Introducing GoCardless to your customers

Direct Debit doesn’t just benefit your business, it benefits your customers too. Here's how to explain it to them.


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. So 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.

Direct Debit is a well known and trusted payment method globally. In fact, it accounts for around 75% of regular consumer payments in the UK (source: Finance UK, 2017), 50% of cashless payments in Germany and 36% of non-cash payments in Australia – so your customers are probably familiar with it, and likely already use it, for example to pay energy bills, gym memberships or nursery fees.

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, or instalments for a holiday.
  • GoCardless is a leading Direct Debit provider, processing over £5 billion in payments annually for more than 50,000 organisations around the world including Sage, TripAdvisor and Les Mills.

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.
  • You won't ever need to update payment details - 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.

3. Give reassurance

Sometimes, customers worry that they’ll lose control of their finances. When this is the case, tell them the following:

  • With GoCardless you are notified that a payment is coming out in advance, giving you the chance to raise any issues about the payment.
  • With Direct Debit, your payments are protected. For example, in the UK, 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 ISO 27001 accredited, (ISO 27001 is a widely recognised, internationally accepted standard for information security). It is also authorised by the UK Financial Conduct Authority to provide payment services as an Authorised Payment Institution across the European Union.

4. Try a hyper transparent approach

For some customers, just openly explain to them 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. For example, in the UK, Harrow Council 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, send them to the GoCardless website - to our Direct Debit guide for payers in the UK, our SEPA Direct Guide for payments in Europe or our local homepage in Australia.

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

What your customer sees when they pay through GoCardless

Before talking to your customers about GoCardless, it’s helpful to see it from their point of view.

If you are using GoCardless through one of our software partners, for example Xero or Sage, the emails will look a little different, according to the branding and house style of your software provider.

If you would like to see an example of an email from a specific software partner, please contact our support team.

You can invite customers to pay through GoCardless via email.

When you add a customer, they will receive a payment authorisation email which requests that they complete a Direct Debit mandate, giving you permission to collect funds from their bank account.

GoCardless payment authorisation email

GoCardless mandates are set up by your customers online, and look like this:

GoCardless online customer mandate form

Once the Direct Debit mandate is agreed, and you create individual payments or plans in the system, GoCardless automatically notifies your customers via email on your behalf with a clear instruction of who they are making the payment to.

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