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5 objections to paying by Direct Debit and how to respond

The average UK person has 6 Direct Debits in place at any one time. So, even if Direct Debit is new to your business, your customers probably already use it to pay their household bills, their gym memberships or into their savings for example.

Still, asking customers to change the way they pay you isn’t always easy, so, to help, we’ve created this complete guide to getting your customers to pay by Direct Debit.

In this blog, we outline some of the common objections that you might get - with some tips on how to respond to them.

“I don’t want to change my processes”

Explain how moving to Direct Debit will benefit customers. For example, they won’t have to remember to pay each month, or update their card details after one expires.

You can also quickly run through the process with them and show them how simple it is to enter their details and sign-up.

If, after this, your customers are still reluctant to move to Direct Debit, ask them what specifically it is about moving that worries or concerns them, to see if you can meet them halfway. Or highlight some other additional benefits like being able to choose their payment date, or spreading their payments into instalments.

“I don’t have time”

Show the customer how simple it is to sign-up by walking through the process with them.

Then outline that moving to Direct Debit will actually save them time in the long run. You can do this by comparing Direct Debit to their current payment method. For example, taking a few seconds to fill in a Direct Debit form now, will mean they don’t have to take a few minutes each month manually setting up a bank transfer.

“I want to stay in control of payments”

Let the customer know that you will still send invoices or agree payment in advance with them. You can also reassure them that they will be notified three days before each payment is taken, and that they can cancel their Direct Debit at any time to stop any future payments being taken.

Take the time to explain how any payments made by Direct Debit are protected by the Direct Debit Guarantee - which secures a refund of any payment taken in error.

If your business supports it, it can also help to let customers know they can change their payment date at any time by contacting you.

“I’m worried about using GoCardless, I’ve never heard of them”

Entering bank details online can make some customers think twice, so it’s important to reassure them that their details are in safe hands.

Explain to them that GoCardless is the UK’s leading Direct Debit provider, processing over £5 billion in payments annually for more than 30,000 organisations including Thomas Cook, The Guardian and HM Government.

You can also let them know that GoCardless is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to provide payment services as an Authorised Payment Institution. GoCardless is also ISO 27001 accredited, (ISO 27001 is a widely recognised, internationally accepted standard for information security).

This is also a good opportunity to remind customers that payments by Direct Debit are protected more than those made by standing order or card payment because of the Direct Debit Guarantee.

“I always pay you on time, so I don’t see why I should have to change”

Thank the customer for being a prompt, reliable payer before explaining the challenges that you face with admin overheads or other cash flow challenges.

Take the time to explain that while the current systems works for some, having customers on more than one payment method is more work for you.

This is also a good opportunity to explain how moving to Direct Debit will improve the efficiency of your business and how you plan on using the saved time to benefit your customers.

If your customers still don’t want to change the way they pay, you can always incentivise Direct Debit as a payment option. For example, you can offer a discounted rate, free gift or freebie to those who choose to pay by Direct Debit. These types of deal can be implemented either as a constant deal or as a limited time offer.

How to get customers to pay by Direct Debit
View the guide