which elements of the payment pages you can customise.

Your customers will enter their details on our secure payment pages, and we'll immediately redirect them back to your site when they complete the payment process.

Example payment page

An example of the payment page a customer sees is above. Its simplicity speaks for itself, but some key points to note are:

  1. We only ask your customers for absolutely required information
  2. You can add your own branding by sending us a logo to show in the top left (alternatively we can just put your company name there)
  3. The page clearly tells the customer what they're purchasing. The name and description of the item(s) is as chosen by you
  4. More information about our credentials is instantly available, so customers can pay with confidence

Once we've collected the essential payment details from your customer we ask them to confirm the payment, and that's it! Payment done. We'll redirect the customer to the URL of your choice and send them an email confirming their payment.

If you're curious, and want to click through the process yourself you can do so by going to our example payment page. Feel free to use the dummy bank details from screen 2 in the walkthrough above when you do so (we'll never submit payments to the banks from that site anyway, so using your own details is also fine).

Using GoCardless to collect money on Teamer

Teamer is an online tool to help make organising sports teams easy. One of the great features they provide is an easy way to collect payments from team members for subs etc. They use GoCardless to handle payments. Here's a quick overview of making and receiving payments on Teamer.

Setting up your account to receive payments as a team organiser

  1. Login to Teamer
  2. Click the 'Payments' tab in the main navigation bar to go to the Payments Centre
  3. If this is your first time in the Payment Centre then click the 'Get me started!' link on the splash page
  4. Click 'New Collection Acct' button to set up your team's bank account
  5. Create a password for your GoCardless account and click 'Next step'
  6. Enter your club details and click 'Next step'
  7. Enter your club bank details and click 'Create merchant account'
  8. Your bank account will now show up under 'Collection Accounts' at the bottom of the Payments Centre page

Requesting payment

  1. In the Payments Centre click 'New Payment Request'
  2. Enter the required details about what you're collecting for then click 'Save'
  3. Select the team members you're requesting payment from by clicking the 'add to player list' button by each person in the 'Squad' list
  4. At the bottom of the list 'Payer list' in the 'Send Notifications' box, click either 'Send now' or 'Send later'
  5. You can now see the payment status for each player (and update each manually if you need to)

Making a payment

When your team organiser requests a payment you will receive an email or SMS. Click on the included link and then do the following to make payment:

  1. Login to Teamer
  2. Click the 'Payments' tab in the main navigation bar to go to the Payments Centre
  3. If this is your first time in the Payment Centre then click the 'Get me started!' link on the splash page
  4. Click the 'Pay full amount' button next to the payment you wish to make
  5. Enter your details on the GoCardless payment page and click 'Next'
  6. Click 'Agree and Continue' to set up the Direct Debit Instruction (NB. you only have to complete this step for the first payment)
  7. Choose a password for your new GoCardless account then click 'Confirm this bill'

Sign up for Teamer now to make managing your team simple. If you get stuck with GoCardless payments within Teamer then email us and we'll help you out.

A couple of myths about GoCardless and KashFlow

We’ve really pleased to be integrated with the good people at KashFlow. Over 500 businesses have already signed up to collect money easily and cheaply with GoCardless, straight from their KashFlow account. We've noticed there are a few myths doing the rounds though, which we want to bust once and for all.

Myth 1: You can't collect money by card if you're using GoCardless with KashFlow

We understand where people are coming from with this one, but it couldn't be further from the truth! KashFlow lets you easily set up GoCardless to collect Direct Debits from your customers while letting you keep a card provider for one-off payments and the "PayOnline" button that appears on your invoices. Our comprehensive guide describes how.

Myth 2: Collecting large amounts online can get expensive

Not with our fees it won't! As well as charging just 1%, much lower than our competitors, our maximum fee per transaction is £2.00. We won't charge you more than that, even if you're collecting £5,000.

Using GoCardless with KashFlow alongside another payment provider

Want to use GoCardless with KashFlow for your subscription and regular customers, while still giving others the option to pay by card? This post will get you set up as quickly as possible. It assumes you're already using KashFlow (if you're not, and you're looking for simple accounting software, check them out),  and that you have a card provider set up already.

At the end of this guide you'll have GoCardless set up to take subscription payments while your existing provider will be powering the PayOnline button on your invoices and be used for taking one-off payments. Don't forget that collecting money via card is around three times more expensive that using GoCardless. If you want to save money we highly recommend setting up GoCardless as your exclusive payment provider in KashFlow.

