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Direct Debit for SaaS Companies

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Last editedApr 20232 min read

Direct Debit - also known as ACH Debit or bank debit - helps SaaS companies reduce failed payments and admin, and gives them flexibility to upgrade subscriptions or payment plans.

Software as a Service (SaaS) companies increasingly charge on a subscription basis. Traditionally, the only option available for taking these payments online was through cards. Now, an increasing number of businesses are turning to Direct Debit schemes, such as ACH here in the US.

GoCardless helps thousands of SaaS companies, from start-ups to established providers, to cut their total cost of ownership by taking Direct Debit payments online. 

How to collect Direct Debit payments with GoCardless


Create your free GoCardless account, access your user-friendly payments dashboard & connect your accounting software (if you use one).


Easily set up & schedule Direct Debit payments via payment pages on your website checkout or secure payment links.


From now on you'll get paid on time, every time, as GoCardless automatically collects payment on the scheduled date. Simple.

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Benefits of switching to Direct Debit

  1. Flexibility to upgrade and downgrade subscriptions or payment plans with ease.

  2. Reduces failed payments and churn.

  3. Reduces accounting and payments admin through automation.

Benefit 1 - Flexibility to upgrade and downgrade subscriptions

Customers of SaaS companies may, from time to time, wish to upgrade or downgrade their subscriptions.

With Direct Debit, you can maximize conversions to upgrades as customers don't need to re-authorize their payments. Your customer gives you a single authorization on sign up, which allows you to take payments of any amount without asking them to do anything more. 

This flexibility also lets you charge customers depending on how much they use that month without needing a new authorization every month. 

Benefit 2 - Reduce failed payments and churn

Traditionally, the most widely used option for online payments was via cards. But around 8% of card payments fail each month due to card expiry or cancellation.

This provides a poor customer experience, creates unnecessary work for them, and - if they forget - may result in them churning.

By contrast, Direct Debit payments use a customer’s bank details, which rarely expire or change.

Benefit 3 - Reduce accounting and payments admin

Direct Debit payments can be automated by integrating GoCardless' REST API with your website, CRM and accounts. Payments are automatically taken and tracked each month. This significantly reduces the time required to manage them.

Agent Analytics switched to GoCardless after looking for a payment method that would help the company grow. Founder Tim Hammond explains:

“Since we moved to GoCardless we’ve grown 10x without needing an accounts department. GoCardless is one of those things that you can set and forget – I know it’s there and I know it’s doing its job. It’s an enabler and I want to keep expanding our business with it.”

How to get started with Direct Debit

You can start taking payments via Direct Debit by using a bank, bureau, or GoCardless. If you would like to find out more about any of these options, you may find our 60 second guide to Direct Debit providers helpful. 

With GoCardless, you can collect payments in more than 30 countries via Direct Debit. direct Debit is the preferred way to pay in many of these countries and offering it as a payment option allows businesses to grow and scale and in these localities. Direct Debit with GoCardless lets you automate the whole payment process and manage everything online. GoCardless offers:

  • Quick and easy sign up - You can sign up instantly and for free.

  • Easy and efficient management - You can collect recurring and one-off payments automatically, or at the click of a button. We manage everything else for you. We are also integrated with many of the most popular accounting packages to enable easy invoicing and payment reconciliation.

  • Simple, low pricing - Take a look at our pricing plans.

  • Online dashboard and REST API - GoCardless offers a simple online dashboard and REST API, which allow you to integrate GoCardless with your website and CRM.

Over 85,000 businesses use GoCardless to get paid on time. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

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Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help
Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

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