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Common objections to paying by Direct Debit, and how to deal with them

When you’re explaining to a customer the benefits of them paying via Direct Debit, you may come across some objections. Below, we’ve rounded up some common objections you might come across, and suggestions for how you can respond to them.

Objection 1: “I don’t want to change my processes”

  • Outline the benefits to the customer, and any incentives you offer

  • Show them how easy it is to set up a Direct Debit payment

  • Ask what they don’t want to change and see if you can meet them halfway, or add additional benefits to them (e.g. let them choose their payment date, or split payments over multiple instalments

Objection 2: “I don’t have time”

  • Show them how easy it is to set up a Direct Debit payment

  • Outline how they’ll save more time this way (if they are currently paying by cheque, cash, or bank transfer) by comparing how long it takes to pay by their usual method (e.g. 1 minute spent filling in an online Direct Debit mandate form once, versus 5 minutes on a bank transfer every month)

Objection 3: “I want to stay in control of payments”

  • Let them know that you will still send invoices or agree payment in advance as usual

  • Tell them they’re protected by the Direct Debit guarantee, which guarantees them a refund if any payment is ever taken in error

  • Tell them they are notified before a payment is taken and they can cancel their Direct Debit at any time to stop future payments

  • Let them know that they can change their payment date at any time by reaching out to you (if your business supports this)

Objection 4: “I’m worried about using GoCardless, I’ve never heard of them”

  • Tell them that GoCardless is an approved Direct Debit provider, who work with over 50,000 businesses across the globe, including DocuSign, The Guardian, and Sage

  • Let them know that GoCardless is ISO 27001 accredited (ISO 27001 is a widely recognised, internationally accepted standard for information security)

  • Let them know that GoCardless is authorised by the UK Financial Conduct Authority to provide payment services as an Authorised Payment Institution across the European Union

  • If they would like more information on GoCardless’ security credentials, you can point them to our Security page

  • Explain that, compared to other payment methods like cards, bank transfers, and standing orders, payments via Direct Debit offer greater customer protection, including refunds of any payments taken fraudulently or in error

Objection 5: “I always pay you on time, so I don’t see why I should have to change”

  • Thank them for being a prompt payer, but explain the challenges you have in your business with admin overheads or other cash flow challenges

  • Explain that having customers paying via different methods is more work for you, and your efficiency ultimately benefits them, so you’d appreciate it if they could sign the mandate

  • Offer an incentive (if needed)

Customers have voted with their feet – today more than 80% have chosen to pay with GoCardless.”  - David Lester, Founder & MD, citrusHR – HR software and consultancy

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GoCardless Ltd., Sutton Yard, 65 Goswell Road, London, EC1V 7EN, United Kingdom

GoCardless (company registration number 07495895) is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority under the Payment Services Regulations 2017, registration number 597190, for the provision of payment services. GoCardless SAS (23-25 Avenue Mac-Mahon, Paris, 75017, France), an affiliate of GoCardless Ltd (company registration number 834 422 180, R.C.S. PARIS), is authorised by the ACPR (French Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority), Bank Code (CIB) 17118, for the provision of payment services.