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British Institute of Radiology

"We used to have two team members spending two days a month on Direct Debit admin. With GoCardless and Fonteva, there’s hardly any intervention needed."

Jane Moynihan, Membership & Data Manager, British Institute of Radiology

British Institute of Radiology


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The British Institute of Radiology (BIR) is the international membership organisation for everyone working in imaging, radiation oncology and the underlying sciences.  The BIR is the oldest radiological society in the world. The origins of the BIR can be traced back to a first meeting held on 2 April 1897 to form "The X-ray Society" and received its coveted Royal Charter from Her Majesty the Queen in 1957. The BIR became a registered charity in 1963. It also publishes the globally-respected British Journal of Radiology.

With over 2,800 members, the Institute aims to increase the numbers of radiologists, radiographers and physicists, consolidating its unique position as the multidisciplinary membership society in this sector. It recognised the significant roles that their subscription offering and payment experience play in realising this ambition.

The British Institute of Radiology’s previous payment solution involved posting paper Direct Debit mandates to members and having to wait over two weeks to have them completed and returned. This system also meant a proportion of incomplete or incorrect mandates, ultimately resulting in some failed payments and awkward conversations with members.

Increased member retention with Direct Debit

One of the British Institute of Radiology’s key strategic goals is to increase member retention. The better the retention, the easier it is to predict a reliable revenue stream. Less time worrying about revenue, means more time improving member engagement. GoCardless offered exactly the kind of stability the Institute needed, as Membership & Data Manager Jayne Moynihan explains:

The fact that we typically retain 90% of members already on Direct Debit has been key to our decision to switch to online Direct Debit as the default option. This is significantly higher compared to other payment methods.

As more members move to Direct Debit, the Institute’s overall retention rate will continue to increase, meaning it can focus on how to actively grow its revenue.

A better payment experience for existing and new members alike

Having made the switch to GoCardless, the British Institute of Radiology has seen an uptake in existing members moving from another payment method to Direct Debit due to the ease with which they can set up a mandate online.

Direct Debit among existing members based in the UK has increased by 50% in the first five months of using GoCardless and we expect to see this increase further.

All of this, coupled with other capabilities, like the ability to send automatic notifications, created a transparent payment experience, appreciated by both members and staff.

The switch has also meant Direct Debit has become the primary payment method for new members:

Direct Debit is now our default payment method for new members, with over 90% using it when setting up payments.

More capacity to focus on members

The British Institute of Radiology’s previous solution required a great deal of manual intervention, with each step adding to the time needed for admin, and, conversely, reducing the time available to focus on its members.

Previously, the BIR had to manually move data from one system to another, update all mandates when members’ bank details changed, and submit files into their banking system. With GoCardless, these tasks are effectively a thing of the past.

We used to have two team members spending two days a month on Direct Debit admin. With GoCardless and Fonteva, there’s hardly any intervention needed anymore.

The fact that the GoCardless solution integrates seamlessly with Fonteva further saves admin time, with greater automation handled within one system.

The Institute now plans to spend this new capacity on finding new and exciting ways to engage with its members.

Transparent costs mean bottom line savings

As the uptake of Direct Debit among members continues, the British Institute of Radiology fully expects to see a material saving over time, owing in part to the reduced merchant fees on Direct Debit compared to credit/debit cards.

The Institute also praised the transparent cost structure of GoCardless, with no hidden or additional unexpected costs allowing for more accurate predictions of costs and the savings that come with it.

The transparency we get from GoCardless is great. Other Direct Debit providers would charge for things like creating a mandate.

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