in Business

SMEs face large bills to chase debts, but Direct Debit is helping

Late Payments Direct Debit

Small businesses in the UK are facing bills of over £2 billion, just to chase up customers who don’t pay on time.

What’s more, across the country, small businesses are suffering under the weight of £14.2 billion in combined unpaid invoices. The situation may seem dire, but was even worse five years ago, when that figure stood at over 30 billion.

So what’s the effect of this mountain of debt on daily operations for SMEs? For starters, those late payments must be chased. This leads to a great deal of time and money wasted in the process of chasing.

The numbers paint a clear picture: 39% of SMEs spend up to four hours a week chasing late payers, while 12% employ someone specifically to pursue outstanding invoices.

It gets worse. According to the Bacs research, almost one in five SMEs affected by overdue payments admit that being owed between £20,000 and £50,000 would be enough to drive them into bankruptcy. 7% say they’re already facing the danger zone.

16% of those facing late payments struggle to pay their staff on time, while 28% of company directors have had to reduce their own salaries to keep essential working capital inside their businesses.

Nearly a third say that overdue invoices compel them to delay paying their own suppliers, which perpetuates the late payment culture. Meanwhile a quarter of businesses rely on bank overdrafts to make essential payments, while 15% have trouble paying essential business bills, such as utilities and rent.

Late payments don’t just block cash flow for small businesses; but also jeopardise the long-term security and capital needed to grow and evolve.

Customers pay late for reasons ranging from pure forgetfulness to their own cash flow issues, and everything inbetween. But no matter why, the end result is the same: businesses don’t get paid on time.

Rather than cajoling, pleading and persuading customers to pay on time, it makes much better sense for businesses to simply put in place automated systems. These remove the pain of late payments, making the entire process streamlined and hassle-free - both for businesses and their customers. This is what GoCardless does best.

By encouraging customers to set up automatic payments by Direct Debit, businesses can ensure no more missed payments, keeping their cash flow in good shape. GoCardless uses technology to level the playing field, offering businesses of all sizes the benefits of Direct Debit, the UK’s most reliable payment system.

“Falling late payment totals is welcome news for small to medium size businesses and for the wider economy. It’s good to hear that relatively simple measures like collecting money by Direct Debit are helping to keep SMEs out of the late payments trap,” Mike Hutchinson of Bacs told Business Matters magazine.

“We’d advise all businesses to investigate if automated payments can help them control their cashflow more effectively.”

Growing numbers of the UK’s small businesses are using GoCardless to solve the late payments problem. In the process, they are helping to challenge the existing late payment culture that affects so many SMEs every year.

“The biggest benefit of GoCardless has been time saved chasing up customers who’ve not paid. I was spending several hours a week on the phone, or sending out polite chaser emails to clients. That time tends to stop you being efficient,” said Barbara Gaunt of FD Works, a Bristol-based accountancy firm.

And using GoCardless is sure to give a substantial boost to cash flow, as the story of Has Bean Coffee shows. After switching to GoCardless, the company reduced its average invoice payment period from 62 days to 41, while improving cash flow by a whopping 30%.

To save time and money chasing payments, boost cashflow, and, importantly, tackle the wider late payments culture, more small businesses should consider taking payments by Direct Debit.

Stop chasing those late paying customers
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in Business

Why are councils teaming up with private companies?

Earlier this month, GoCardless attended the LGA Annual Conference. There, we discovered councils taking an interesting new approach to delivering services.

Because of significant budget cuts, many councils have started looking elsewhere for sources of revenue. Some are now charging for discretionary services, while others are adding completely new services to their offerings.

Alongside our partners Peterborough City Council, we spoke to councils from all over the country, including officers, councillors and leaders of the opposition. Here are some of the key takeaways about councils’ approach to digital improvements.

More efficiency, less spend

In general, councils want to save money by addressing three areas. Firstly, councils aim to get more done with less manual work, using technology to improve processes. They also want to cut back on physical mailing and reduce paperwork in general.

And finally, streamlining back-office processes is key for many councils in their drive to save money and heighten efficiency across the board.

For payment handling needs, GoCardless is well placed to help councils meet all these goals. Using our digital Direct Debit mandates allows customers to sign up online instead of by phone or paper mandate. Our system also removes the need to manually reconcile council payments, making the back office payment handling process slick and efficient.

“GoCardless helped us to set up an online Direct Debit solution in a matter of weeks. The API was really easy to work with and it saved us having to invest in a bespoke solution that would have taken a number of months to introduce.

