Switching Direct Debit provider - A guide for gym owners

Transferring your Direct Debit mandates from one provider to another is easy using the bulk change process.


The process of transferring Direct Debit mandates to a new provider is called the bulk change process. This involves changing from your current Service User Number (SUN), or existing provider to a new one, either your own or one held by a new provider.

GoCardless has managed the entire transfer process for a number of gyms and sports clubs including: The Fitness Space, 3-1-5 Health Club and Excel Martial Arts.

The service is free of charge and our onboarding team will support you through the whole process, without causing any disturbance to your members. In fact, existing members of your gym won't need to take any action at all.

You’ll receive a timeline which details each step of the process and how long each should take to complete. Your GoCardless Account Executive and our support team will be on hand to answer any questions as you go.

In this guide, we will walk you through each of these steps from requesting the change, to transferring mandates and taking payments through GoCardless.

Step 1 – Complete the bulk change deed

For the transfer to complete, you need to submit a completed bulk change deed to your new provider. If you currently access Direct Debit through the Service User Number (SUN) of your provider, rather than your own, the bulk change deed will need to be completed by both the existing and prospective bureau.

Changes to the Bacs Direct Debit scheme rules that came into effect in January 2018 have made this process easier, as any existing provider now has to help facilitate the bulk change process away from them, in a way they didn’t have to before.

Once completed, you will need to return the original via post to the following address. Please ensure you include the name of your GoCardless Account Executive on the envelope.

[Account Exec Name]
GoCardless Ltd
65 Goswell Road
London
EC1V 7EN

Step 2 – Agree a bulk change date

This should be done through your GoCardless Account Executive and is likely to be within 4-6 weeks of the beginning of the process. However, it is important to note that this time may vary depending on the parties involved, for example, one bureau may be slower at processing the required paperwork.

The agreed ‘bulk change date’ is the date on which all of your existing customer mandates will be cancelled by your current provider.

In some cases, where the company name appearing on the bank statement will be different, customers may need to be notified of the change, before the first payment with the new provider is taken.

You can find an example letter here. This letter is only a notification of the change in provider, members to not need to opt back in.

Some merchants ask us about the effect this will have on dormant members. In our experience, this has not caused any problems. In fact, 3-1-5 Health Club found that “in the end, the impact was very minimal and the benefits of the switch have far outweighed this."

Step 3 - Submit your customer data

Once your existing mandates have been cancelled, you will see a new ‘upload’ option in your GoCardless dashboard. This is where you will upload all of your customer details.

This process involves uploading your customer information via a CSV template, which is accessible from your GoCardless dashboard. The process varies slightly for different Direct Debit schemes. Please see each scheme below for more detail:

To find out more about switching to GoCardless, contact our sales team.

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