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GoCardless is the simpler way to accept Direct Debit Find out more

Costs

Some recurring payment providers deceive you by offering low transaction costs with hidden extras. Be sure to compare fully-loaded costs: setup costs + transaction costs + admin costs.

Credit cards
Do it yourself

Setting everything up yourself from scratch +

Payment Express Authorize.net
Do it yourself

Taking credit card payments yourself will require you to set up a merchant account. This will usually cost around £600-900.

You may also need to give a bond of at least £10k to your bank. You will also need to set up a payment gateway:
  • Authorize.net: £50-99 + merchant account setup fees. For details see the Authorize.net pricing page.
  • Payment Express: £0
£600+
Do it yourself

Direct Access: Managing Direct Debit payments yourself requires an investment of around £5,000 for BACS approved software and staff training.

Obtaining an SUN can also require you to provide a bond of £50k - £500k.

Direct Debit bureau: Set-up costs are significantly cheaper using a bureau, however, transaction costs tend to be much higher:
  • FastPay: £375
  • Smartdebit: £250
£5,000
or £250+ for a bureau
Do it yourself

Managing everything yourself through a bank or a bureau +

SmartDebit FastPay
Payments service provider

A full service payment provider +

PayPal Adyen
Free
Direct Debit Management Software

Using Direct Debit management software requires a significant initial investment:
  • Bottomline: £19,500
  • Fundtech: £2,495+ - You can add modules to tailor the software to your exact specification but this will cost significantly more.
As well as needing specific software you'll need to make sure your staff are sufficiently trained which will usually require further investment.

Obtaining an SUN can also require you to provide a bond of £50,000-500,000.
£2,495+
Management software

A full featured software suite +

Bottomline Fundtech
Payment processor

A combined merchant account and payment gateway +

Stripe Braintree
Free
Free

The UK's leading Direct Debit provider +

Direct Debit is the cheaper option by some distance. You'll get the lowest transaction fees with a bank but this comes with significant admin and hidden costs.

Using GoCardless or Management Software like Bottomline or Fundtech are generally the most cost-effective options on a fully loaded basis.

If you're set on taking card payments, Stripe or Braintree are your cheapest options but fees will be 2.4% + 20p per transaction vs 1% with GoCardless.
Credit cards
Do it yourself

Setting everything up yourself from scratch +

Payment Express Authorize.net
Do it yourself

Transaction costs vary between payment gateways but you will usually need to pay a fee per transaction as well as a monthly fee:
  • Authorize.net: 1.99-2.25% + 15p + £10 monthly fee for recurring payments (scale pricing available). For details see the Authorize.net pricing page.
  • Payment Express: 12-15p per transaction + £20-50 monthly fee (scale pricing available for >700 transactions). For details see the Payment Express pricing page.
1.99% + 15p
plus £10-50/month
Do it yourself

Direct Access: You will get the lowest transaction fees with your bank but there are significant hidden costs to consider e.g. yearly fees, new payor fees, modulus checks and running a hardware security module.

Direct Debit bureau: With a bureau, transaction fees will typically be around 40p per transaction. You may also be subject to additional fees for submission, new mandates and paperless Direct Debit.
  • FastPay: 50p + £49-299 monthly fee + £2.50 per new customer + £5 per BACS submission + 75p for any payment failures (scale pricing available). For details see the FastPay pricing page.
  • Smartdebit: 35p + £35 monthly fee + £3.50 per BACS submission (scale pricing available).
    Smartdebit also charge extra monthly fees for their API (£8-25).
5p - 50p
plus £3k/year
Do it yourself

Managing everything yourself through a bank or a bureau +

SmartDebit FastPay
Payments service provider

A full service payment provider +

PayPal Adyen
Payment Service Providers

Transaction costs for PSPs can vary significantly:
  • PayPal: 3.4% + 20p (scale pricing available). For details see the PayPal pricing page
  • Adyen: 2% + 8p with a minimum invoice amount of £80 per month (scale pricing available). You need to take at least 1000 transactions a month which may impact on admin time. For details see the Adyen pricing page.
You may also be subject to additional fees for chargebacks (£15) and currency conversions.
3.4% + 20p
Adyen charges a minimum of £80/month
Direct Debit Management Software

Using management software you operate the service yourself so there are no transaction fees.
  • Bottomline: 5p-50p and a yearly fee of around £25,000.
  • Fundtech: £623.75 monthly fee
However, you will need to pay any fees set by the bank and there are also significant hidden costs to consider e.g. monthly fees and the initial £2,495-19,500 set up costs.
5-50p
plus £600+ monthly fee
Management software

A full featured software suite +

Bottomline Fundtech
Payment processor

A combined merchant account and payment gateway +

Stripe Braintree
Payment Processors

Transaction costs for payment processors are pretty standard:
  • Stripe: 2.4% + 20p (scale pricing available above £20,000 transactions per month). For details see the Stripe pricing page
  • Braintree: 2.4% + 20p (scale pricing available). For details see the Braintree pricing page
You may also be subject to additional fees for chargebacks (£15) and currency conversions.
2.4% + 20p
GoCardless

GoCardless costs just 1% per transaction up to a maximum of £2. There are no other fees. GoCardless also offers scale pricing.
1%
with a minimum of £0.20 and a maximum of £2

The UK's leading Direct Debit provider +

Transaction fees are much lower for Direct Debit. You'll get the lowest transaction fees with a bank but this comes with significant admin and hidden costs.

Using GoCardless or Management Software like Bottomline or Fundtech are generally the most cost-effective options on a fully loaded basis.

If you're set on taking card payments, Stripe or Braintree are your cheapest options but fees will be 2.4% + 20p per transaction vs 1% with GoCardless.
Credit cards
Do it yourself

Setting everything up yourself from scratch +

Payment Express Authorize.net
2 employees
2 employees
Do it yourself

Managing everything yourself through a bank or a bureau +

SmartDebit FastPay
Payments service provider

A full service payment provider +

PayPal Adyen
1 - 2 employees
1 employee
Management software

A full featured software suite +

Bottomline Fundtech
Payment processor

A combined merchant account and payment gateway +

Stripe Braintree
4 hours per week
4 hours per week

The UK's leading Direct Debit provider +

With outsourced providers like GoCardless and Stripe managing your payments process takes just a few hours a week vs employing someone full time.

Conversion is the percentage of people asked to pay who actually make a payment. This is typically 32% for online payments but improving customer experience (minimal steps, on-site payments etc.) can increase this significantly.

GoCardless makes it quick and easy to use Direct Debit

Start taking payments in minutes