in Announcements, Business

Protecting our customers’ data: GDPR and the GoCardless Privacy Programme

Protecting our customers’ data is a priority for GoCardless. With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into effect in May, we welcome the opportunity to deepen our commitment in the area of data privacy.

We are making changes to our policies, processes, products and systems to ensure that we comply with the Regulation and continue to put data protection first. We’re also committed to helping our customers meet their requirements under the Regulation.

GDPR: A new data privacy landscape

Advances in technology over the last decade have led to the proliferation of personal data. More organisations are sharing and collecting different types of personal data than ever before: from IP addresses through to health data, purchasing behaviour, viewing preferences and more.

  • From 25 May 2018, organisations who handle personal data will need to meet new legal requirements, as the General Data Protection Regulation comes into effect across the EU (replacing the 1995 EU Data Protection Directive).
  • On the same day, the UK’s Data Protection Bill will pass into law, as the Data Protection Act 2018, effectively implementing the GDPR into UK law.

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GoCardless and GDPR
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in Announcements, Business

New Bacs Direct Debit rules make it easier for customers to switch provider

We’re delighted to share news that Direct Debit providers can no longer stop customers from switching to another provider, thanks to changes in the Direct Debit scheme rules, announced by Bacs on 10 November and supported by the UK Payment Systems Regulator (PSR).

We believe that every business should be able to move between payment providers freely, so we’re delighted that Bacs is making these rule changes, which GoCardless has campaigned for since 2015.

What is changing?

Under the old rules, companies who processed Direct Debit on behalf of merchants (sometimes known as Facilities Management or ‘FM providers’), could request that an outgoing Direct Debit provider transfer across all of a customer’s existing Direct Debit mandates to them, known as the bulk change process. However, the outgoing FM provider was under no obligation to meet that request.

The new rules, which take effect from January 2018, require all FM Direct Debit providers using the Bacs Direct Debit scheme to be certified by Bacs. As part of that certification, FM providers must commit to use the bulk change process.

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10 questions to ask your Direct Debit provider
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in Announcements

Average customer response time halved in 12 months, thanks to new support centre

A little over a year ago, we announced the launch of our new support centre, in a drive to help customers find answers to their questions faster.

With these changes, not only can our users find answers to their questions more quickly and without having to get in touch with GoCardless, but those who do get in touch receive a greatly-improved service.

I’m delighted to share that since launching the support centre:

  • On average, we’re now responding to queries within 6 business hours; a huge improvement when compared with our previous 13-hour average.
  • Our response time SLA has reduced from two working days to one.
  • The average time it takes us to resolve a customer query has also greatly reduced.
  • The level of service we’re able to offer has become far more consistent.

Our efforts have gained us some recognition and I’m delighted to share that last week, the team picked up the award for Most Effective Self Service Initiative at the European Contact Centre and Customer Service Awards (ECCCSAs).

Data-driven approach to improving support

It’s true to say that our customers are in the driving seat when it comes to improving the support we give, whether they realise it or not!

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Incident review: API and Dashboard outage on 10 October 2017

This post represents the collective work of our Core Infrastructure team's investigation into our API and Dashboard outage on 10 October 2017.

As a payments company, we take reliability very seriously. We hope that the transparency in technical write-ups like this reflects that.

We have included a high-level summary of the incident, and a more detailed technical breakdown of what happened, our investigation, and changes we've made since.

Summary

On the afternoon of 10 October 2017, we experienced an outage of our API and Dashboard, lasting 1 hour and 50 minutes. Any requests made during that time failed, and returned an error.

The cause of the incident was a hardware failure on our primary database node, combined with unusual circumstances that prevented our database cluster automation from promoting one of the replica database nodes to act as the new primary.

This failure to promote a new primary database node extended an outage that would normally last 1 or 2 minutes to one that lasted almost 2 hours.

