Using GoCardless with KashFlow alongside another payment provider

Want to use GoCardless with KashFlow for your subscription and regular customers, while still giving others the option to pay by card? This post will get you set up as quickly as possible. It assumes you're already using KashFlow (if you're not, and you're looking for simple accounting software, check them out),  and that you have a card provider set up already.

At the end of this guide you'll have GoCardless set up to take subscription payments while your existing provider will be powering the PayOnline button on your invoices and be used for taking one-off payments. Don't forget that collecting money via card is around three times more expensive that using GoCardless. If you want to save money we highly recommend setting up GoCardless as your exclusive payment provider in KashFlow.

Step 1 – Sign up for GoCardless

First things first, to get you set up to receive payments using GoCardless we need to sign you up for the system. This part couldn't be simpler - just follow the instructions below:

  1. From within KashFlow, go to the "Settings" tab. Scroll down to the bottom and click the "GoCardless" link
  2. From here click "Create a GoCardless account" and fill in your details. If you have any trouble let us know
  3. Once you've filled in your details you'll be returned to the KashFlow site. On this page you can enter some details to customise the experience for your customers (don't worry though, the defaults are sensible):
    • The message option lets you enter what's displayed to the user in their browser after they enter their details and pay you. 
  4. The email options customise the email that's sent to customers when you send out a direct debit request.
  5. The Bank Account and Payment Method options are used in KashFlow to help you keep track of where your money is (they don't affect payment, but you should set them to match the account you entered on the GoCardless page).
  6. Uncheck the auto-configure button at the bottom of the page to avoid losing your current settings (we'll do the configuration manually in the next section)
  7. Click the Update button (IMPORTANT! You must click the update button to complete set-up)
  8. You're all signed up!

Step 2 – Adjust your settings so GoCardless and your other provider work together

Next we need to adjust your settings so that GoCardless and your current provider can work in harmony. This part can be a little counter-intuitive (we're working on making the process clearer), but if you follow the steps below you'll be set up in no time.

  1. From within KashFlow, go to the "Settings" tab and click the "Card Options" link (it's near the bottom of the page). The page that you're taken to should have a "Cardholder Not Present Payments" section and a "PayOnline - Customer Payments" section.
  2. To use GoCardless alongside your current payment provider, both sections need to have identical details in them, so copy the details from the "PayOnline" section to the "Cardholder Not Present" section. (If both sections are blank you're probably using PayPal for your "PayOnline" button. I that case, set GoCardless as your payment provider in both sections)
  3. Click Update. (IMPORTANT, if you don't click Update your changes won't be saved!)
  4. It might seem counterintuitive, as you haven't entered any details of GoCardless for either section, but that's all the setup work done

Your old (card) provider will now continue to power your PayOnline button, but you'll also be able to use GoCardless to collect money via direct debit.

Step 3a – Set up pre-authorizations with your customers and collect from them instantly

Now you're ready to use GoCardless to collect some money. We'll start by setting up a pre-authorization, which is just like it sounds - an authorization from your customer to take money from them in the future, on a regular basis. For example, we often pre-authorise Gas and Electricity providers to debit our accounts - now you can do the same with your customers. At the end of this section you'll have the ability so set up pre-authorizations with your customers, and then collect money from them with just a couple of clicks.

First we create a pre-authorization:

  1. From within KashFlow go to the "Customers" tab and create a new, test customer. From the details page for that new customer click the "Other Info" tab.
  2. Click "Set up a Direct Debit Mandate" and fill in the form
    • The "Maximum Amount" field is the maximum per month (or year) that you're asking your customer to authorise you to take from them. (At GoCardless we give a bit more security to the customer than your typical Gas or Electricity provider by asking them to authorise only up to a maximum amount)
  3. The "Title" field should be what the customer is paying for
  4. The "Description" field should give some context about the items or the invoice for the customer
  5. The email address is where we'll send the pre-authorization request to. For the purposes of testing you should enter your own email address
  6. Click "Send Email" and check your inbox. You should have a message from GoCardless you can use to see what the user experience is like! Note that you'll need to sign up for a second GoCardless account (this time as a user - your KashFlow GoCardless account is as a merchant), and we require you to use a different email address for that signup.