Step 1 – Sign up for GoCardless

First things first, to get you set up to receive payments using GoCardless we need to sign you up for the system. This part couldn't be simpler - just follow the instructions below:

  1. From within KashFlow, go to the "Settings" tab. Scroll down to the bottom and click the "GoCardless" link
  2. From here click "Create a GoCardless account" and fill in your details. If you have any trouble let us know
  3. Once you've filled in your details you'll be returned to the KashFlow site. On this page you can enter some details to customise the experience for your customers (don't worry though, the defaults are sensible):
    • The message option lets you enter what's displayed to the user in their browser after they enter their details and pay you. 
  4. The email options customise the email that's sent to customers when you send out a direct debit request.
  5. The Bank Account and Payment Method options are used in KashFlow to help you keep track of where your money is (they don't affect payment, but you should set them to match the account you entered on the GoCardless page).
  6. Uncheck the auto-configure button at the bottom of the page to avoid losing your current settings (we'll do the configuration manually in the next section)
  7. Click the Update button (IMPORTANT! You must click the update button to complete set-up)
  8. You're all signed up!

Step 2 – Adjust your settings so GoCardless and your other provider work together

Next we need to adjust your settings so that GoCardless and your current provider can work in harmony. This part can be a little counter-intuitive (we're working on making the process clearer), but if you follow the steps below you'll be set up in no time.

  1. From within KashFlow, go to the "Settings" tab and click the "Card Options" link (it's near the bottom of the page). The page that you're taken to should have a "Cardholder Not Present Payments" section and a "PayOnline - Customer Payments" section.
  2. To use GoCardless alongside your current payment provider, both sections need to have identical details in them, so copy the details from the "PayOnline" section to the "Cardholder Not Present" section. (If both sections are blank you're probably using PayPal for your "PayOnline" button. I that case, set GoCardless as your payment provider in both sections)
  3. Click Update. (IMPORTANT, if you don't click Update your changes won't be saved!)
  4. It might seem counterintuitive, as you haven't entered any details of GoCardless for either section, but that's all the setup work done

Your old (card) provider will now continue to power your PayOnline button, but you'll also be able to use GoCardless to collect money via direct debit.

Step 3a – Set up pre-authorizations with your customers and collect from them instantly

Now you're ready to use GoCardless to collect some money. We'll start by setting up a pre-authorization, which is just like it sounds - an authorization from your customer to take money from them in the future, on a regular basis. For example, we often pre-authorise Gas and Electricity providers to debit our accounts - now you can do the same with your customers. At the end of this section you'll have the ability so set up pre-authorizations with your customers, and then collect money from them with just a couple of clicks.

First we create a pre-authorization:

  1. From within KashFlow go to the "Customers" tab and create a new, test customer. From the details page for that new customer click the "Other Info" tab.
  2. Click "Set up a Direct Debit Mandate" and fill in the form
    • The "Maximum Amount" field is the maximum per month (or year) that you're asking your customer to authorise you to take from them. (At GoCardless we give a bit more security to the customer than your typical Gas or Electricity provider by asking them to authorise only up to a maximum amount)
  3. The "Title" field should be what the customer is paying for
  4. The "Description" field should give some context about the items or the invoice for the customer
  5. The email address is where we'll send the pre-authorization request to. For the purposes of testing you should enter your own email address
  6. Click "Send Email" and check your inbox. You should have a message from GoCardless you can use to see what the user experience is like! Note that you'll need to sign up for a second GoCardless account (this time as a user - your KashFlow GoCardless account is as a merchant), and we require you to use a different email address for that signup.

You've just created (and approved) your first pre-authorization with GoCardless! (There's also another way you can do the above: when you're looking at an invoice, if you click "Take Cardless Payment" and then "Set up a Direct Debit Mandate for this customer" you'll be directed to the same form as in step 2.)

Now let's use that pre-authorization to collect some money.

