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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.

As well as working hard, here at GoCardless we’ve also been playing hard. We surpassed ourselves by throwing two rounds of the fantastic Quarterly Report bash for our friends in tech and beyond, and also had a very enjoyable time at the GoCardless Christmas party.

So once again it’s time to hand over the spotlight to our amazing people, to let them explain exactly why 2016 at GoCardless was rather awesome.

Cleaning up with Customer Success

We helped Peterborough City Council streamline their recently-introduced garden waste tax, providing easy online payments to make the controversial new charges easier for residents to handle. Residents no longer needed to worry about making payments on time - and the lower processing costs helped the city council to manage their budget more effectively. Everyone’s a winner!

Engineering & Product

Connecting to our Partners

Just recently we launched a one-stop shop for all our partner integrations. This highlights the fantastic range of useful GoCardless integrations currently available - and we’ll regularly update it as we add even more over the coming months.

Improving the Developer Experience

“We launched our new developer site, as we wanted to make the experience for developers getting started with our API as good as possible. We want to guide people through in the language they’re using.

“It was especially great working with users of our API to get feedback on the content we were writing, bringing them into the office and getting them to run through the drafts (and sending them GoCardless swag as a thank you!) We’ve had great feedback and more people than ever are getting started with our API”

-- Tim, Engineering

Diving into DevOps

Back in November we kicked off the new GoCardless DevOps Event Series with our first DevOps event, The Insider Talks. Our very own Chris Sinjakli presented "Lessons Learned the Hard Way: Postgres in Production at GoCardless" and Simon Vans-Colina presented "DevOps at Monzo". The event was a resounding success and we’re hoping to host many more in 2017.

ISO27001 certified

“This year we were awarded ISO 27001 certification, a widely recognised, internationally accepted standard for information security. This will be reassessed annually by an independent auditor. Having ISO 27001 certification helps assure our merchants and their customers that we take security and business continuity management seriously.”

-- Nick, Engineering

Big things happening in Sales

“For me it was launching with Sage. They are one of the biggest tech companies to ever come out of the UK and it's fantastic to add such a big name to our ever growing list of clients.”

-- George, Sales

“We doubled the size of our UK sales team. We also created a useful process for cracking new verticals on a mass scale, focusing on our work with the local government and Peterborough City Council in particular.“

-- Mia, Sales

Newsletters and newborns in Marketing

“My highlights were being involved with the launch of the GoCardless newsletter, plus co-ordinating a successful events calendar for 2016. Also, getting married and having Forrest be one of the GoCardless babies of 2016!”

-- Ross, Marketing

All-new integrations in Partnerships

“For me it had to be launching several new integrations, including GoCardless for Quickbooks, a new version of GoCardless for Xero, along with Chargebee and WooCommerce.”

-- Josh, Partnerships

Success at South Summit in Spain

“Nobody could resist GoCardless swag in our first ever Spanish event. Even the main politicians of Madrid wanted to wear our jackets!”

-- Alfonso, Global

Brand new Customer Support Centre

Mid September saw the launch of the brand new GoCardless Support Centre, offering significant improvement on our previous FAQs page.

"We’re really excited about the potential of our new support centre for making our product and service knowledge base easily accessible and readily available for our merchants and their customers. We’ve got many more great ideas up our sleeves for improvements and will be continuing to add more content throughout 2017."

-- James, Support

Winning at Dodgeball London

“The GoCardless team won the Dodgeball London quarterly tournament!”

-- Steve and Alex

Party Central at GoCardless

Quarterly Report

We invited our friends, partners and customers old and new from London's tech community for a civilised social gathering over cocktails, music, and stacks and stacks of pizza!

Cocktail-making, cookie-baking

2016 was sprinkled with assorted team events, ranging from cocktail-making to cookie baking, proper cooking lessons, white-water rafting, BBQing in the park, zapping each other at laser tag - along with numerous opportunities for the GoCardless team to go out for dinner and drinks together.

Putting on the Ritz with our French team

The folks at Koala Telecom, one of our French merchants, were so delighted with the GoCardless product that they took us out to tea at the Ritz. Well one of us anyway. For the lucky recipient, Côme, in the France inbound sales team, that was definitely his highlight of 2016.

Overall, 2016 has been a successful, productive and, most of all, fun year at GoCardless. Here’s to an even better 2017! We wish everyone a very happy new year.

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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.

“We’re really excited to see our achievements recognised internationally as well as in the UK,” said Robert Whiteside, GoCardless.

“It was fitting to receive the award in the Eiffel Tower, itself created by one of the greatest innovators of his age, while being surrounded by the world’s most exciting 21st century innovators.

“At GoCardless we’ve been privileged 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, both within the UK and further afield.”

The Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA programme is an objective industry ranking that recognises the fastest-growing technology companies in EMEA over the past four years. It’s supported by the various Deloitte Technology Fast 50 initiatives, ranking high-growth technology companies by specifically defined geographic area.

