Automated vs. integrated Direct Debit – what's the difference?

Direct Debit payments are automated, but they're not always integrated. Here's the difference – and why it matters.


If you're using Direct Debit to collect payments, you'll know it automates many of your payment processes and makes your cash flow more predictable.

But when you integrate your payment gateway with your billing software, you unlock benefits that only come when these two important financial systems talk to eachother.

So what does a fully integrated Direct Debit solution look like and why should you bother setting one up?

End-to-end financial management

Cloud accounting adoption is on the rise among Australian businesses with many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) using online accounting to manage their finances.

By connecting your Direct Debit payments to your billing, you get:

  • A simple way to pull your payment data straight into your billing and accounts
  • The benefits of payment buttons built straight into your electronic online invoices
  • A real-time view of your cash position right from in your online accounting software.

Automatic bank reconciliation

Bank reconciliation (bank rec) is a key finance task. But if you use a standard Direct Debit service that doesn't integrate with your finance systems, you’ll still have to manually do your bank recs. Matching every payment, invoice number and bank statement line is a time-consuming task – a chore that moving to automated bank recs can quickly remove, saving your hours of time each week and freeing you up to focus on more valuable activities.

An integrated payment/accounting integration will let you:

  • Remove the manual tasks involved in bank recs by automatically matching transactions
  • Review and match payments and statement lines with one simple click.

Real-time payment updates and notifications

When payments fail, that can be a big hassle for the finance team. With some automated payment methods – like standing orders, or a standard Direct Debit service – if the payments fail, or customers cancel a mandate, you won’t know until you check your online banking. But with an integrated payment solution, you’ll get instant updates and notifications if any payments can’t be collected through your usual payment channel.

When you have real-time payment updates, that helps you:

  • See instantly which payments have been collected and which ones have failed
  • Quickly take action to chase up that customer for payment, or resolve the payment issue
  • Significantly reduce the problem of missed and late payments affecting the business.

Fewer keying errors

Payment amounts need to be keyed into your finance system and failed payment information needs to be entered – and at each stage there’s the potential for human error and keying mistakes to creep into the mix.

With all your payment data updated automatically, you can:

  • Remove the potential for errors in your admin and reporting
  • Increase the quality of your reporting and payment information
  • Waste less time looking for errors and sorting out retrospective mistakes.

GoCardless for Xero

GoCardless for Xero gives you a seamless integration between your Direct Debit payments and your Xero online accounting. So rather than just automating your cash collection, you get all those important advantages of automated bank recs, real-time notifications and reduced keying errors.

Read how wholesaler Mörk Chocolate is benefitting from integrated Direct Debit.

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