  1. You should have received an email letting you know the pre-authorization is all set up. Now, within KashFlow, if you go to the "Other Info" section of the customer's account you'll see the mandate you have set up with them
  2. To collect money using the pre-authorization you've set up you first need to go to an invoice for the customer. Since in this test case we're playing the role of customer as well as merchant, you'll probably need to create a new invoice (do this just as you normally would by going to the Sales tab in KashFlow and clicking the "New Invoice" button. Fill in the form and click "Add Invoice")
  3. Add some items to that invoice. Let's make them small for now - say £1.00 (GoCardless is the cheapest payment processor out there, but we still charge 1% and there's no point throwing money away on tests!)
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the invoice and click the "Take Cardless Payment" button which should now be there.
  5. You'll be redirect to a page asking you the amount you'd like to collect. Enter the amount and click "Take Payment". You just collected £1.00 from yourself - it's that simple!

Step 3b – Set up a recurring bill for a fixed amount each month

A recurring payment is just a pre-authorization that automatically generates a bill each month for the same amount. As such, this section is very similar to the previous one. At the end of this section you'll have the ability so set up a recurring bill that automatically invoices and collects money from your customer each month (or week, or year, etc.).

Let's create a recurring bill to test it.

  1. From within KashFlow go to the "Customers" tab and create a new, test customer.
  2. Now go to the "Sales" tab and click "Repeat Billing". From there click "Add Repeating Invoice" and fill in some basic details. Under the "Include a Payment" heading select "Collect and record full amount via Direct Debit" and then press "Add repeating invoice"
  3. If you don't already have a pre-authorization set up with the customer you're adding a repeating bill for you'll be directed to a form to set one up. (You can skip the next two steps if you already have a pre-authorization set up)
  4. Fill in the form on the page you're redirected to
    • The "Maximum Amount" field is the maximum per month (or year) that you're asking your customer to authorise you to take from them.
  5. The "Title" field should be what the customer's paying for
  6. The "Description" field should give some context about the items or the invoice for the customer
  7. The email address is the location we'll send the pre-authorization request. For the purposes of testing you should enter your own email address
  8. Click "Send Email" and check your inbox. You should have a message from GoCardless you can use to see what the user experience is like! Hold off on clicking through for a moment though - let's finish the repeating invoice setup first.
  9. After clicking "Send Email" you'll have been redirected back to your repeating invoice setup page. The page now has an additional section: "Items on this Repeat Invoice", and the ability to add some items. Add some items to the invoice and then click "Update" (IMPORTANT: don't forget to click update!)
  10. You're done with the bill setup. To see what it's like from the customer side go to the email you sent yourself and click through the payment approval process. (Note that you'll need to sign up for a second GoCardless account with a different email address, as your KashFlow GoCardless account is a merchant account, not a customer account.)
  11. Once you've clicked through and entered your details you'll receive an email informing you the customer has approved the direct debit mandate. The system will then automatically email the customer each month an invoice, which will be automatically paid by direct debit. * * *

Once you've completed the above, you'll be set up to use GoCardless alongside your current card provider. GoCardless will be your default for repeating invoices and variable direct debit payments, while the button on your invoices and any one-off payments you take will be through your card provider.

Hopefully this guide has told you everything you need to know to get up and running with easier, cheaper payments through GoCardless. Don't forget that we're always here to help though - you can email us any time.

See you on GoCardless soon!

in Engineering

A Second Look at the GoCardless PHP Library

This post relates to the Legacy GoCardless API. If you're starting a new integration, you'll need to use the new GoCardless API - for help getting started, check out our guide.

In our first blog post about our PHP library we looked at how to create a payment URL and then confirm the payment once it had been created. Examples of this are included in the repo itself (in the /examples folder) and detailed in our documentation too. Now let's look at a couple of other features available with the library.

Passing a variable through the payment process

Very often when the user arrives at the Redirect URI (where you must confirm the new payment object) you will want a way to refer to what the payment was for. We have a variable for that called 'state'. You can pass in 'state' as a variable when you generate a new payment link:

<?php
// The parameters for the payment
$subscription_details = array(
 'amount' => '10.00',
 'interval_length' => 1,
 'interval_unit' => 'month',
 'state' => $reference
);

// Generate the url
$subscription_url = GoCardless::new_subscription_url($subscription_details);

// Display the link
echo '<a href="'.$subscription_url.'">New subscription</a>';
?>

It then gets passed back to the Redirect URI page as a GET variable which you can access like this:

<?php
$reference = $_GET['state'];
?>

Creating bills within a pre-authorization

Our pre-authorization payment type lets you bill your customer whenever you want to up to an agreed limit. To create a bill within a pre-authroization, you can do the following:

