Plum reduces failed payments with the help of GoCardless
Money management app Plum is changing the tone of wealth creation, with jargon-free and intuitive savings and investment experiences for consumers with any level of experience.
It enables customers to regularly put aside as much or as little they want – either through custom plans or subscription services – to be invested in a range of products. From mutual funds to pensions to ISAs, its vision is to democratise wealth creation and investment and enable everybody and anybody to increase their wealth in the long term.
And, explains Elise Nunn, Plum’s Head of Operations, payment automation is fundamental to achieving this goal: “Automation allows customers to set and forget their regular payments, making it easy for them to engage in repeat and healthy financial behaviours. The Plum app does the rest by investing their money in a diversified set of products.”
Automated, repeatable, and dependable payments
Plum turned to GoCardless to build an automated billing system with low failure rates, which would best support its customer experience. “Customers depend on the ability to move money frequently and seamlessly from their bank account to Plum, so any failures jar sharply with that experience,” said Elise. “GoCardless account-to-account payments are more cost-effective and reliable than cards, which are expensive to process and prone to fail when cards expire or get cancelled.”
“70% of customer payments now go through GoCardless and we’ve been able to scale rapidly since 2016 when we first started working together,” explained Elise. “We've seen our total monthly deposits increase in value by 131% since November 2019 alone, thanks to working with GoCardless and the seamless payment experience it enables.”
On the back of such strong growth, Plum integrated Success+ from GoCardless to transform the way it collects failed payments for its subscription-based products.
Success+ uses GoCardless’ payment intelligence data and machine learning to reduce failed payments. It does this thanks to intelligent retries, which identify when each customer is most likely to have funds in their account, and automatically retries payments on that day to improve the customer experience.
The impact was immediate — we’ve seen payment failures drop from 3.6% to 0.48% in three months. This 7.5x improvement in failed payments collected is huge for a fast-growing company like Plum — and helps ensure a seamless experience for our customers.”
Less time chasing payments, more time innovating
Working with GoCardless to first automate their payments experience, and then to transform failed payments collection, has enabled Plum to invest more resources in improving its product, explained CEO and Founder Victor Trokoudes.
“Instead of system maintenance and chasing payments we can focus on delivering new product features and enhancing the Plum interface,” he said. “In fact, without GoCardless I don't think we could have even created the product we have today.”
This is enabling Plum to drive an aggressive expansion into mainland Europe, starting with France, Ireland, and Spain, while also onboarding new features and investment vehicles. “We’re continuing to build out our feature set, ensuring we tightly tailor these to user experience. GoCardless continues to be a key strategic partner as we expand globally, helping Plum to accelerate our growth and ensuring a seamless payment experience for customers,” said Victor.
The company’s future plans also include using GoCardless for Variable Recurring Payments (VRPs), made possible by access to banks’ open banking APIs and the UK’s Faster Payment instant payment rails. Elise explained: “VRPs will allow us to both process payments instantly and vary the amount customers invest in line with their financial situation at any given moment – all part of continuing to be a responsive wealth creation partner for them.”
Stability and innovation: a winning combination for fintech
The combination of stability and innovation provided by GoCardless means the Plum team feel confident they have an ideal long-term partner for the fast-moving world of fintech.
“Fintech is evolving all the time and it can be disruptive when partners change their APIs or new regulatory requirements come online,” Elise said. “GoCardless has provided an extremely stable product and I can't remember a single occasion where we had to intervene on a broad, sweeping technical problem."
In a constantly changing landscape, it's amazing to be able to lean on a partner like GoCardless.”