“We’ve seen around 60% of our customers chose to pay by Direct Debit so next year they won’t have to spend time renewing their subscriptions. It’ll all be taken care of for them,” said Lee Sirdifield, strategic lead of programme delivery for South Kesteven District Council.

 Lessons from the private sector

We also discovered some councils going the extra mile in their drive to maximise efficiency. Some have begun taking tips from the private sector; in particular, teaming up with companies to deliver strategic governing priorities in new and innovative ways.

For example, Peterborough City Council partners with a range of companies, such as Arcus Global for a suite of services, Peopletoo for customer journey mapping, and of course GoCardless for payments.

Peterborough Council already has a digital strategy in place, working with the private sector to bring in new technology to both benefit residents and improve the way its officers work. For example, Peterborough has now moved to Google's cloud-based applications and has become much more agile by adopting Chromebooks.

By partnering with GoCardless, Peterborough was able to implement a reliable, accessible and easy-to-manage way to collect payments from residents for its newly introduced garden waste collection charge. And by introducing the charge the council was able to cover the £800,000 annual cost of delivering the garden waste service.

Peterborough identified Direct Debit as the most suitable way to collect payments, and GoCardless offered easy integration along with real value for money.

“GoCardless was easy to integrate into our online subscription service, and offered value for money for taking multiple payments,” said James Collingridge, partnership manager at Peterborough City Council.

New ways of revenue generation

Over in Camden, we can see a particularly enterprising example of a council emulating the private sector. Alongside other digital transformations, Camden Council is now acting as a marketing agency for other councils, producing print and digital media for them.

The council’s USP is having these cutting-edge digital skills alongside the in-depth knowledge of delivering council services, to understand what a council really needs.

Camden Council aims for this endeavour to not just become self-financing, but also to create a brand new revenue source. At present, Camden’s clients include other councils from all over the UK, such as Havering Council in Essex.

On top of its digital marketing efforts, Camden Council is already generating significant revenue by renting out spaces, for example for film shoots taking place in the borough. It has also developed new policy to allow digital advertising in the borough, to allow buildings and others to monetise space.

Tackling integration challenges

But there are a number of challenges remaining in the drive towards full digital. One of them is the need to consider how digital tools fit in with existing systems, as Councillor Theo Blackwell pointed out in a recent Medium post.

“Legacy systems create a large technical burden when launching and integrating new tools. There’s an opportunity now to rationalise these systems and applications and identify new opportunities through ongoing systems-thinking reviews of each service.”

With our flexible system, built with a powerful API at its heart, councils can integrate our product easily and quickly with existing systems, without having to reinvent the wheel. Overall, the area of payments is ripe for improvement, with Direct Debit and GoCardless leading the way.

Councils are taking a forward-looking approach with their digital first strategies, which closely mirrors our philosophy here at GoCardless, as we work hard to bring Direct Debit into the digital age.

Find out how GoCardless helps councils go digital
Read Peterborough's story
in Business

Is there room to improve Direct Debit?

GoCardless Direct Debit Guarantee

Direct Debit use in the UK grew by 4.9% in 2016 - but how can we make it even more popular?

Direct Debit has been growing fast over the last few years. Today in the UK, over 90% of personal current account holders and around 40,000 organisations use it - and it’s the most popular way for UK consumers to pay their bills. Recent figures show that 9 out of 10 adults have at least one active Direct Debit and pay around 73% of their household bills this way.

Bacs, (short for Bacs Payment Schemes Limited), the organisation behind Direct Debit, processed over 6 billion transactions in 2015 to a value of £4.6 trillion. This figure included an impressive 3.9 billion Direct Debit payments, an increase of 239 million on the previous year.

But despite the popularity of Direct Debit, there remain areas for improvement. Bacs has conducted research into the current state of Direct Debit, to ensure the product remained ‘relevant and fit for purpose’.

Here at GoCardless, part of our job is educate businesses about the benefits of Direct Debit, so we were keen to understand these insights from Bacs. In this post, we explore some of the issues unearthed in the research, and examine ways to address them.

The consumer view

For consumers, the Direct Debit Guarantee is a key feature giving them confidence and trust in the system. The Guarantee (also known as the ‘Direct Debit Indemnity’) is a method of customer protection built into the Direct Debit scheme. It protects customers against payments made in error or fraudulently, making Direct Debit the UK’s safest payment method.