<?php
// Load your pre-authorization
$pre_auth = GoCardless_PreAuthorization::find($pre_auth_id);

// Details of the bill to create
$bill_details = array(
 'amount' => '5.00'
);

// Create the bill
$bill = $pre_auth->create_bill($bill_details);
?>

Cancelling a subscription

<?php
// Load the subscription
$subscription = GoCardless_Subscription::find($subscription_id);

// Call the cancel method
$subscription = $subscription->cancel();
?>

Webhooks

We fire off a webhook a few days after a payment is made to confirm whether the payment was successful or not. In the most recent version of the PHP library we included a webhook listener demo. The webhook content is sent in the body of the request (rather than in the headers) which you can extract like this:

<?php
// Use this line to fetch the body of the HTTP request
$webhook = file_get_contents('php://input');

// Convert json blog to array
$webhook_array = json_decode($webhook, true);

// Validate webhook
if (GoCardless::validate_webhook($webhook_array['payload'])) {
 // Send a success header
 header('HTTP/1.1 200 OK');
}
?>

LarderBox

The LarderBox is one of a number of monthly subscription services using GoCardless. Starting at £16.50/month, they deliver a hand-picked selection of speciality food products to your door. The service launched in January and is growing fast.

Prior to using GoCardless they were accepting payments using PayPal. This was causing three key problems:

  1. They were paying around 5% transaction fees which cut into their profit margins.
  2. The system wasn't ideally suited to recurring payment with some users struggling to sign up, leading to lots of support queries
  3. It was difficult to know who had paid, causing problems on the ops side as they didn't know when they were safe to distribute produce

Their main concern when signing up was that people might be more reluctant to sign-up with their bank details so it's something that we've kept a close eye on for them, and in fact they've had similar (if not higher) rates of conversion since making the switch.

Furthermore, having made the switch to GoCardless they have found it has made a huge difference to their business and solved each of the three issues they were facing:

  1. Our fees of just 1% save them £4 on every six month subscription. This equates to hundreds of pounds saved each quarter.
  2. Since switching they have had a drop-off in the number of support queries about their payment process and even some appreciative emails from customers about how smooth the new process is!
  3. Our merchant dashboard gives live and easy-to-use information on everything they need to make decisions, respond to customers and run their business.

Founder, Tristan Watson, says "I'm so glad we made the move to GoCardless. Making the switch was easy after what we've grown to expect from payment providers. The product is fantastic - particularly for recurring payments - and I honestly can't recommend them enough to other subscription businesses."

To start collecting online payments for your business using bank-to-bank transfer, check out our getting started blog post then sign up on our homepage. If you have more questions then check out our FAQ.

in Announcements

An Introduction to GoCardless

You've heard of GoCardless and now you want to start collecting money online. Here's a walk-through of the process you need to go through to integrate with our API.

Summary

  1. Sign up on our homepage. This creates a test account in our Sandbox. (NB. To log back in to the sandbox you need to visit http://sandbox.gocardless.com rather than using the login link on our homepage.)
  2. Check out our documentation.
  3. Use one of our API client libraries to generate a payment link. Make sure that you are using the library in 'sandbox' mode. There are three payment types: one-off bill, subscription and pre-authorization.
  4. Create a page that 'confirms' new payments (all of our libraries have an easy function to do this, see our documentation for "Completing the payment") and update the 'Redirect URI' in the Developer panel to point to that page.
  5. Click on the payment link you generated and make a test payment (make sure you log-out of your sandbox account first!). Don't worry, in the sandbox no payments are actually processed. You can also use test bank details - Account number: 55779911; Sort code: 20-00-00.
  6. After completing payment, you will get redirected to your confirmation page.
  7. Once you are happy with your integration then click 'Upgrade to a live account now' at the top of the sandbox dashboard (if that link has disappeared then email us).
  8. You will be asked to enter some basic details about what you're collecting money for. Then you will be taken to your live dashboard. Your production account comes with a new set of API keys so grab those from the Developer panel and copy/paste them into your code. Also, make sure that you're no longer making API calls in sandbox mode. NB. Your sandbox credentials will continue to work in the sandbox so you can continue to experiment if you wish.
  9. You're done! Though it might be a good idea to make a test payment in your production environment too.