Now in its sixteenth year, the 2016 programme included 28 countries and companies with growth rates from 212 percent to 28,126 percent. This year’s winners were selected based on percentage fiscal-year revenue growth from 2012 to 2015.

In the 2016 Fast 500 final ranking, the overall winner was Swedish software company Fingerprint Cards, which produces user-friendly biometric fingerprint solutions for use in securing electronic items. Fingerprint Cards had an impressive growth of 28126%. Congratulations!

GoCardless shares the top ten with one other UK company, Brain Labs Digital, the UK winner, taking fifth place in the ranking. Overall, the Fast 500 top ten represents a wide range of countries and diversity within the tech scene, including Israel, France, Sweden, Turkey, Norway, Poland, Austria and of course the UK.

We hope to take on the Fast 500 challenge once again in 2017, achieving more growth and the chance to rank even higher next time!

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in People

What's up at GoCardless: November 2016

📷 Matt Heath @mattheath

2nd November - The DevOps Series: Insider Talks

The Insider Talks is the first event on GoCardless DevOps Event Series. Our own Chris Sinjakli presented "Lessons Learned the Hard Way: Postgres in Production at GoCardless" and Simon Vans-Colina presented "DevOps at Monzo". Stay tuned for more information on the next event!

16th November - Trans*Code London Remembrance Social

The Trans*Code community has had a busy year. It was one marked by incredible accomplishments from members of our community, but also touched by loss. One of our much loved community members, Emily Voukelatos, passed away earlier this year. Her coworkers, friends and members of the Trans*Code community created an event to gather and remember her, while looking back at the year that's ended and forward to the one ahead.

21st November - The Family. Stop Paying for It: How to Not Waste Money as an Entrepreneur, by Oussama Ammar

Join TheFamily for a talk by Oussama Ammar, Co-founder & Partner at TheFamily, to hear about how you can stop wasting cash. 💸


Wondering what we’re up to next month?

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.

Direct Debit has played a key role in enabling the success of Bacs, with its continuing popularity in the UK certain to have boosted the organisation’s growth. Latest figures show that 9 out of 10 adults in the UK have at least one active Direct Debit and pay around 73% of their household bills using this payment method.

The success of Bacs and Direct Debit spells good news for the cutting-edge payments solutions that are now supporting them, such as the Direct Debit payment system offered by GoCardless. As the UK’s number one Direct Debit provider, it’s interesting to consider where we fit into this.

We’re not only simplifying Direct Debit for businesses large and small, but we’re also supporting the growth of Bacs as we go. In fact, between April and September 2016, we increased our volume of Direct Debit transactions processed by 36% - contributing to the overall 5.4% that Bacs managed to achieve. Pretty impressive, if we do say so ourselves!

Direct Debit has been around for many years. In fact, it’s the UK’s favourite payment method with its usage continuing to grow. Direct Debit has gained such a strong reputation in part because customers are protected by the reliable Direct Debit Guarantee. Direct Debit is also very simple to set up - with money is taken automatically from your account on the specified day. There’s no need to update your details, unlike when using credit and debit cards.

Bacs CEO Michael Chambers sees the great results of Bacs and Direct Debit as a vote of confidence in “simple, reliable and convenient solutions for users”, which form an integral part of the UK’s financial infrastructure.

At GoCardless, we’re playing our part in supporting the UK’s innovative payments environment, while also helping Direct Debit to grow and flourish. In particular, we’ve opened up access to Direct Debit for many small businesses that couldn’t use it before. At the same time, we’re offering customers such as Vax and Thomas Cook a new way for their customers to pay - in convenient instalments.

The future looks bright for Direct Debit, which has consistently proven its worth as a reliable, safe and convenient payment method.

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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.”

The Fast 50 awards are a fixture in the UK technology arena, having been around for almost two decades. Deloitte launched the award programme in 1998, to recognise growth driven by the leading technology companies. Today, the awards celebrate the UK’s finest examples of innovation and entrepreneurship. Now in its 19th successful year, the Fast 50 is an acknowledgement of the UK’s 50 fastest-growing companies, with rankings based on revenue growth over the previous four years.

In the fintech industry, GoCardless, Smarkets, KANTOX and WorldRemit reached the top ten of the Fast 50. Overall, the 50 top companies generated £884 million in total annual revenue in the year 2015/16, employed more than 7,100 people and recorded an average four-year growth rate of 1,240%.

Previous Fast 50 winners have included companies of all sizes from across the UK, including some of the country’s most dynamic players. Between them, the companies focus on many diverse areas of technology, including specialists in fintech, biotech, digital media technology, life sciences, software and telecommunications.

As this award win demonstrates, our success is due not only to an innovative product that solves pressing business problems, but also to our genuine commitment to making GoCardless a great place to work and do business with.

We’re very excited about our plans to expand both domestically and internationally over the next few years. Our vision is to turn payments into one less barrier to doing business with anyone, anywhere in the world.

We're building a new global bank-to-bank payments network.
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