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GoCardless and Xero: Powering small businesses

Rachel Astall

By Rachel AstallAug 20213 min read

Commitment to small businesses makes GoCardless and Xero a perfect match

For too many small business owners, chasing payments is a full-time job. And that’s on top of all their other full-time jobs: meeting customers, generating new business, fulfilling orders, hiring and training staff, maintaining the company website, staying active on social media, and countless more.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. GoCardless was made to solve many of the challenges small businesses have with payments. Whether that’s automating the collection of recurring payments, or removing the stress of following up on late payments. And for all the other small business problems we can’t solve ourselves, we’re happy to find partners who can help.

One such partner is Xero, an accounting platform that helps small businesses to manage their finances and work more easily with their professional advisors. Thanks to an integration with GoCardless, Xero customers are able to automatically collect and reconcile payments and reduce time spent on bookkeeping.

According to Ben Johnson, Xero’s Director of Financial Partnerships, that makes GoCardless and Xero the perfect match. “The mission that we're on is to be the most trusted and insightful small business platform,” he said. “And so we're really, really passionate about partnerships that are centred around solving customer problems, like helping our customers get paid faster.”

Get paid in half the time

Between us, GoCardless and Xero now have more than 10,000 active users. Compared to Xero customers that don’t use GoCardless, these businesses benefit from getting paid up to twice as fast. That’s money in the bank sooner. “We're really proud of the results that we've been able to deliver for those users,” said Pranav Sood, VP Small Business, GoCardless.

“Customers generally have a wonderful experience getting started with GoCardless and getting paid – there’s a real ‘wow’ factor,” added Ben. “And so we really invest in this relationship because it's a wonderful tool that helps our customers run more successful businesses.”

Customer praise for GoCardless

We recently spoke to four customers to learn more about the experiences and outcomes enabled by GoCardless and Xero. Along the way, we discovered benefits ranging from avoiding credit card processing fees to mitigating foreign exchange risks. 

Carrie Pollack, owner of Diaper Stork, a Seattle-based cloth diaper service and baby boutique, told us that the integration between Xero and GoCardless had saved her time and money. “Having a really seamless integration, and being able to reduce my credit card processing fees by 2%, really does help small businesses,” she said.

Meanwhile, UK-based Startle, which curates atmospheres for retail and hospitality brands, turned to GoCardless as a payments solution that would enable growth without increasing costs. CEO Adam Castleton said: “When it comes to payments for us, it's all about automation. How can we onboard new customers and not create an additional overhead as we grow the business? Essentially it was GoCardless’ integration into Xero that allowed us to do that.”

Sam Coulton, CFO at Re-Leased, told us that the integration with GoCardless helped the commercial property management software provider to mitigate foreign exchange risks associated with international payments. “The GoCardless direct debit system saved us $10,000 a month in fees that we were paying to banks,” he said.

And, finally, with the help of Xero and GoCardless, restaurant booking platform and mobile app EatClub has bounced back from the disruption of the global COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re beginning to grow exponentially once again, as we were pre-COVID,” said Pan Koutaklis, Co-founder & CEO. “For us, it's really about having a reliable system that works seamlessly within our finance processes to continue to scale. And we've got that currently in the GoCardless and Xero solution.”

Partners beyond technology

Through its partnerships with like-minded providers, GoCardless brings businesses a best-in-class payments solution without them having to worry about doing it all themselves.

But Xero’s Ben Johnson believes that his experience with GoCardless shows how successful partnerships need more than complementary technologies – they require a shared commitment. He said:

“Particularly as you choose to really deeply embed a third-party solution in your product, one of the things that you realise quite quickly is that they become an extension of your product or service. Thus they become an extension of your brand and of your customer experience.”

GoCardless’ Pranav Sood agreed: “When I look at the partnerships that are the strongest and the deepest, they're the ones where we have the most common ground when it comes to what we're trying to achieve. And so for us, that means that we fit in really smoothly into the value proposition that they're building for their customers.” 

Powering small businesses to focus on what really matters

GoCardless works hard to ensure its partnerships are characterised by proactive engagement. Where others might simply provide API access and expect partners to drive their integration in isolation, GoCardless is committed to enabling partners with great support.

In the words of Sood, that means keeping them in the loop on both the payments offerings that GoCardless has today and any that are planned for the future.

“That way our partners can position themselves as thought leaders and give their customers access to the best new ideas and innovations,” he said.

For Xero’s customers that has resulted in more than powering small businesses to reduce admin and overheads around chasing and reconciling payments. It has meant making space for their owners and staff to maximise time spent on the work that matters most to them.

GoCardless is used by over 60,000 businesses around the world. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

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