Screen-by-screen walkthrough

  1. Click the orange 'Try it for free' or 'Get started now' button on our homepage:
  2. You'll be taken to the signup form below where you fill in your details. NB. If you're collecting payments for yourself (or you're a sole-trader) then simply enter your name or the name of your organisation as your business name. Then click 'Create your account'.
  3. This gets you into the developer sandbox and gives you various information to help you get started including links to our API documentation.
  4. If you scroll down on that page than you'll find you API keys which you'll need to copy and paste into your code. You'll also see where to update your 'Redirect URI':
  5. Once you have tested your integration and are happy with it, click ‘Upgrade to a live account now' at the top of your sandbox pages. You'll be taken to this page to enter more details about your business: 
  6. Once you complete that form then you're taken to your dashboard in the production environment.

This post should have helped to give you an idea of the process to go through to accept your first payment online with GoCardless. If you still have any questions then please feel free to email us any time - we're here to help!

Using GoCardless with KashFlow

We've had a phenomenal response since integrating with the good people at KashFlow in early February. Over 450 businesses have signed up to collect money easily and cheaply with GoCardless, and every day we hear more positive feedback. We've also been receiving the following question more and more, which we'll answer as simply as we can here: how can I get set up to use GoCardless with KashFlow today?

This post is a step by step guide, designed to get you up and running with GoCardless on KashFlow as quickly as possible. It assumes you're already using KashFlow (if you're not, and you're looking for simple accounting software, check them out). First we'll go through signing up for GoCardless, and then each of the collection methods you can use GoCardless for in KashFlow.

This post helps you set up GoCardless as your exclusive payment provider in KashFlow, which is what we recommend (our low fees will save you money, and your payment process will be easier to use). If you want to use GoCardless alongside your current KashFlow payment provider read our guide here.

Step 1 – Sign up for GoCardless

First things first, to get you set up to receive payments using GoCardless we need to sign you up for the system. This part couldn't be simpler - just follow the instructions below:

  1. From within KashFlow, go to the "Settings" tab. Scroll down to the bottom and click the "GoCardless" link
  2. From here click "Create a GoCardless account" and fill in your details. If you have any trouble let us know
  3. Once you've filled in your details you'll be returned to the KashFlow site. On this page you can enter some details to customise the experience for your customers (don't worry though, the defaults are sensible):
    • The message option lets you enter what's displayed to the user in their browser after they enter their details and pay you. 
  4. The email options customise the email that's sent to customers when you send out a direct debit request.
  5. The Bank Account and Payment Method options are used in KashFlow to help you keep track of where your money is (they don't affect payment, but you should set them to match the account you entered on the GoCardless page).
  6. Check the auto-configure button at the bottom of the page
  7. Click the Update button (IMPORTANT! You must click the update button to complete set-up)
  8. You're all signed up!

Step 2a – Add a 'Pay Online' button to your invoices and power it with GoCardless

Now you're set up let's use GoCardless to power a "Pay Online" button on your invoices (you can skip to the other sections if you instead want to set up a pre-authorization or a recurring bill. This is perfect for one-off billing, and because our fees are lower than any card provider (1%, up to a maximum fee of £2.00) it will save you money.

At the end of this walkthrough you'll have a "pay online" button on each of the invoices you email, linked up to your GoCardless account. You'll also have the option to go straight to a payment page from your computer (useful if your customer is sitting with you).

First we need to set up your account.

  1. If you haven't already signed up for GoCardless do that now. Checking the "auto-configure" box in the final step of that signup should mean everything's already set up, but we'll go through it here just to be sure
  2. From within KashFlow, go to the "Settings" tab. Scroll down to the "Invoice Options" link (it's about half way down the page) and click that. From there click the "Payment Button" link, and on the page you're taken to select "PayOnline" as your Payment Button option and click Update. (IMPORTANT, don't forget to click Update!)
  3. Now you'll have payment buttons on your invoice, but they're not linked to GoCardless. To link them up go to the "Settings" tab again, and click the "Card Options" link (it's near the bottom of the page). Near the bottom of the page you're taken to look for the "PayOnline - Customer Payments" section and uncheck the "Use above settings" box. Then select GoCardless as your "Payment Processor", set the Payment Method as Bank Transfer, and the Currency as GDP
  4. Click Update. (IMPORTANT, if you don't click Update your changes won't be saved!)

