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What does switching to GoCardless actually look like?

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Last editedJuly 20214 min read

While there are a lot of benefits for you and your members when changing to a managed Direct Debit provider, we recognise there is one crucial thing that needs addressing before making the switch: What actually happens when you switch your Direct Debit provider?

To make the switching process crystal clear, we interviewed GoCardless Onboarding Analyst, Costa Xynos. Costa explains each step of the onboarding process, including the all-important bulk change. Costa and the onboarding team have helped hundreds of large organisations start taking payments via GoCardless, many of whom are also going through a bulk change as part of the transition.

Why is the onboarding process so important for any new business using GoCardless?

The first thing to remember is that every business we help onboard is simultaneously dealing with a lot of different things at any one time, especially if they are switching Direct Debit provider as part of a wider CRM switch. That means it’s our job to make the GoCardless setup process as pain-free as possible to avoid adding extra stress in what is already a stressful time.

We make sure that every new GoCardless customer feels safe in the knowledge that the onboarding team will handle the setup timeline, let them know when we’ll be actioning something directly, and when something needs to be done by the business itself. In short, we manage the timeline and set very clear expectations for everyone.

Specifically, what does the onboarding team do to help businesses making the switch to GoCardless?

Your onboarding manager will guide and train you on how the platform works and how best to use it in accordance with your use case. It is important for us to make sure our customers get the most out of the GoCardless product and to ensure that collecting payments from new customers, in the interim before the bulk change takes place, goes smoothly.

We are on hand to answer all questions, big or small. We’ll proactively find the answers and practical solutions to fit our customers’ needs. Sometimes there’s not even a problem, but reassuring our contact helps them feel at ease with the whole process.

Our onboarding team works with every business until they’re set up on GoCardless and taking payments on their own. 

The only time we’ll loop someone else in is if the question relates to a CRM integration. We have good relationships with many of the popular CRMs, so we can help our contact at an organisation get an answer to their question quickly.

So, what are the first steps when a business needs onboarding?

Step one is we introduce ourselves and check all the information we get from the GoCardless salesperson who has an existing relationship with the new customer. We also, set expectations about who is responsible for each part of the switching process.

Step two, we agree on a date for the bulk change. This is usually 4-6 weeks from the date the business reaches us.

The bulk change is clearly the biggest part of the process. Why is it so important?

The bulk change is key to allowing a business to take payments using its’ new provider. This process effectively migrates the mandates across to the new provider in a seamless manner, with the old provider (or the bank, if Direct Debit was previously handled in-house) cancelling the mandates, and GoCardless simultaneously creating new mandates in their place.

While the member does need to be notified of the change, they don’t have to opt-in. Typically the process causes minimal disruption to your members, and we can advise on the ways for your organisation to send the most effective notifications at the best possible times.

What does GoCardless do to make sure the bulk change happens without a hitch?

The first thing to say is that every bulk change is unique. We have a lot of experience and processes in place, but also spend a lot of time digging into the payment timings, current systems and other considerations to make sure we can effectively manage every bulk change.

We also help each new organisation figure out if they have an AUDDIS or Non-AUDDIS SUN. The answer greatly affects how the bulk change will happen, so it’s important to find this out as quickly as possible.

After this, we get the contact at the organisation up to speed as quickly as possible with GoCardless. This allows them to put new members onto GoCardless before the bulk change takes place and give them at least a high-level overview of what’s actually at GoCardless.

We recently completed a bulk change for an organisation that involved over 40,000 mandates, so we have experience of managing bulk changes on a very large scale.

How do you get businesses up to speed on GoCardless software?

We have something called the sandbox environment, which is where you can test out the GoCardless platform, but it’s not actually connected to your account.

It means you can make mistakes and nothing bad will happen. It’s a good way to learn the system without fear you’ll mess anything up. There are even scenario simulators so you can see exactly what will happen in specific situations.

We can also guide organisations in setting up custom payment pages and customised Direct Debit notifications as part of our Pro and custom packages.

What happens on the day of the bulk change?

The whole process that has gone before generally means the bulk change days are quite relaxed. The organisation has to upload member data to GoCardless - we’ll already have advised them on test uploads to make sure the data is formatted correctly. We can be on the phone while they do this if it helps.

On the same day, the previous provider will cancel the old mandates, or if it’s done directly with the bank, we advise that they should actively cancel the memberships themselves.

Once all that is confirmed, the upload is processed and approved by one of the GoCardless team and the switch is made.

How long after the switch is processed can the organisation start taking payments again?


What happens after the new business has gone through the bulk change process?

There’s no time limit on what happens after. We want our contact at the organisation to get up to speed as quickly as possible, as it means they can make full use of the GoCardless product.

However, if getting fully onboarded takes a bit longer then that’s not a problem either.

For large commercial enterprises, once up to speed, we introduce them to their customer success team. The success team will provide ongoing support if they have any questions or problems in the future.

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