According to the Bacs research, more than half of consumers surveyed (57%) said they were aware of the Guarantee. But younger and less financially secure individuals are less likely to be aware of it. Over a quarter of consumers said they didn’t know how long the Guarantee was valid for, with a third believing it to be valid for a year or less.

It’s important to convey that the Guarantee is unlimited, as this helps consumers feel more secure in using Direct Debit. Educating consumers about the Direct Debit Guarantee could be the key to building their confidence and encouraging them to pay by Direct Debit.

What’s more, users with less knowledge of Direct Debit are more likely to think money can be taken from their account at any time, without warning. This audience said they would like to be notified when Direct Debit payments are set to leave their account, but didn’t realise that Direct Debit providers are already obliged to inform them of this.

The business view

As far as SMEs are concerned, the research found that only 3% pay their bills by Direct Debit (compared to 73% of consumers). Possible reasons may include the traditional struggle for B2B suppliers to offer Direct Debit as a payment method (due to challenging access requirements from the banks), along with consumers’ tendency to be ahead of the curve in cloud adoption, plus the late payments culture in British business.

For SMEs, perceptions about the Direct Debit chargeback rate have been largely inaccurate, with figures showing consumers charging back less than one in every 4000 Direct Debit payments. What’s more, it’s fraudulent to falsely charge back payments. Awareness of this is important for setting small business owners’ minds at ease and making them more likely to use Direct Debit to take payments from their customers.

Improving Direct Debit for all

For many people, Direct Debit is a trusted payment method due to the Guarantee.

But this research has uncovered opportunities to improve understanding: both among consumers so they’re more willing to pay by Direct Debit, and among businesses so they are more comfortable in offering it. In turn, this points to an opportunity for Direct Debit growth in both B2C and B2B, leading to improved cash flow for everyone.

Having brought Direct Debit into the digital age, GoCardless is well-placed to deliver further improvements, as well as helping to educate consumers about the many benefits of taking payments by Direct Debit.

Learn more about how GoCardless is helping companies improve Direct Debit.

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Why is GoCardless launching the Open Banking Hub?

GoCardless Open Banking PSD2

Open banking is one of the most important emerging trends in the world of finance today.

It involves using technology to transform the financial services industry, levelling the playing field and giving consumers more control of their data.

This all stems from the introduction of PSD2...a term that may already sound familiar. PSD2 is short for the ‘Payment Services Directive 2’ and was designed as a pan-EU project, involving a range of countries within the bloc.

Together, PSD2 and open banking are gearing up to revolutionise the payments industry. The new directive is likely to affect everything from how we pay online, to the information we see when making a payment.

As part of this change, banks will be required to offer open APIs to allow third party developers to build apps around various elements of the financial services industry.

Fintech companies and other innovators will have the chance to leverage data in ways that benefit the customer.

But in reality, Open Banking is about more than APIs…

We believe technology has the power to unify and simplify finance.

That’s why GoCardless is launching an Open Banking Hub. Our goal with this platform is to disseminate insightful and informative content to help our audiences better understand the many benefits of open banking, for both their firms and their customers.

The GoCardless Open Banking Hub will also be useful for keeping track of how the open banking trend will impact us all. For busy senior executives in the financial services industry, projects such as implementing PSD2 requirements can become just another sprawling management concern.

Success of those projects hinges on how well you serve your customer. Everything published on the Open Banking Hub will be written with that philosophy firmly in mind.

The Hub will aim to provide some all-important context for understanding open banking. To do that, we’ve created a comprehensive timeline of the PSD2 project.

What’s more, the open banking revolution is full of acronyms and complex terms. To help you navigate this new world with ease, we’ve created one of the first open banking glossaries, which we’ll continue to update as new terms emerge.

Our Hub will feature a wide range of content, including interviews with key stakeholders — banks, investors, industries around the world, along with summaries, news and reviews of key events and announcements, plus deep dives into the various technology that’s driving the open banking revolution.

In addition, the Hub will offer a range of expert insights into how the latest developments in regulation and compliance are being shaped, and how organisations can use them to gain a competitive edge.

We’ll be talking to everyone from investors and entrepreneurs to industry organisations, in a bid to uncover how open banking will impact the financial services industry and beyond.

Find out more about open banking and PSD2
Check out the Open Banking Hub
in Business

Maximising business freedom - Takeaways from Zuora Subscribed 2017

Last week, some of the GoCardless team headed to San Francisco to attend the Zuora Subscribed 2017 event.