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in Announcements, Business

GoCardless is one of UK’s fastest growing tech companies in Deloitte Fast 50

The GoCardless team celebrates being named in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50

We’re thrilled to be recognised as one of the UK’s fastest growing technology companies for the second year running, in Deloitte’s 2017 UK Technology Fast 50.

GoCardless came in 8th place overall, with a growth rate of 2097% over the last four years. We were the third fastest-growing fintech business, after betting exchange business Smarkets and our close friends and GoCardless customer, Receipt Bank.

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in Announcements

Changes to email security for Pro merchants

We launched GoCardless Pro back in 2014 to give merchants more control over their customer experience, making it possible to guarantee your business name appearing on customers' bank statements, build your own Direct Debit mandate setup flow and have more control over notifications sent to customers.

Direct Debit schemes require that you send customers "advance notice", letting them know when payments will leave their account. Merchants on the Pro package can send these themselves, or have GoCardless send clean, unbranded and compliant notifications on their behalf.

Most of our merchants choose to use GoCardless' built-in notifications, making it quicker to get up and running and avoid worries about compliance.

Until now, if you were on Pro, we've sent these notifications so they appear to come from your email address, as well as displaying your name in the "From" header. We also set the "Reply To" so that replies from your customers with queries or questions go directly to you.

This is how emails currently look to your customers.

What's changed?

Since we built this functionality three years ago, a lot has changed in the email security landscape, particularly with the growing popularity of DomainKey Identified Mail (known as DKIM) which makes it more difficult to send emails that look like they come from someone else - often called "spoofing".

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in Announcements

GoCardless named ‘Xero App Partner of the Year’ at Xerocon London

We’re overjoyed to share the news that GoCardless has been named ‘Xero App Partner of the Year’ at this year’s Xerocon London awards ceremony!

We were up against some stiff competition in the Xero App Partner category from our friends at Futrli, Receipt Bank and Movemybooks, so we’re over the moon to have been handed this award by Xero founder, Rod Drury, and Xero MD, Gary Turner.

Our sincere thanks go out to everyone who’s supported our new and improved GoCardless for Xero integration in 2016 – you’ve made it a fantastic journey, and very special thanks must go to our partners at Directli and at Xero HQ. Thank you so much.

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GoCardless for Xero
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Announcing $22.5m in new funding to build our global payments network

On the back of our record annual growth in the UK and strong traction in new markets, we’re excited to announce that we’ve raised $22.5m from Accel, Balderton Capital, Notion Capital and Passion Capital. We will use this new round of funding to accelerate our creation of the first global bank-to-bank payments network.

Our payments network solves a universal problem; how to bring together recurring payment solutions that remain fragmented across countries. In the past, most businesses using these solutions were domestic, with no need for international reach.

But in our increasingly globalised world this situation is no longer viable, especially with the dramatic growth of global subscriptions and SaaS platforms. As a growing number of businesses go global, they face endless frustrations in managing payments across multiple territories.

GoCardless has the perfect head start to solving one of the financial world’s most enduring challenges. We’ve engineered a way to simply plug recurring payments into existing systems across the world, so businesses can focus on the issues that really matter.

Our users are already collecting payments across the UK, Eurozone and Sweden. Australia and Denmark are coming soon, with more to follow. Over the coming months and years, our mission is to enable businesses around the world to process recurring payments from anywhere, to anywhere - in any currency.

This new funding round is not our only key milestone this year. We now process more than $4bn worth of transactions a year, across more than 30,000 organisations in the UK and Europe.

Our existing partnerships are flourishing, with QuickBooks, Xero and Zuora along with many others, and we’ve just announced a new partnership with Sage.

I’m very excited about our next steps and proud of the hard work we’ve already done to get this far. Our ongoing success is thanks to our incredibly loyal and supportive users, both in the UK and further afield.

Going forward, we plan to use the knowledge we’ve gained in the UK and across Europe to solve a major challenge that affects businesses collecting payments globally. In the process, we’ll be taking another step closer to achieving our vision of building a global payments network for the internet.

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