A suggested list of financial questions to include on a RFP.

Financially, you'll want to understand how funds will flow to you. This can vary depending on whether your provider offers "facilities management" or "managed administration".

Suggested questions to ask your Direct Debit provider include:

Question Explanation
1. Describe how long your organisation has been in operation. Most of these questions are for due diligence purposes.
2. Please attach a copy of your latest audited accounts. For due diligence.
3. What is your annual turnover? For due diligence.
4. What approximate percentage of your turnover is contributed by your two largest customers? For due diligence.
5. Has your company taken on any external investment? If so, describe from whom and how much. For due diligence.
6. How often do you pay out our funds to us? You should ensure that this matches your cashflow requirements - a provider that pays out every day is ideal. This question is not relevant if you own the originator number (i.e. because the money will flow straight from customer to you - an arrangement known as 'managed administration'.)
7. Describe the insurance on (a) client funds (b) the business that you have in place. For due diligence.
8. How are client funds stored (if applicable?) These should be kept separate from the provider's operational funds and ideally the account is fully backed/insured by the sponsor bank to ensure security of funds.
9. Who is your sponsor bank for access to the DD scheme? For due diligence.
10. Describe your Bacs status and regulatory status (e.g. Authorised Payment Institution, Bacs Approved Bureau, etc) along with dates that these were awarded. For due diligence.
11. Describe the flow of funds from the customer to us in as much detail as possible, including payment timings. For due diligence.
12. Are any of our funds withheld from us e.g. for chargeback and/or failure protection? Some providers hold a certain % of your funds as a deposit; this should be avoided if possible.
13. Are you Direct Debit specialists or do you provide a variety of payment methods? Direct Debit specialists are preferred, particularly for SEPA, where the scheme is complex. This will ensure you get low failure rates for payments and expert advice when you need it.
14. Describe how reporting works with your system i.e. how reports can be generated, in what formats, and what types of data are available. Reporting should be flexible to enable a full match to your requirements. You should ideally have standard reports that are exportable from an online dashboard/portal and also the ability to construct custom reports either online or via the API.
15. How do we find out, at a given point in time, how much money is due to be paid out to us? For financial reconciliation purposes.
16. How do we match a Direct Debit payout to the transactions included within it? For financial reconciliation purposes.

Our sample RFP includes all of the questions above and more. You can download it here and use it as a template for creating your own.

Note: The questions suggested on this page are intended as a starting place for writing your own RFP. They're provided for general information only: they're not intended to be prescriptive or to provide legal advice. We suggest working closely with your management to develop an RFP that is tailored towards the specific requirements of your business.

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