How to deal with customer concerns about Direct Debit

Are your customers reluctant to use Direct Debit? We've put together some tips on addressing the two main customer concerns...


A few months ago we gave you our four top tips for getting your customers set up on GoCardless. This included some handy template emails to help your customers along in the process.

While these gentle nudges are enough for a lot of customers, it may be that some of your customers are uncomfortable with the whole idea of Direct Debit. The concept of someone else being in control of the amount and date of payments can be a scary prospect for some: they might worry that you'll take unauthorized payments or that they won’t have enough money in their account to make a payment. This post looks at the main two concerns around using Direct Debit and gives you some pointers for how you can address these:

1. Highlight the protection offered by the Direct Debit Guarantee

Some customers may worry that paying by Direct Debit will let you take incorrect amounts or payments when they're not due. Make sure they’re aware that:

  • Payments can’t be taken unless they’re given advance notice of the amount and date of each payment. It may also be helpful to clarify how long a period you’ve agreed advance notice will be. With GoCardless our terms and conditions set this as three days - make sure your customers know that they will always be emailed three working days before a payment is due.

  • Direct Debit is the UK’s safest payment method for customers. Customers can get a full and immediate refund from their bank for any payment they believe was taken in error or fraudulently. This will be given on a “no questions” asked basis.

2. Help customers to feel in control of their payments

A lack of control is often an issue raised by elderly people or those with a less stable income like students. They may worry that they won’t have the money in their account to make the payment. You can help your customers to feel happier about this by:

  • Clarifying that payments can be cancelled at any time and can’t be taken unless the customer has been given notice. Again, it may help to let them know exactly how long this notice will be and letting them know how they can cancel the payment.

  • Offering a wide choice of payment dates so they can choose a date which suits their needs and income (e.g. the day after they are paid). Having this control over when the payment is taken means customers can be confident that they’ll have money in their account.

If customers still have concerns it might help to direct them to our Payers’ guide to Direct Debit to help them understand a little more about Direct Debit and the benefits it offers.

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