GoCardless’ flexibility allows JustGiving to offer bank payments across more fundraising products than ever, leading to higher bank payment adoption and more money for good causes
Making donations go further
JustGiving is an online fundraising platform trusted by over 450,000 charities worldwide. Collecting around £500 million pounds of donations every year, payments innovation is an intrinsic part of its mission.
“We are a for-profit organisation, but we have an obligation to maximise the proportion of donations that reach the intended cause,” explained Oli Shaw-Latimer, Head of FinTech and Innovation, JustGiving.
JustGiving achieves this by creating a frictionless donor experience to maximise conversions, while also ensuring the cost of accepting donations stays low.
“That’s payments for good,” said Oli. “Because we owe donors that come to JustGiving an experience that is modern and painless.”
Making the switch to GoCardless
Bank payments, or payments that move money from one bank account directly to another, such as Direct Debit, from GoCardless are a strategically important alternative to cards for JustGiving because more of every donation made this way reaches fundraisers.
“Card payments cost significantly more and have higher overheads in terms of refunds and chargebacks,” said Oli. “And not all donors choose to leave a tip – JustGiving’s primary source of funding – so reducing the costs that we pass on to charity customers is absolutely critical.”
JustGiving switched to GoCardless when its previous provider failed to match its payments innovation ambitions.
“They weren’t investing in the features needed to expand our bank payment proposition and grow the business with repeat transactions,” said Kasia Kaczynska, Product Manager – FinTech, JustGiving. “We had no retry capabilities, for instance.”
Bank payments adoption is way up
Since adopting GoCardless, the creation of bank payment mandates by donors has significantly increased.
“With GoCardless, month-on-month creation of bank payments is up 18% while attrition – our measure of bank payments that fail and can’t be retried – is down 10%,” said Oli. “That’s because GoCardless is more flexible: we can leverage automatic retries and offer bank payments to a broader range of fundraisers.”
An example is the fact JustGiving can now support customers that want to collect repeat donations for one-off fundraising efforts, such as the individuals running the London Marathon.
“That means they end up collecting more money overall or that the cost of donations can be spread out for donors,” said Oli. “Most donations also come with 25% Gift Aid tax relief on top, so every successful donation we collect is amplified. Put all that together, and that’s why JustGiving invests so much in payments innovation.”
Essential for charities
Bank payments are also commercially strategic to JustGiving and its charity partners because of the importance of repeat gift strategies to the charity sector overall.
“For charities, setting up a reliable succession of monthly payments makes bank payments the gift that keeps on giving – they expect us to provide this capability,” said Oli.
This also helps charities smooth out their revenue across the year, which otherwise tends to feature peaks and troughs around major events such as annual running events. “Encouraging more of our volume through repeat giving is crucial to enabling charities to fuel their mission all year round,” added Oli.
No mandates left behind
JustGiving’s huge customer base presented risks when it came to the migration from its previous provider to GoCardless, which required transferring tens of thousands of Direct Debit mandates.
“The bulk change migration involved moving 54,000 mandates and our biggest concern was losing mandates and interrupting our customers’ revenue,” said Kasia. “But with close support from the GoCardless team, orchestrated by our amazing customer success manager, every mandate was migrated as planned – not a single one was lost.”
Open banking: the future of payments for good
To further reduce its dependence on cards, JustGiving is also working on implementing Instant Bank Pay from GoCardless, a solution for low-cost, one-off payments powered by open banking.
“GoCardless has an interesting hybrid model mixing traditional bank payments with open banking, which addresses some major issues online merchants have around fraudulent activities like card testing and chargebacks,” said Oli. “If open banking gets rid of cards it would be wonderful from a fraud and cost perspective.”
Oli also believes open banking technology will eventually provide JustGiving with a pathway to the next generation of recurring payments.
“We see Variable Recurring Payments (VRPs) - which use open banking to offer more control and transparency than Direct Debit payments - as the future. We hope to trial VRPs in the coming months with GoCardless,” he said. “It's great to have a partner that's investing in the future of payment rails.”
A platform to be proud of
JustGiving expects to lean on the global reach of GoCardless to drive growth beyond its European stronghold in the coming years.
“Being already integrated with GoCardless provides an accelerated path into every market it operates in,” said Oli. “That will help us grow our existing presences in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.”
For Oli and the team, this will be an opportunity to scale the impact of payments for good across the globe.
“We’re proud of the platform we've built to help amazing causes and it is a privilege to be the ‘payments plumber’ behind the scenes making fundraising possible,” he said. “It’s why I get up in the morning and what drives our journey of innovation.”