Freedom was the overarching theme for Subscribed this year. Discussions revolved around the move from a world where customers bought products to a world where subscriptions to services offer maximum freedom for the end-customer.

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in Business

On a global post-Brexit stage, what’s next for London tech?

In this turbulent era of market uncertainty, political changes and new economic powerhouses, what might London’s future place in the global tech scene look like? And how do those who are funding London’s hottest tech innovators view the capital’s role in changing times? Where better to seek answers to these big questions than at an event full of angel investors, VCs and world-leading entrepreneurs? We attended the Tech London Advocates Investor Showcase this week at Here East hoping to learn more.

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in Business

Accountex 2017: How accountants must meet the new digital reality

For those looking to transform and revitalise their accountancy practice, Accountex 2017 was the place to be this May. Held at the ExCel centre in London’s Docklands, the cream of the UK’s accounting world came together to discuss everything from the latest tech to the future of the industry.

What did you miss? In short, one very simple buzzword featured heavily across all the presentations, panels and exhibitor stands at this year’s event...

...and that word was ‘Digital’.

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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!

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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 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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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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GoCardless launches a new integration with ChartMogul

We’re excited to announce ChartMogul as our latest integration.

This is great news for those of you who are already using GoCardless to take payments for your subscription business. You can now use the power of the ChartMogul analytics platform to measure results, understand data and grow your business.

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We team up with QuickBooks to help small businesses get paid faster

Success for small businesses in the UK is more elusive than ever these days thanks to a weakened pound and intense competition in all markets.

Thousands of the UK’s small and medium enterprises have told us that managing cashflow is a constant struggle. In some cases it can take up to 13 days for an invoice to get paid.

Cashflow is the lifeblood for any organisation, so waiting a fortnight for payment can wreak havoc on a company’s finances. Time spent chasing late-paying customers could instead be used for growing the business.

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Bacs Processing Calendar 2017

It's that time of year again and we don't just mean Christmas. The Bacs Direct Debit 2017 processing calendar is now available, so you can easily check the dates when Bacs will process Direct Debit payment submissions in 2017. The calendar also shows which days Bacs won't process payments, bank holidays and weekends, so you can plan around that.

If you're using GoCardless, there's no need to plan your payments submissions with the Bacs processing calendar. We take care of submission dates for you and we'll automatically submit your payments to Bacs on the relevant day. This means you simply choose on which dates you'd like to charge your customers, and we'll do the rest.

Feel free to get in touch with us at help@gocardless.com if you have any questions about the timing and scheduling of Bacs payments.

Looking to automate Direct Debit collection timings?
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in Business

Highlights of 2016 at GoCardless

2016 has been a rollercoaster of a year. Here at GoCardless HQ, we’ve certainly had an exciting time.

In this post, we look back at some of our most memorable moments from the year gone by - including big wins, things we’ve learned, new friends, and fun events - all infused with the usual dynamic GoCardless spirit.

We’ve hit some significant milestones this year, including reaching £1.5 billion of processing volume in July, and helping over 20,000 merchants every month to take payments more effectively. We’ve also ramped up our European operations, enabling even more customers to take payments across the eurozone.

In September, we launched a survey on the burgeoning subscriptions industry in our UK and European markets, aiming to find out what people thought of the various different payment methods. The results showed an outstanding victory for Direct Debit, especially in the UK, which was great news for us too!

A couple of months later we entered the prestigious Deloitte Fast50 Awards - and won first place in the fintech category, and second place overall out of 50 of the UK’s fastest-growing companies. Then, just weeks later, we reached the top ten of the Deloitte Fast 500 EMEA Awards, which have a more global focus - honouring the best innovators in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

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GoCardless among top 10 innovators at the Deloitte Fast 500 EMEA Awards

It was only a few weeks ago that we at GoCardless were busy celebrating our outstanding performance in the recent Deloitte Fast 50. We’re delighted to announce another big success.

Last night, GoCardless reached the top 10 of the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA awards, presented in Paris.

In this competition the stakes were much higher than before. We were up against a diverse range of cutting-edge tech companies from all over Europe, the Middle East and Africa. So it was a significant achievement for us to make it to tenth place in the overall ranking, putting us in the top 10.

