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Experience

Customer support varies hugely between providers particularly in terms of contact options, responsiveness and how they handle chargebacks and dispute resolution.

Credit cards
Do it yourself

Setting everything up yourself from scratch +

Payment Express Authorize.net
Do it yourself

While most payment gateways offer support over phone, email and web form, some offer additional support options:
  • Authorize.net: offers support between 1pm and 1am over the phone, email, web form or online chat (although it is unclear how you access this). It also provides a wealth of FAQs, help files and tutorials about managing your account.
  • Payment Express: offers support via web form, phone or email
Phone, web form & email
Do it yourself

Most bureaus offer phone and email support:
  • FastPay offer phone and email support. You can also request a callback using an online form
  • Smartdebit offer support via phone, email and web form
Phone, web form & email
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

Payment service providers vary in the forms of support they offer:
  • PayPal offers support over the phone, email and Instant Messaging
  • Adyen offer web forms as well as a bank of manuals and tutorial videos. They also provide very helpful phone and email support.
Phone & email
Direct Debit Management Software

Most management service providers offer at least phone and email support but some offer more extensive support options:
  • Bottomline: offer phone and email support, self-service portals and optional 24X7 support packages
  • Fundtech: Fundtech offer email and telephone support and 24/7 software support
Phone & email
Management software

A full featured software suite +

Bottomline Fundtech
Payment processor

A combined merchant account and payment gateway +

Stripe Braintree
Payment Processors

Most payment processors offer email support but vary in the other forms of support they offer. Notable differences to be aware of:
  • Stripe doesn't offer phone support but does provide Twitter support/
  • Braintree have a wealth of helpful information alongside their 24/7 emergency support. They offer phone support but this is based in the US so it could be costly.
Varies
GoCardless

GoCardless offer a full range of support including email, phone, Twitter, Facebook, Olark Chat and IRC where developers can chat and get live help from real engineers.
Phone, email and more

The UK's leading Direct Debit provider +

Make sure your provider offers phone and email support so you can actually talk to someone if you have a problem or need help with dispute resolution.

With a range of support, Authorize.net is top of the card world while the range and responsiveness at GoCardless make it a clear winner for Direct Debit.
Credit cards
Do it yourself

Setting everything up yourself from scratch +

Payment Express Authorize.net
Do it yourself

Payment Gateways like Authorize.net and Payment Express do offer some support and responsiveness to feedback.
None
Do it yourself

Bureaus can offer helpful and responsive support:
  • FastPay: FastPay is quite a fixed and traditional service - even online Direct Debit is an additional service. However, customers seem generally happy with the responsiveness of support.
  • Smartdebit: Customer reviews on Smartdebit suggest that their customer support is helpful and responsive.
None
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

Services at Payment Service Providers tend to be quite fixed:
  • PayPal: PayPal's customer service is a common complaint online as it appears to suffer from periodic long wait times and poor service. Their services are also quite fixed and they offer little responsiveness to feedback or feature requests.
  • AdYen: AdYen ask customers for feature requests and consider these on a case by case basis
Varies
Direct Debit Management Software

Management software providers can be rather fixed.

  • Bottomline: Bottomline started using a web browser interface in their new C-Series product, but have made very little changes in-product since 2009.
  • Fundtech: Fundtech tends to be more responsive than Bottomline and offer a variety of modules to meet customer requests. Their support is generally seen as helpful and responsive.
Limited
Management software

A full featured software suite +

Bottomline Fundtech
Payment processor

A combined merchant account and payment gateway +

Stripe Braintree
Payment Processors

Payment processors like Braintree and Stripe are typically very responsive:
Good
GoCardless

GoCardless is generally very responsive to feedback and frequently makes changes following requests from their merchants.
Good

The UK's leading Direct Debit provider +

There is a massive distinction in service levels between old school and new in both the card and Direct Debit worlds.

New providers like Stripe and GoCardless are very responsive to customer feedback and requests whereas the more traditional PayPal and Bottomline are more rigid.
Credit cards
Do it yourself

Setting everything up yourself from scratch +

Payment Express Authorize.net
Do it yourself

If you set up everything yourself, you'll need to keep on top of and handle any chargebacks on your own.

What's more, both your merchant account and payment gateway may charge a fee for any chargebacks so you may be charged around £30 per chargeback.
  • Authorize.net: £15 chargeback fee
  • Payment Express: No chargeback fee but your merchant account may still charge you
None
Chargeback fees vary
Do it yourself

Direct Access: If you manage Direct Debit payments yourself, you will need to keep on top of and handle any chargebacks yourself.

Direct Access: While bureaus will offer some limited support to deal with chargebacks, they also withhold approximately 5-20% of each collection to cover any future chargebacks. Some also charge additional fees:
  • FastPay: 75p payment failure fee
  • Smartdebit: 30p payment failure fee
None
5-20% of collection withheld
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

Payment Service Providers usually provide automatic email notification of any chargebacks but will charge a fee.
  • PayPal: £15 fee. PayPal also freeze your accounts if you have experienced several chargebacks - this is a common complaint about their service.
  • AdYen: No fee but AdYen retains a deposit as security against potential chargebacks.
Notify
£15 chargeback fee
Direct Debit Management Software

Management software services send automatic notifications of chargebacks and do not usually charge a fee. Your sponsor bank may, however, charge a fee.
Notify
No fee
Management software

A full featured software suite +

Bottomline Fundtech
Payment processor

A combined merchant account and payment gateway +

Stripe Braintree
Payment Processors

Most full service payment processors provide automatic email notification of any chargebacks but will charge a fee.
  • Stripe: £15 fee but this will be refunded if a dispute is resolved in your favour
  • Braintree: £15 fee
Notify
£15 chargeback fee
GoCardless

GoCardless will send instant, automatic email notifications of any chargebacks.

They will also provide support to help you understand the reason for the chargeback and to retake the payment if necessary.
Notify and Assist
No fee

The UK's leading Direct Debit provider +

When choosing a provider make sure you look at how they handle dispute resolution:

Do you have to keep on top of chargebacks yourself? Do they offer any support? Do they charge fees for chargebacks?

If you're concerned about chargebacks look for a provider like GoCardless with no penalty fees who offers phone and email support so you can get help if you ever need it.

If you plan to collect payments from outside the UK you'll need a provider which is available in the relevant countries and currencies.

GoCardless makes it quick and easy to use Direct Debit

Start taking payments in minutes