That's all the setup work done! Now let's create a bill to test it.

  1. Create a new invoice, just as you normally would in KashFlow (go to the Sales tab and click the "New Invoice" button. Fill in the form and click "Add Invoice")
  2. Add some items to that invoice. Let's make them small for now - say £1.00 (GoCardless is the cheapest payment processor out there, but we still charge 1% and there's no point throwing money away on tests!)
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the invoice and click the "Take Card Payment" button which should now be there. This will take you to your GoCardless options for collecting payment
  4. For now let's click option 2 and test invoice emails. Enter your own email address (normally it'd be your customer's email address here, but we're testing), some details, and click "Send Email"
  5. Now check your emails, open the invoice, and click the pay online button to see what the user experience is like. Note that you'll need to sign up for a second GoCardless account (this time as a user - your KashFlow GoCardless account is as a merchant), and we require you to use a different email address for that signup
  6. You've just created (and paid) your first bill with GoCardless!

Step 2b – Set up pre-authorizations with your customers and collect from them instantly

A pre-authorization is just like it sounds - its an authorization from your customer to take money from them in the future, on a regular basis. For example, we often pre-authorise Gas and Electricity providers to debit our accounts. Now you can do the same with your customers. At the end of this section you'll have the ability so set up pre-authorizations with your customers, and then collect money from them with just a couple of clicks.

First we need to set up your account.

  1. If you haven't already signed up for GoCardless do that now. Checking the "auto-configure" box in the final step of that signup should mean everything's already set up, but we'll go through it here just to be sure
  2. From within KashFlow, go to the "Settings" tab and click the "Card Options" link (it's near the bottom of the page). On the page you're taken to look for the "Cardholder Not Present" section and select GoCardless as your "Payment Processor". Set Payment Method as Bank Transfer, Currency as GDP
  3. Click Update. (IMPORTANT, if you don't click Update your changes won't be saved!)

That's all the setup work done! Now let's create a pre-authorization to test it.

  1. From within KashFlow go to the "Customers" tab and create a new, test customer. From the details page for that new customer click the "Other Info" tab.
  2. Click "Set up a Direct Debit Mandate" and fill in the form
    • The "Maximum Amount" field is the maximum per month (or year) that you're asking your customer to authorise you to take from them. (At GoCardless we give a bit more security to the customer than your typical Gas or Electricity provider by asking them to authorise only up to a maximum amount)
  3. The "Title" field should be what the customer is paying for
  4. The "Description" field should give some context about the items or the invoice for the customer
  5. The email address is where we'll send the pre-authorization request to. For the purposes of testing you should enter your own email address
  6. Click "Send Email" and check your inbox. You should have a message from GoCardless you can use to see what the user experience is like! Note that you'll need to sign up for a second GoCardless account (this time as a user - your KashFlow GoCardless account is as a merchant), and we require you to use a different email address for that signup.

You've just created (and approved) your first pre-authorization with GoCardless! Now let's use that pre-authorization to collect some money.

  1. You should have received an email letting you know the pre-authorization is all set up. Now, within KashFlow, if you go to the "Other Info" section of the customer's account you'll see the mandate you have set up with them
  2. To collect money using the pre-authorization you've set up you first need to create an invoice for the customer. Do this in KashFlow just as you normally would (go to the Sales tab and click the "New Invoice" button. Fill in the form and click "Add Invoice")
  3. Add some items to that invoice. Let's make them small for now - say £1.00 (GoCardless is the cheapest payment processor out there, but we still charge 1% and there's no point throwing money away on tests!)
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the invoice and click the "Take Card Payment" button which should now be there.
  5. You'll be redirect to a page asking you the amount you'd like to collect. Enter the amount and click "Take Payment". It's that simple!

Step 2c – Set up a recurring bill for a fixed amount each month

A recurring payment is just a pre-authorization that automatically generates a bill each month for the same amount. As such, this section is very similar to the previous one. At the end of this section you'll have the ability so set up a recurring bill that automatically invoices and collects money from your customer each month (or week, or year, etc.).

First we need to set up your account.

