According to research, the average small business is owed over 63k in outstanding payments. This has a huge impact on cash flow, and means having to spend extra time, money and resource chasing payments, which takes away from higher value work and any plans for growth.
For these reasons, many businesses are looking to automate payments with Direct Debit.
With Direct Debit, funds are automatically pulled from a client’s bank account each time a payment is due – allowing you to reliably ensure you get paid on time. It also removes much of the admin associated with other payment methods, making it an efficient, hassle-free way to control cash flow.
In this guide, we look at 5 ways Direct Debit can benefit your business.
1) Direct Debit helps you get paid on time
With Direct Debit set up, the whole process of payment collection is taken care of automatically so your clients won’t miss paying you again.
You still offer your regular payment terms, but when the due date is reached you are authorised to collect the fees straight from their bank account. That means less disruption, no awkward chase-up emails and no embarrassment for your client when being asked to pay their bill on time.
2) Move away from manual payment methods and take back control
Processing payments can be an admin heavy task. Cheque payments need to be cashed and bank transfers or standing orders require you to monitor your bank account to confirm you’ve received payment.
Credit and debit cards promise a swift way to take payment but are expensive and not that reliable. Cards have a habit of expiring or being cancelled and this means extra work chasing up your clients to get new details. However, once you’ve set up Direct Debit for your client all future payments are taken automatically, direct from their bank account without either of you needing to lift a finger.
“We have been able to cut out the cross-checking of payments and the time spent chasing debts. We are already saving two days of admin time every month and we hope to save more as we transition more clients onto Direct Debit." – Gemma Taylor, Technology Lead,Propel by Deloitte
3) It’s flexible for you and your clients
With Direct Debit you can charge both fixed and variable amounts. This accommodates for any changes in fees or additional costs for one-off or ad-hoc projects. You can also change the date and frequency at which payments are taken.
All you have to do is notify your clients in advance and then take the adjusted payment without needing further authorisation.
"Rather than asking clients to go into their online banking and make an additional one-off payment - with hassle that comes with it - we collect those payments against their existing Direct Debit mandate.” – Ben Nacca, Founder, Cone Accounting
4) It’s secure and safe for your clients
The Direct Debit Guarantee gives your clients complete cover for payments taken in error or fraudulently, making Direct Debit the safest payment method for UK consumers to use.
Your clients will likely already be using Direct Debit to pay for other outgoings such as energy or phone bills. In fact, 75% of all recurring payments in the UK are taken via Direct Debit (Source: Payments UK).
Once the client’s Direct Debit mandate is set up, they will be notified automatically of future payments and automatically billed on the due date. There’s no need to for them to re-enter bank details or make payments over the phone, making it a much more hassle free experience.
5) It integrates with the tools you already use
With Direct Debit through GoCardless, you can integrate Direct Debit payments in to the platforms you already use to manage your business, for example accounting software like Xero, Quickbooks and Sage.
This means no more manual reconciliation of payments – massively reducing the amount of time you spend on admin.
“I can collect a Direct Debit and forget about it. GoCardless pays the money into my account and it updates KashFlow. It saves me a couple a days a month in reconciliation.” – George Ford, Director, Veriphy