Use cases for Direct Debit

The level of control Direct Debit gives merchants makes it perfectly suited to recurring payments and invoicing. Its 3 day payment cycle makes it less suited for payments where instant clearing is required.


Direct Debit is great for…

  • Regular payments such as subscriptions. Retention rates are exceptionally high, as churn due to card expiry is completely eliminated. An example would be membership organisations.
  • Invoicing for services where instant payment is not required. Examples are marketing agencies and driving schools.
  • Account customers who have an ongoing relationship with the merchant. Direct Debit automates the collection process and lets customers simplify the way they pay. Wholesalers are a good example.

Direct Debit isn’t so good for…

  • Transactions which need immediate clearing. Direct Debit payments are not instant - see our timings guide for more info.
  • Liquid assets and high value goods, such as cars or currency. The Direct Debit Guarantee could make these a target for fraudsters.

Direct Debit payments through GoCardless

Our simple online interface makes it cheaper and easier to access and use Direct Debit than ever before:

  • Online businesses: We are the leader in online Direct Debit, with a simple API that integrates with your website & CRM. This automates the manual processes associated with other providers.

  • Invoicing: GoCardless has partnerships with Sage, Xero, FreeAgent and KashFlow to reconcile your Direct Debit payments automatically.

  • Small businesses: Set up online in under 5 minutes with our simple online interface.

To find out more about collecting Direct Debits with GoCardless visit our website.

‹ View table of contents Next page ›

Latest features

12 ways to optimise your payment page

Over 68% of people who reach a payment page never complete payment. This guide looks at our 12 top tips for increasing that all important conversion rate, to make sure your hard work doesn't go to waste.

Pricing 101: A guide for accountants

Pricing models explained and top tips for a winning pricing strategy.

Member Retention Bootcamp: e-Guide for fitness business leaders

6 business workouts to stretch your average membership duration and build member loyalty.

View all


Reference guides

View all