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Now you can take one-off bank-to-bank payments instantly with GoCardless

Michael Bridgman

By Michael BridgmanApr 20213 min read

Back in December of last year, GoCardless Founder and CEO Hiroki Takeuchi shared the news of our $95million Series F funding round. In his announcement, he signalled our intention to invest heavily in open banking technology. 

Why? Because we believe that GoCardless can continue to improve bank-to-bank payments for businesses around the world, by adding open banking functionality into our platform. 

And today marks the launch of our first open-banking powered feature: Instant Bank Pay. With Instant Bank Pay, you can take instant, one-off bank-to-bank payments from new and existing customers while still reaping the benefits of bank debit for recurring payments.

Taking one-off payments in addition to regular recurring payments has previously been too complicated

85% of recurring revenue businesses need to collect one-off payments, in addition to their typical subscription, invoice or instalment payments*. This could easily include:

  • Taking a first-time payment when setting up a recurring payment mandate

  • Collecting payment for additional services beyond scheduled payments

  • Topping up an account with a one-off payment

  • Collecting a payment that has failed

And while bank debit is great for recurring payments, it’s not suitable for the times you need to take a one-off payment. This causes businesses to turn to other forms of payment like cards and bank transfers. 

The problem is - aside from the fact that requiring your customers to use more than one payment method negatively affects the payment experience - these payment methods are not fit for purpose.

Credit cards, which are typically used for initial payments, have costly transaction fees and high failure rates.

Bank transfers, which may be used to take one-off payments, have a poor user experience (a particularly big problem for businesses at the mercy of customer and subscriber churn).

These unsuitable payment methods have led to businesses accepting high costs, lower conversion caused by poorly optimized payment flows, and the risk of the high failure rates that come with cards. 

Instant Bank Pay now offers an alternative that’s optimised for one-off payments.

What makes Instant Bank Pay different?

Practically speaking, Instant Bank Pay involves three simple steps:

  1. Send a payment request Add Instant Bank Pay to your checkout, or send your customer a link requesting payment.

  2. Your customer authorises payment We connect your customer to their bank and they authorise the payment.

  3. Payment completed Once payment is made, you both receive an instant confirmation.

This simple process, combined with the fact that the entire experience is integrated into the GoCardless platform, means there are several major benefits to Instant Bank Pay:

Instant payment confirmation

You and your customer get real-time payment confirmation, so you both have peace of mind that each instant payment has been authorised and will be collected successfully. 

A seamless user experience

Increase payer conversion by getting rid of the need to enter card details or sending your customers away from your payment journey to send a bank transfer.

Lower fees than other common methods

Instant Bank Pay is typically 25% cheaper than online card transactions.

Less needless admin 

With no need for manual reconciliation of payments and just one integrated system for one-off and recurring payments, minimise unnecessary admin.

Turning failed payments into a positive customer experience

As part of our Early Access programme, Broadband provider Cuckoo Broadband is already seeing real results with Instant Bank Pay. Cuckoo is using the feature to collect one-off payments from customers where a payment has failed. 

During this pilot, two-thirds of customers who experienced a failed payment were able to benefit from using Instant Bank Pay. Of those, 86% were able to make a successful payment within 48 hours, minimising disruption to their service. 

Plus, before Instant Bank Pay the process of chasing and collecting a failed payment could take 21 days. Using this feature, Cuckoo has the capability to reduce this to just seven days.

Speaking about the pilot, Alexander Fitzgerald, Founder and CEO at Cuckoo, said: 

“As one of the most loved broadband firms in the country, we're taking on a broken industry with simple pricing, fair contracts and exceptional service. GoCardless is a real innovator in the payments space meaning that our customers have a seamless payment experience when switching to us and paying their monthly bill.”

"Instant Bank Pay from GoCardless has already helped us to save admin time chasing down one-off failed payments, while also improving the experience of dealing with your utility, which we know no one really wants to do.”

Revolutionising bank-to-bank payments with open banking

At GoCardless, we’ve specialised in bank-to-bank payments for over 10 years. Instant Bank Pay is simply the first of many open banking features we’re working on to further improve bank-to-bank payments, regardless of whether you have an ongoing or one-off relationship with your customers.

Combatting payment fraud without sacrificing conversion is the next universal payment struggle we’re busy solving. Watch this space.

Find out more about exactly how Instant Bank Pay can help your business take one-off payments.

Instant Bank Pay

Complement your recurring payments with a simple, convenient way to collect one-off payments powered by open banking.

Find out more

*The research cited in this release was conducted by GoCardless and covers 2,400 businesses across the UK, France, Spain, Germany, the US, and Australia. The survey was carried out online from 8 Feb to 22 Feb 2021.

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