You've just created (and approved) your first pre-authorization with GoCardless! (There's also another way you can do the above: when you're looking at an invoice, if you click "Take Cardless Payment" and then "Set up a Direct Debit Mandate for this customer" you'll be directed to the same form as in step 2.)

Now let's use that pre-authorization to collect some money.

  1. You should have received an email letting you know the pre-authorization is all set up. Now, within KashFlow, if you go to the "Other Info" section of the customer's account you'll see the mandate you have set up with them
  2. To collect money using the pre-authorization you've set up you first need to go to an invoice for the customer. Since in this test case we're playing the role of customer as well as merchant, you'll probably need to create a new invoice (do this just as you normally would by going to the Sales tab in KashFlow and clicking the "New Invoice" button. Fill in the form and click "Add Invoice")
  3. Add some items to that invoice. Let's make them small for now - say £1.00 (GoCardless is the cheapest payment processor out there, but we still charge 1% and there's no point throwing money away on tests!)
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the invoice and click the "Take Cardless Payment" button which should now be there.
  5. You'll be redirect to a page asking you the amount you'd like to collect. Enter the amount and click "Take Payment". You just collected £1.00 from yourself - it's that simple!

Step 3b – Set up a recurring bill for a fixed amount each month

A recurring payment is just a pre-authorization that automatically generates a bill each month for the same amount. As such, this section is very similar to the previous one. At the end of this section you'll have the ability so set up a recurring bill that automatically invoices and collects money from your customer each month (or week, or year, etc.).

Let's create a recurring bill to test it.

  1. From within KashFlow go to the "Customers" tab and create a new, test customer.
  2. Now go to the "Sales" tab and click "Repeat Billing". From there click "Add Repeating Invoice" and fill in some basic details. Under the "Include a Payment" heading select "Collect and record full amount via Direct Debit" and then press "Add repeating invoice"
  3. If you don't already have a pre-authorization set up with the customer you're adding a repeating bill for you'll be directed to a form to set one up. (You can skip the next two steps if you already have a pre-authorization set up)
  4. Fill in the form on the page you're redirected to
    • The "Maximum Amount" field is the maximum per month (or year) that you're asking your customer to authorise you to take from them.
  5. The "Title" field should be what the customer's paying for
  6. The "Description" field should give some context about the items or the invoice for the customer
  7. The email address is the location we'll send the pre-authorization request. For the purposes of testing you should enter your own email address
  8. Click "Send Email" and check your inbox. You should have a message from GoCardless you can use to see what the user experience is like! Hold off on clicking through for a moment though - let's finish the repeating invoice setup first.
  9. After clicking "Send Email" you'll have been redirected back to your repeating invoice setup page. The page now has an additional section: "Items on this Repeat Invoice", and the ability to add some items. Add some items to the invoice and then click "Update" (IMPORTANT: don't forget to click update!)
  10. You're done with the bill setup. To see what it's like from the customer side go to the email you sent yourself and click through the payment approval process. (Note that you'll need to sign up for a second GoCardless account with a different email address, as your KashFlow GoCardless account is a merchant account, not a customer account.)
  11. Once you've clicked through and entered your details you'll receive an email informing you the customer has approved the direct debit mandate. The system will then automatically email the customer each month an invoice, which will be automatically paid by direct debit. * * *

Once you've completed the above, you'll be set up to use GoCardless alongside your current card provider. GoCardless will be your default for repeating invoices and variable direct debit payments, while the button on your invoices and any one-off payments you take will be through your card provider.

Hopefully this guide has told you everything you need to know to get up and running with easier, cheaper payments through GoCardless. Don't forget that we're always here to help though - you can email us any time.

See you on GoCardless soon!

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