7 important questions to ask when choosing a Direct Debit provider

Are you using Direct Debit as a fast, efficient, low-cost method to collect regular fees, subscriptions or one-off payments from your customers? Or considering adding Direct Debit to your payments mix?


If you’re reviewing options for collecting Direct Debit payments for your business, ask yourself these 7 questions to check you’re getting the best deal.

1. How much does it cost?

Are you paying extra for Direct Debit via a credit account or card when setting it up from your current account is much cheaper? Are you charged extra for failed payments? Adding new customers? Reporting? Payment cancellations? Some Direct Debit providers will charge you a fixed fee per transaction, with additional charges for these extra services. This can easily double your charges, adding to your monthly running costs.

Find out more about the costs of Direct Debit with GoCardless.

Find out why GoCardless doesn’t do Direct Debit through cards.

2. Does your Direct Debit solution integrate with your billing software?

Can you integrate directly with accountancy software like Xero? Many Direct Debit solutions don’t integrate fully with your accounting or billing software. That means you could be missing out on valuable time-saving features like automatic reconciliation of payments with your accounts.

3. Can you take one off, recurring and variable payments?

Does your provider make it easy to create fixed payment plans and set up the one-off payments you need to collect from customers? Sometimes you’ll need to collect a one-off payment, or want to vary the amounts in a payment plan. Many providers will charge you for these bespoke amounts and payments.

With GoCardless, it’s easy to amend payments, says Trayde Mackenzie from Diligence Bookkeeping:

“Once clients are signed up to GoCardless for Xero, the payment is made automatically. With Ezidebit we could only do fixed amounts each time or we’d have to go into the tool and manually change the figure, which was incredibly time consuming.”

Read more from Trayde

4. Do payments fail frequently? Do you get notified automatically if a payment fails?

How high are your payment failure rates? If your provider is using a bank to bank Direct Debit scheme like Becs to collect payments from your customers’ current accounts, rather than via a credit card or credit account, payment success rates typically increase.

Does your provider notify you as soon as a payment has failed, with detailed reporting on the nature of the failure? If you’re not informed when payments fail, you can’t react to resolve the issue. Without automatic notifications, you have to rely on lengthy weekly or monthly reports.

With GoCardless, payment failure rates can be as low as <0.5% and we notify you of any failed payments.

5. Are you tied into a lengthy contract?

Are there penalty fees for moving to a different supplier? It’s helpful to have the choice and mobility to move suppliers. But many providers will tie you to a contract of a year, or even two years, with an additional 3-month penalty to pay.

6. Is there a dedicated support team?

Do you get fed up dealing with email-based support desks, or talking to outsourced customer service teams that can’t answer your Direct Debit queries? Talking on the phone to a dedicated Direct Debit expert can be reassuring. Some providers don’t provide phone support, and others have outsourced their support to a third party – so resolutions can take time.

7. Can you charge in multiple currencies?

Do you have the flexibility to take payment collections in dollars as well as euros or other currencies? Taking payments from customers outside Australia means using different Direct Debit Schemes, which some providers don’t offer or, if they do,will charge you an additional fee to use.

GoCardless: transparent pricing, flexible options and efficient integration

At GoCardless, there are three key attributes that make our Direct Debit offering a more customer-driven service.

  • Transparent pricing – We’re completely up front about the best-in-class service you can expect and the lack of any hidden costs in our pricing. By charging you a flat 1% fee, capped at $3.50, on your transactions, you know exactly what you’ll pay each month, with no extras.
  • Flexible options – We don’t believe in limiting your payment dates, payment amounts. We give you options, so you can tailor the service to your business needs.
  • Efficient integration – Our support team help you integrate your payment processes directly with your accounting software. So reconciling transactions is a breeze and you’re automatically notified when payments fail – so you’re on top of your numbers.

Want to talk to us about swapping your Direct Debit provider?

You can contact our team on +61 383 759 198. Alternatively, fill out the form below and tell us a little more about your Direct Debit needs:

There was a problem submitting the form - please try again.

Thanks for getting in touch - we'll get back to you soon.

Do you currently use Xero? Sign-up for the GoCardless for Xero Accountants Program.

‹ View all tips

Latest features

5 strategies for reducing delinquent loans with better payments

Delinquent loans are a constant concern for lenders of all sizes. If your level of loan delinquency becomes too high it can have serious negative effects on your business, including increased collection costs and reputational risk. This article explores 5 ways to reduce loan delinquency with better payments.

What I wish I had known: Cash flow edition

We spoke to small business owners about how they took control of cash flow – and the lessons they learned along the way.

How to drive business impact with payments: A guide for financial services providers

The ultimate guide to driving and measuring business with payments, complete with four strategies for building a scalable payments advantage.

View all


Reference guides

View all