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in Business

GoCardless helps Bacs break new records

Bacs broke new records recently when it processed the staggering figure of 109.3 million payments in just one day. The figure, achieved in September, overtakes the previous daily high of 103.7 million transactions, recorded in April, and represented an increase of 5.4%.

Thanks to this achievement, Bacs already looks set to overtake the figures it set in 2015, when over 6 billion transactions were processed for the first time, reaching a value of £4.6 trillion. That included an impressive 3.9 billion Direct Debits, an increase of 239 million compared to the previous year. Bacs (short for Bacs Payment Schemes Limited) is the organisation behind Direct Debit, the popular UK payment system.

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in Business

GoCardless recognised as UK's fastest growing FinTech company in Deloitte Fast50

We’re thrilled to announce that GoCardless took first place in the fintech sector in the prestigious UK Fast 50 Awards. We were also awarded second place overall. Our growth rate was an impressive 6661%!

Robert Whiteside, our VP of Sales, said: “We’re so pleased to recognise the hard work done by the team over the years to build a great solution that our customers love using.

“It’s exciting to see that you can take a proven and popular payment method like Direct Debit and make it fit for the digital age, unlocking so much potential for our merchants who are working hard to bring modern solutions to the market. We’ve been privileged enough to help great businesses get off the ground and scale, and in turn grow with them to such an extent that we’re recognised as a leader in our peer group.”

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in Business

What does Europe think of Direct Debit for subscription payments?

Back in September, GoCardless launched a UK-wide survey focusing on the popular subscriptions industry. We wanted to explore what members of the public thought about the various payment methods used to pay for subscription services. With the rapid rise of subscription services in the UK for everything from magazines to bacon, we thought this was an unmissable opportunity!

The results confirmed our suspicions - the UK loves Direct Debit. Despite its advanced age, the popular payment method is still the country’s most trusted choice. But our curiosity didn’t stop at the UK border. As GoCardless is a European payment provider covering Bacs, SEPA and Autogiro, we wanted to bring in essential insights from our key markets in France, Germany, Sweden and Spain.

So, do subscription customers in Europe love Direct Debit as much as those in the UK do?

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Xero and GoCardless: Getting you paid on time, every time

Are you using Xero online accounting to manage finances for your small business? If so, you’ll already be aware of how cloud accounting speeds up processes, automates your admin workload and helps you take control of key numbers.

Xero’s now got a new string to its bow: a direct integration with GoCardless via its new app. GoCardless for Xero offers automatic invoice payment and reconciliation. Now your Xero account can be linked straight to GoCardless, providing a fast, efficient way to collect invoice payments from customers with the absolute minimum of hassle.

That has a number of key benefits that will make your finances slicker, more streamlined and working hard for the long-term good of the business. And your customers will love how simple and straightforward it is – meaning you get paid faster!

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in Announcements

New Developments in SEPA

Some new SEPA developments are coming up in November - so here’s a quick update on what will happen and what it will mean for you as a merchant taking euro payments using GoCardless.

So what exactly is happening and why?

The rules behind SEPA are changing as a new version is set for release on November 21st 2016.

Currently SEPA COR1 is the main scheme used in Germany, Austria and Spain, while SEPA Core is the dominant scheme elsewhere. The most important upcoming change is that the SEPA COR1 system will cease to exist, while SEPA Core will become faster.

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in Business

South Summit 2016: A big step for GoCardless in Spain

GoCardless was one of the lucky startups to attend South Summit, along with another 7100 entrepreneurs. For those not familiar with it, South Summit gathers the greatest innovations from Southern Europe and LATAM and connects them to the region’s biggest customers and investors. Get ready to hear about how GoCardless enjoyed the experience!

Day 1

08:00 Alfonso, Carles and Nicola get ready for the action

With an event like this on the horizon, getting up early is not so painful. We had our stand ready before the official doors were opened. The market place was our territory. It was the space where all the networking would occur and the meeting point for all the startups, corporate partners, accelerators and institutions. It was the place to be!

Alfonso Sainz de Baranda, our Country Manager in Spain, and Carles Marcos, Sales Development Representative for Spain, were the first to arrive and prepare everything for any early visitors. Of course, we displayed all our keychains, hats and jackets (they were the key to some major networking, but we’ll get there soon...)

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in Business

Moving to cloud accounting – the benefits for your business

When managing business finances, you want the processes to be effective and consistent – and to take up as little time as possible.

