How to move customers to GoCardless

There are three main ways you can switch your customers over to GoCardless, which option is right for you will depend on a few things including whether you were already collecting Direct Debit payments and which GoCardless product you’re using.


So you’re considering moving to GoCardless? Whether you’re already using Direct Debit or another payment solution, this guide walks you through the simple GoCardless switching process. It also provides some useful tips to encourage your customers to start paying by Direct Debit.

The best way to switch depends on a few things, including whether you’re already collecting Direct Debit payments, and which GoCardless product you’re using.

1. Bulk change process

For those using GoCardless Pro or Plus plans, our bulk change process offers an easy way to automatically move your customers from your existing Direct Debit provider to GoCardless.

When we perform a bulk change your customers don’t need to do anything. There’s no need to sign new mandates or ‘opt in’ to the new provider - customers simply need to be notified of the transfer.

Bulk change takes around four weeks from start to finish. But during that time you can still continue collecting payments with your existing provider, except for a short period of five working days.

To use the bulk change process you’ll need to have every customer’s name, address, email address and bank details. If you don’t know these, just ask your current provider, who should have them available.

2. Phone or paper Direct Debit

If you’re switching to GoCardless Pro, you also have the option to register customers over the phone for Direct Debit, or to use paper mandates.

To make sure we meet the Direct Debit regulations, GoCardless will give you an RBS approved script (free of charge). You can then submit the personal and bank details you receive from each customer using one of two options.

  1. Enter the details into a CSV template provided by GoCardless, then upload the template into the GoCardless Pro dashboard.
  2. Construct a simple form either on your intranet, or integrated into your existing CRM, to submit customer details to GoCardless. These customers will also appear on your dashboards so you can manage payments as normal.
  3. Once the Direct Debit has been set up, you can send out a customised email to all your customers to confirm this.

3. Bulk submission tools and Paylinks

We have two additional tools designed to help those who can’t use our bulk change process. These tools are suitable for merchants not using our Pro or Plus plans, or those who are switching from a non Direct Debit provider, or adding GoCardless as an additional payment method.

  1. Bulk submission tools. Can be used to setup and adjust payments for existing, authorised customers. Download your own CSV template with your active customer details, complete payment details for each one and re-upload. The payments bulk submission tool can be found here.

  2. ‘Paylinks’. You can add ‘Paylinks’ to your invoices, emails or website. These allow customers to click through to the GoCardless payment page directly from the invoice and set up payment immediately.

We’ve written some handy email templates to help you encourage your customers to use these tools. And don’t forget our simple setting up customers process guide. This walks you step by step through the process of moving your customers over to GoCardless, starting with first informing them, to chasing down those last few stragglers.

Perhaps your customers are new to Direct Debit. In that case we also have email templates to address some common concerns around using Direct Debit.

Encourage your customers to switch

Whether you’re switching from another Direct Debit provider or have never collected Direct Debit payments before, here are some ideas to encourage your customers to switch:

  1. Offer incentives. Discounts, free periods or a fixed fee for a period of time in return for moving to GoCardless can work really well.
  2. Price other payment methods higher. Many websites charge a fee for using certain payment methods, particularly credit or debit cards, to cover their additional costs.
  3. Place GoCardless at the top of the pricing selection. When offering payment methods either put GoCardless first or as the default option.

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