  1. If you haven't already signed up for GoCardless do that now. Checking the "auto-configure" box in the final step of that signup should mean everything's already set up, but we'll go through it here just to be sure
  2. From within KashFlow, go to the "Settings" tab and click the "Card Options" link (it's near the bottom of the page). On the page you're taken to look for the "Cardholder Not Present" section and select GoCardless as your "Payment Processor". Set Payment Method as Bank Transfer, Currency as GDP
  3. Click Update. (IMPORTANT, if you don't click Update your changes won't be saved!)

That's all the setup work done! Now let's create a recurring bill to test it.

  1. From within KashFlow go to the "Customers" tab and create a new, test customer.
  2. Now go to the "Sales" tab and click "Repeat Billing". From there click "Add Repeating Invoice" and fill in some basic details. Under the "Include a Payment" heading select "Collect and record full amount via Direct Debit" and then press "Add repeating invoice"
  3. If you don't already have a pre-authorization set up with the customer you're adding a repeating bill for you'll be directed to a form to set one up. (You can skip the next two steps if you already have a pre-authorization set up)
  4. Fill in the form on the page you're redirected to
    • The "Maximum Amount" field is the maximum per month (or year) that you're asking your customer to authorise you to take from them.
  5. The "Title" field should be what the customer's paying for
  6. The "Description" field should give some context about the items or the invoice for the customer
  7. The email address is the location we'll send the pre-authorization request. For the purposes of testing you should enter your own email address
  8. Click "Send Email" and check your inbox. You should have a message from GoCardless you can use to see what the user experience is like! Hold off on clicking through for a moment though - let's finish the repeating invoice setup first.
  9. After clicking "Send Email" you'll have been redirected back to your repeating invoice setup page. The page now has an additional section: "Items on this Repeat Invoice", and the ability to add some items. Add some items to the invoice and then click "Update" (IMPORTANT: don't forget to click update!)
  10. You're done with the bill setup. To see what it's like from the customer side go to the email you sent yourself and click through the payment approval process. (Note that you'll need to sign up for a second GoCardless account with a different email address, as your KashFlow GoCardless account is a merchant account, not a customer account.)
  11. Once you've clicked through and entered your details you'll receive an email informing you the customer has approved the direct debit mandate. The system will then automatically email the customer each month an invoice, which will be automatically paid by direct debit.

Hopefully the above is everything you need to get up and running, and make collecting payments a whole lot easier and cheaper. Don't forget that we're always here to help though - you can email us any time.

See you on GoCardless soon!

in Engineering

GoCardless PHP library

This post relates to the Legacy GoCardless API. If you're starting a new integration, you'll need to use the new GoCardless API - for help getting started, check out our guide.

PHP is the most requested API client library here at GoCardless HQ. Today we’re pleased to announce that we have released our PHP library on Github. This post will give you a walkthrough of how to use it to collect a regular subscription payment. Once you've read it through then it might be useful to check out the examples included within the library.

First, check out our general overview of signing up to GoCardless. This walks you through signing up for a sandbox account. Once you have logged into the sandbox, click the 'Developer' tab to find your API keys - you'll need these shortly.

'git clone' or download the latest version of the PHP library from Github and copy it into a subdirectory. The essential files that you need are in the /lib folder. Then initialize the library within your code like this:

<?php
// Include library
include_once 'lib/gocardless.php';

// Config vars
$account_details = array(
 'app_id' => XXXXXXX,
 'app_secret' => XXXXXXX,
 'merchant_id' => XXXXXXX,
 'access_token' => XXXXXXX
);

// Initialize GoCardless
GoCardless::set_account_details($account_details);
?>

Next generate a URL to send users to to subscribe to your service:

<?php
// The parameters for the payment
$subscription_details = array(
 'amount' => '10.00',
 'interval_length' => 1,
 'interval_unit' => 'month'
);

// Generate the url
$subscription_url = GoCardless::new_subscription_url($subscription_details);

// Display the link
echo '<a href="'.$subscription_url.'">New subscription</a>';
?>

When the user clicks this link they will be redirected to GoCardless to enter their bank details and create a new subscription. After this is complete, they will be redirected to the path you’ve set as the 'Redirect URI' in the Developer Panel.

