Simplifying shift work
Deputy's mission is to simplify work for the world’s more than 2.7 billion shift workers. To do that, it has built a platform to help with time consuming and complex tasks, such as scheduling, tracking time and attendance, and clocking in and out.
With operations in Australia, the UK and the US, it counts Patagonia, ACE Hardware, Peloton, Aesop, and Gelato Messina among its customers.
“We've been going now for about 11 years and growing from strength to strength,” said Scott Westbrook, Director of Business Systems, Deputy. “Now, 267,000 workplaces use Deputy, with around a million employees in total.”
Until May 2020 customers could only pay with credit cards or PayPal. But Deputy’s passion for simplifying the complex extends to every aspect of customer engagements. That includes payments, where they saw an opportunity to introduce bank debit to better offer customers their preferred payment methods.
We want to be able to give customers a choice and many, especially in the UK, were pushing for Direct Debit. The OPEX costs for processing bank debit compared to credit cards would also be significantly cheaper.
Wanted: A global payments partner
To fill this need, Deputy needed a partner with global experience providing payment gateway capabilities to cover their operations across all regions. It also needed a solution that directly integrated with its subscription billing platform, Zuora.
GoCardless, a certified Zuora partner with the capability to collect and control recurring payments across more than 30 countries, ticked both of these boxes. Within three months, Deputy was live around the world with a fully functioning and automated Direct Debit system.
“The implementation team was fantastic at talking us through what the customer journey looks like, what the different schemes’ requirements are as well as the mandate information we need to be supplying to the customer upon sign up,” said Scott.
And the support hasn’t stopped there. “Since then, GoCardless has been superb in giving us direction on identifying different things that we can do to be able to increase the number of customers that move from credit card or from bank transfer over to Direct Debit,” he added.
Savings that go straight to the bottom line
One year on, the preference among Deputy’s customers for Direct Debit is growing: “From a standing start and with little direct promotion, adoption for bank debit is now at 10%. Much of that volume has been claimed from credit cards. The benefits of this go straight to the bottom line, with fees for GoCardless around 45% lower for Visa/Mastercard and 80% lower than AMEX.”
“GoCardless has a massive impact on the business because it helps us improve cashflow,” Scott explained. “As soon as we get payments in our bank, that's cash that we can invest in our aspirations for growth. We're also not having to chase down debt, meaning our finance team can spend time on more beneficial things for the business.”
Deputy is tracking a first-time payment success rate for bank debit at around 92% compared to 80% with credit card. When payments using credit cards fail, Scott has observed that customers tend to switch proactively to bank debit: “We invoice on a monthly basis and if a customer’s credit card payment fails, they go onto our website, see we have a direct debit option and enter their bank details - so we see a spike in the sign up for bank debit after the first credit card payment failure.
We want to be more pre-emptive to let customers know that GoCardless is available for them earlier in their journey.
Claiming back time for the work that really matters
To date, bank debit uptake among Deputy’s customers has been largely organic. But the success so far has inspired Scott to engage customers proactively in an effort to prompt a larger migration over the next 12 months.
That’s just one of a number of innovations around payments being considered by the company with support from GoCardless. Others include leveraging the international expertise of GoCardless to improve adoption among US customers of that market’s Direct Debit equivalent, ACH.
“Of the 10% of global customers choosing bank debit, 20% are UK customers, 13% in Australia and just 2% in the US. We’re working with GoCardless to look at incentivising customers to move from credit card and onto ACH,” he said. “We're constantly talking about how we can improve on things and GoCardless are also interested in understanding what they can do to improve their product.”
For Deputy’s customers, bank debit offers greater security, simplicity, and convenience. They know that the information used to establish the mandate will be processed securely, and they receive notifications when the mandate is confirmed and when payments are due.
Customers get notified two to three days before the payment hits their bank. They also don't need to worry about fraud like they do with credit cards and bank accounts don't expire, so they’ll never need to update their details.
According to Scott, there’s a shared ethos between Deputy and GoCardless, with both companies passionate about giving time back to their customers to focus on the work that matters.
And that synergy matters a great deal to Scott, who ended by saying: “We want to work with partners that are thought leaders and passionate about what they do, and also friends that can guide us on what we should be doing better as an organisation. That’s why we like working with GoCardless.”