in Business

Looking to grow your fitness business? Check out our new resources

Check out our new resources for fitness business owners

This month we launched our first ever e-Guide for fitness business owners in partnership with teamup. We spoke to 283 independent fitness business owners to find out how they run their business, what they’re looking to achieve in the next year and what their biggest obstacles are.

Unsurprisingly, business growth was top of mind for our respondents, and they identified marketing and admin as two of the biggest challenges.

Continue reading...

Free e-Guide for fitness business owners
Download now
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.

Continue reading...

We're building a new global bank-to-bank payments network
Want to join us?
in Business

Recurring payments in numbers

We often get asked by customers: how popular is Direct Debit as a payment method?

Businesses need to take into account customer preferences when deciding on what payment methods to offer. Of course, preferences vary according to your customer base and product or service, but overall, Direct Debit remains a popular choice for regular payments, including monthly invoices, subscriptions, memberships and paying by instalment.

We know that the number of Direct Debit payments made in the UK is increasing, but it hasn't always been easy to see what proportion of regular payments made in the UK are made by Direct Debit.

This year, Payments UK broke down its UK Payment Markets 2017 research into 'spontaneous' (one-off payments, including retail and ecommerce) and 'regular' (recurring payments).

Direct Debit comes out as the UK's preferred method for making regular payments, accounting for 74% of all payments made by volume. The research also shows that regular payments made by credit and debit card dropped 16% in 2016. Take a look at the graphic below for some more interesting stats.

Continue reading...

How to optimise recurring payments
Check out our guide
in Business

10 tips to keep your membership organisation fighting fit

How to keep your membership organisation fighting fit

In this latest guest post from membership sector expert, Richard Gott, we look at how membership organisations are adapting their offerings to meet the needs of members today, and give 10 practical tips to enable change.

If you were able to completely rebuild your membership organisation (and its current systems and processes) from scratch, would it look the same as it does today?

I pitched that question to 10 senior management team members from a range of established membership organisations and associations. All (without hesitation and a few with a knowing look) said no.

Many UK membership organisations and associations were set up decades ago, to meet the very different member needs of yesteryear.

Continue reading...

Direct Debit for membership organisations
Find out more
in Business

5 Direct Debit myths debunked

We debunk the most common myths about Direct Debit

It’s been a British institution since the 1960s, but in the last half century, Direct Debit has gone from clunky and paper-based, to sleek, slick and simple. In this post, we’ll clear up some common misconceptions around Direct Debit, giving you the latest on the UK’s most popular method for collecting recurring payments.

Myth 1: Gaining access to Direct Debit is difficult

In the past, you could only access Direct Debit directly, through your bank. The process was (and still is in some cases) slow and required significant effort and expense for the person applying - in both setup and ongoing management.

For large businesses with high transaction volumes, who can meet the revenue criteria of banks and who don’t mind hiring people to manage the process (and sourcing their own software), direct access may still be the preferred route.

But today, there's a simpler way to access Direct Debit - indirectly, via a bureau that manages the Direct Debit process with the bank on your behalf. Bureaus like GoCardless provide an online plug-in-and-go service, significantly reducing setup time and cost, as well as ongoing management and admin.

Myth 2: Direct Debit is unsafe

Continue reading...

Direct Debit it the digital age
Find out more
in Business

Xerocon London 2017: People, tech and a drive to innovate

Xerocon 2017 opens to more than 2000 attendees and 60 exhibitors

At GoCardless, we love Xerocon. We were there for Xero’s annual tech conference in 2016, and we were excited to be heading back for our second year as an exhibitor and sponsor at last week’s Xerocon London 2017 event at the London ExCel centre.

It’s the key event of the year for Xero online accounting, with over 2,000 attendees and 60 exhibitors, and an opportunity for the Xero team to share all the new updates, tools and innovations that Xero users can expect over the next 12 months.

As ever, there was a lot to take in, so let us run you through our key highlights.

Continue reading...

GoCardless for Xero
Find out more

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.

Interested in joining GoCardless?
We're hiring
in Announcements, Business

Removing obstacles to Direct Debit bulk changes: action by the regulator

The UK’s Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has just announced a public consultation on whether Bacs should be required to change its Direct Debit rules.

Currently, organisations not sponsored by a Bacs member can use Direct Debit providers/bureaus to maintain Direct Debit payments on their behalf. This includes providers that manage the money flows, as well as the setting up of the Direct Debits themselves (known as FM providers, of which GoCardless is one).

Under current rules, an organisation can request that an outgoing FM provider transfers over all existing Direct Debit mandates to a new provider, known as the bulk change process, but the outgoing FM provider is under no obligation to meet that request.

After almost two years of lobbying, our regulator (the PSR, part of the FCA) has drawn a number of preliminary conclusions, and has set out its intention to require Bacs to implement a rule change. This will ensure bulk changes can’t be blocked by outgoing providers.

Why are bulk changes refused?

Some Direct Debit providers won’t allow their customers to bulk change to GoCardless - for no good reason. This is bad for merchants, their customers, and the industry as a whole. Since late 2015, our legal team, armed with evidence and insights from our customers and support team, has been working hard to bring this unfair and anti-competitive practice to an end.

PSR public consultation

GoCardless initially raised the issue with the aforementioned providers, but with no luck. Having pursued the issue as far as possible with our sponsor bank, and Bacs themselves, we turned to the regulator. We first wrote to the Payment Systems Regulator in early 2016, setting out the issue, and our view of the impact on the payments ecosystem. That was followed by a series of meetings with the PSR and consultations by Bacs.

The PSR can require Bacs to implement a change to the scheme rules if it deems a change necessary to further the PSR's purposes: to promote the interests of users, to promote competition, and to promote innovation.

Therefore, following our meetings, we wrote a second letter to the PSR, asking them to consider requiring Bacs to implement a new rule for the Direct Debit scheme. This would make using the bulk change process mandatory if requested by the incoming Direct Debit provider, and the FM provider client (i.e. the merchant).

Changing the rules around switching

The result of this is the PSR's public consultation on switching Direct Debit FM provider. In summary, the PSR has provisionally agreed that the current regulations are unfair and inappropriate, and is looking to require Bacs to change the rules. This change will require existing Direct Debit FM provider to use the bulk change process unless certain exceptions apply.

We would urge all affected businesses, customers and Direct Debit providers to read and respond to the consultation. If you as a merchant experience any issues when trying to switch away from your current Direct Debit provider, please contact the PSR here.

Our view

"We believe that every business should be able to choose and move between payment providers freely. In fact, a process to enable efficient switching has existed for some time,” said our head of legal, Ahmed Badr.

“Unfortunately, we’ve encountered multiple instances of Direct Debit providers exploiting a loophole in the scheme rules that allows them to effectively prevent clients switching to a new provider.” he continued.

“This leaves clients stuck using a less than ideal service against their will, stifling competition and innovation in the process.

"At GoCardless, we see no justification for these exploitative practices and fundamentally believe they shouldn’t be allowed. In 2017, business customers expect the same choice and freedom of movement as they have in their personal banking lives.

"We took this issue up with the PSR almost two years ago, so are happy to see them publishing a public consultation. We urge all affected businesses, customers and direct debit providers to read and respond to it."

Our commitment

We commit in our Merchant Agreement, and have done for some time, to helping you - our customers, switch providers, including through the use of the bulk change process, if you choose to do so. We're confident you won't want to.

Find out more about bulk changes
Check out our guide
By using this site you agree to the use of cookies for analytics, personalised content and ads. Learn more