The next step is to confirm the payment. You'll need the following code on the page that you've specified as the 'Redirect URI' in Developer settings:

<?php
// Default confirm variables
$confirm_params = array(
 'resource_id' => $_GET['resource_id'],
 'resource_type' => $_GET['resource_type'],
 'resource_uri' => $_GET['resource_uri'],
 'signature' => $_GET['signature']
);

// State is optional
if (isset($_GET['state'])) {
 $confirm_params['state'] = $_GET['state'];
}

$confirmed_resource = GoCardless::confirm_resource($confirm_params);
?>

GoCardless will now generate a new payment for £10 and debit it directly from the user’s bank account every month. The first payment will be taken immediately.

You can now fetch information about all of your subscriptions from the API like this:

<?php
GoCardless_Merchant::find($merchant_id)->subscriptions();
?>

And you're done!

We hope this post has been useful. If you want to dive deeper into the GoCardless API then check out our documentation and our follow-up post on the PHP library.

Oh and we're hiring too!

in Engineering

Getting started with the GoCardless Ruby gem

This post relates to the Legacy GoCardless API. If you're starting a new integration, you'll need to use the new GoCardless API - for help getting started, check out our guide.

In this post, we’re going to learn how to implement recurring payments with GoCardless into a Ruby-powered website in just a few minutes. We’ll be using the GoCardless Ruby gem. You can find the full documentation for our Ruby library here and the source code is on Github.

The code below also powers our example site at gocardless.com/example-checkout.

Before we start, check out our overview of getting started with GoCardless and follow the instructions for signing up for a sandbox account and getting your authentication details from the Developer panel - you’ll need them later.

We’re going to use Sinatra, a lightweight Ruby framework, for this demo. Nathan Humburt has written a simple post on getting Sinatra running on Heroku if you need a refresher.

First of all, let’s initialize our GoCardless client:

# In app.rb, or your main app file
# We're using the sandbox environment for testing

GoCardless.environment = :sandbox
GoCardless.account_details = {
  :app_id => 'XXXXXXX',
  :app_secret => 'XXXXXXX',
  :token => 'XXXXXXX,
  manage_merchant:MERCHANT_ID'
}
# In app.rb, or your main app file
# We're using the sandbox environment for testing

GoCardless.environment = :sandbox
GoCardless.account_details = {
  :app_id => 'XXXXXXX',
  :app_secret => 'XXXXXXX',
  :token => 'XXXXXXX,
  manage_merchant:MERCHANT_ID'
}

We’ll then fetch some information about existing subscribers from the API;

# Define the index path in app.rb

get '/' do
  @subscriptions = GoCardless.client.merchant.subscriptions
  haml :index
end

Now we need a view to display that information, and a form for creating new subscriptions:

# views/index.haml

%h2= "We've had #{@subscriptions.length} signups so far!"

%form{:action => url('/subscribe'), :method => 'POST'}
  %h2 Enter your email to subscribe
  %input{:type=>"text", :name => "email"}
  %input{:type=>"submit"}

Next, we need to handle the post request sent from the form submission. It’s extremely important that you don’t allow user input for sensitive values - particularly the amount! Interval_length and interval_unit tells you how often the user will be billed - in this case, every 2 months.

You can provide a more information about the user, including their first_name and last_name. This is used to pre-populate the checkout form, and is particularly useful if the person has already filled in the details as part of your website’s signup process. See the docs for more details

# Implement the subscribe path in app.rb

post '/subscribe' do
  # We'll be billing everyone £10 per month
  # for a premium subscription
  url_params = {
    :amount => 10,
    :interval_unit => "month",
    :interval_length => 2,
    :name => "Premium Subscription",
    # Set the user email from the submitted value
    :user => {
      :email => params["email"]
    }
  }

  url = GoCardless.new_subscription_url(url_params) redirect to url
end

At this point, the user will be redirected to GoCardless to enter bank details and create a new subscription. After this is complete, he will be redirected back to the path you’ve set as the “Redirect URL” in the Developer Panel. You can use localhost:9292/confirm if you’re developing on a local machine.

Every 2 months from now on, GoCardless will generate a new payment for £10 and debit it directly from the user’s bank account. The first payment will be taken immediately.

Finally, you’ll need to confirm that your server has received this new subscription before it’s activated. We can do this with a new route in app.rb

# Implement the confirm path in app.rb

get '/confirm' do
  begin GoCardless.confirm_resource
    params "New subscription created!"
  rescue GoCardless::ApiError => e
    @error = e
    "Could not confirm new subscription. Details: #{e}"
  end
end

You’re all done! The great thing about this simple solution is that you don’t need to store any user data.