But if you’re still managing accounts using Excel spreadsheets, paper files or traditional desktop accounting software then you’re losing a huge amount of that potential productivity. Time-consuming data-entry, poor integration with your systems and hours messing around with complicated formulae all eat into the working day and stop you achieving your goals.

By moving to one of the new breed of cloud accounting platforms, you not only improve the efficiency of your processes, but also gain a whole raft of benefits that can only be achieved by using an online financial management solution.

So, what are these benefits? And why is cloud accounting such a positive move for the longer-term success of your organisation?

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in Business

How to avoid credit card fees with Direct Debit

Direct Debit could be the answer for businesses looking to avoid the increase in card processing fees after Visa removed its interchange cap earlier in September.

The change mainly affects garages, travel agents and other B2B businesses that accept customer payments by Visa debit card. Those merchants with Average Transaction Values (ATV) above £245 will be the most heavily affected.

This is not the first time Visa has made changes to its fee structure. In March 2015, the company changed its debit interchange rate from a fixed rate per transaction (8p for chip & pin) to an “ad-valorem” (% of transaction value) rate of 0.2% + 1p. This move created higher costs on all transactions above £35, particularly affecting merchants with higher value transactions.

But now that the new changes are in place, merchants are seeing significant increases in processing costs. For example, according to recent figures from CardSwitcher, a travel agent with a £500 – £1,000 transaction value would see their debit processing costs double or quadruple. A garage selling used cars at £5,000 – £10,000 would see their costs rocket by thousands of percent.

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in Business

Direct Debit flies ahead for UK subscriptions

Subscription services have really taken off in the UK in the last few years. With so many of us feeling increasingly squeezed for time, we take enthusiastic advantage of having our essentials delivered to our door, whenever we want them. Thanks to the internet age, busy people can now subscribe to all manner of products and services, from the traditional magazine and newspaper subscriptions to more random, slightly quirkier items such as underwear, makeup, or even bacon!

With all these subscriptions (and rashers of bacon) flying about, how do people usually pay for them? We at GoCardless were in a curious mood recently. So we decided to gather some opinions from across the country about how people prefer to pay for their favourite subscriptions. What we found out not only surprised us, but also encouraged us.

We commissioned YouGov to conduct a survey for us, exploring the UK’s favourite subscription payment methods. We wanted to know how comfortable people were with using different payment methods to pay for their digital or physical subscriptions. This could be any product or service for which they pay a regular monthly fee. Here’s what YouGov found out.

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in Business

Why Global Britain is driving the fintech revolution

The UK’s history of innovation goes back a long way. Ever since the Industrial Revolution, we have carved out a far-reaching global reputation for creative thought and technological excellence. But national reputations only stick if they are backed up by concrete action - and ours has remained solid because we live it every day.

In the world of finance in particular, much of UK innovation has been driven by London. In an environment where technology meets banking heavyweights, it seems a natural progression for fintech companies such as GoCardless to emerge and flourish.

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in Business

What makes an awesome company culture?

The world of work has come a long way over the last decade.

Where once employees were expected to suit up and bring their most serious work face to the office, these days it’s more about artisanal coffee, flexible working, and regular company events.

Call it a hangover from the tech startups of Silicon Valley, but whatever the source, employee expectations of work have changed. There’s no going back.

Our parents and grandparents grew up in a world where your studies led you into a job for life. If you were lucky, your boss would present you with a gold watch when you retired. In those days people used to think that security was the most important element of a job.

But today’s workforce sees things differently. For them, driven by legions of technological advances and global opportunities, companies are compelled to offer more than simply job security. Employees are looking for meaning. And they find it in the culture of the company they work for.

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in Business

How to get paid more quickly this summer

The grey skies of London don’t look especially promising as August dawns today. But here at GoCardless HQ, we hope to brighten your day just a little by exploring ways to get your incoming payments under control. Wouldn’t it be great to have extra cash in the pipeline, just in time for summer?

For many small businesses, late paying customers are a constant headache.

Chasing them wastes valuable time and manpower. But even worse, late payments affect your cash flow. This may cause your business to miss out on important opportunities simply because of a lack of available cash. It’s frustrating to send yet another payment reminder on an overdue invoice, only to be met with an excuse, or even worse, with complete silence.

At GoCardless, we specialise in taking payments by Direct Debit. So we firmly believe this is the most effective method for accepting recurring payments. Direct Debit allows you to take control of your payments and get paid on time. Here are a number of additional tips to handle late-paying customers and retrieve the money you’re owed.

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