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.
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.
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’.
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!
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.
‘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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about the timing and scheduling of Bacs payments.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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?
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!
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.
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!
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...)
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.