How to explain GoCardless to customers

Direct Debit doesn’t just benefit your business, it brings a whole host of benefits to your customers too. But, how do you explain GoCardless to your customers?


Direct Debit doesn’t just benefit your business, it brings a whole host of benefits to your customers too - benefits that add to the value and quality of service you’re already delivering.

But, how do you go about explaining GoCardless to your customers?

1. Introduce GoCardless

GoCardless is an online tool which makes it easy for your regular customers to pay you by Direct Debit.

75% of all regular payments in the UK are made by Direct Debit (source: Finance UK, 2017), so your customers are probably familiar with it, and likely already use it, for example to pay energy bills, gym memberships or into their savings.

Here are a few other things you can tell your customers about GoCardless and Direct Debit:

  • Direct Debit can be used to pay for regular payments of all types - including variable business invoices, software subscriptions, even instalments for a holiday.
  • GoCardless is the UK’s leading Direct Debit provider, processing over £5 billion in payments annually for more than 30,000 organisations including Thomas Cook, The Guardian and HM Government.

2. Explain the benefits

Here are a few things you can tell your customers about the benefits of paying by Direct Debit through GoCardless.

  • You only need to set up payment once - complete an online form and, unlike with a bank transfer, cash, cheque or card payment, you won’t have to remember to pay next time. Which means no accidental disruptions to your service, subscription or membership.
  • Unless you change bank accounts, you won’t have to worry about updating your payment details either (unlike, if your debit card expires, or is lost or stolen).
  • Paying through GoCardless gives you certainty. You’ll know exactly how much you’re paying and when it will come out, which can help with budgeting.

The benefits of switching to Direct Debit differ depending on how a customer currently pays, so see Chapter 5 of this guide for more tailored tips.

3. Give reassurance

Sometimes, customers worry that they’ll lose control of their finances. If so, why not tell them the following:

  • With GoCardless, you are notified that a payment is coming out 3 days in advance, giving you the chance to raise any issues about the payment and initiate a refund request if need be.
  • You are fully protected under the Direct Debit Guarantee, meaning you have the right to cancel and receive a full refund for any payment taken in error.
  • You can cancel the Direct Debit mandate at any time for example through your online banking, immediately stopping future payments (although this will of course affect access to your services).
  • GoCardless is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to provide payment services as an Authorised Payment Institution. It is also ISO 27001 accredited, (ISO 27001 is a widely recognised, internationally accepted standard for information security).

4. Consider a transparent approach

In some instances it helps to be honest with your customers and say how them paying by Direct Debit will help your business.

For example, for smaller businesses or clubs where there is a closer relationship between the customer and the merchant, explaining that Direct Debit will help your business run more efficiently, keep costs down and save time, is often enough to get customers onboard.

Some larger organisations, where the customer has an invested interest in the efficiency of the merchant, also take this route. Harrow Council for example, communicate on their website that Direct Debit keeps their costs down which will, in turn, help to keep council tax down.

5. Show customers where to go for more information

If your customer wants to know more, why not send them to the GoCardless website - for example, to our Direct Debit guide for payers.

GoCardless merchant, Michael O’Dowd from M&M Window Cleaning, recommends “keeping the explanation short and directing your customer to GoCardless’ website,” so that customers can look over any additional information in their own time.


"Direct Debit is a method customers know and trust. They fully understand how it works and have an expectation of what agreeing to make payments through this channel involves. GoCardless has made delivering this service level possible.”

Nicki Harris, Customer Success Manager, Vax – floor care products

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