My experience on a new way to accept direct debit payments
A friend of me told me about Gocardless a couple of weeks ago and I was intrigued to see if this was something I could use in my theatre school business. I decided to join up and test out the service. If you are thinking of using Gocardless then I hope this Gocardless review may be of some benefit to you.
What is Gocardless?
Very simply, Gocardless enables anyone to accept direct debit payments through their software which then is sent straight to your account. There is a simple pricing strategy which is 2% on any transaction up to a maximum of £2. There are no other costings involved and sign up is free.
Once you sign up to Gocardless you are taken to a simple dashboard layout. Here it is easy to add customers/clients and also set them up as a Gocardless customer. An email is sent to them requesting permission from you to take payments from them. They simply put in their bank details and confirm and from here on in you can take payments from them..don’t worry Ggocardless is BACS approved and regulated by the financial conduct authority.
My reasons for choosing Gocardless
I run a Theatre school in the UK and taking payments has always been a bit of a struggle, especially when my fees are paid either in 3 instalments per term or 3 times per year. At the present time, there is no direct debit option and the ways to pay are 3 post dated cheques or by standing order or debit card machine. Often times I would find myself chasing people for fees or having parents forget that the fees were due. With Gocardless you are able to set the parent up with the ability to pay by direct debit without a huge cost to set up and with a simple email to them. You then request and receive the fees or set them up with a monthly,weekly or specified date- time for direct debit payment. It makes so much more sense for me to use this system as I am hoping less and less parents will miss payments meaning a better cash flow for me.
Does it work
The simple answer is yes…When I signed up I put through a couple of test payments for £1 to see how the system worked and the time frames etc. Now… they claim that the process for requesting payment, to it reaching your account is around 3 – 7 days but with my payments it actually took 10 days. This isn’t really a problem though if you are setting up recurring payments as at least you know the money is on the way. So yes it does work.
Small business answer to direct debit
Running a small business these days requires all the help you can get to be able to compete with the big boys and Gocardless gives you that help in the form of a system where any size business can take recurring payments. For me it is a cost effective way to take payments like the larger companies do.
Would I recommend it?
At the moment yes I would..it is still early days for me but I have to say from what I have experienced so far I am impressed. It is also reassuring to know that quite a few large corporations use Gocardless for their payment facility. If you would like to read more about Gocardless then please just visit their site here and if you have any comments I’d love to hear from you. I hope that this Gocardless review has been useful for you to read from someone who also runs a small business. Thanks for Reading.
THINK VERY CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU USE THIS COMPANY. WE ARE £22,0000 OUT OF POCKET DUE TO A SERIOUS FLAW IN THEIR SYSTEM. WE HAD BEEN LOYAL CUSTOMERS FOR OVER 7 YEARS BUT THEIR SERVICE IS ATROCIOUS
I have been using GoCardless for my business since 2012. When we first started using them they were a small start-up and we had remained loyal and supportive of them for over 7 years.
Sadly their service today is nothing like it was in the past. Over the years there have been some issues with their service but they had generally been helpful in getting things fixed.
However, they service today is absolutely shocking and I would urge anyone considering using the company to be extremely careful.
It recently came to our attention that GoCardless had implemented something on their customer sign-up forms for customers to state that their bank account required multiple signatories.
Hundreds of our customers had either mistakenly chosen this option or they had become aware of a loophole with the GoCardless payment system.
It transpired that selecting the ‘multiple signatory option’ meant GoCardless were supposed to request additional information from customers prior to being able to collect payments.
However, in our case, GoCardless incorrectly informed us that they were able to take payments even though the customers had not completed the additional process required by GoCardless.
Consequently GoCardless kept informing us that payments had been collected when this was not the case. Hundreds of our customers were able to enjoy using our service without paying us anything due to the GoCardless error.
The issue caused us a loss of over £22,0000. We brought the flaw to the attention of GoCardless who admitted the issue but have refused to compensate us or apologise for this serious error.
This is what they told us:
Following a further review of this issue with our Product team, we have discovered that we did experience a bug in the dual signatory process for mandates created before January 2018. When payers completed the online authorisation page via the redirect flow before January 2018, we sent an email to the administrator email on your account that stated that you would be able to collect payments from them.
In fact, this was not the case, as the payer still needed to complete the dual authorisation step of their mandate setup. The issue was limited to one automated email with unclear messaging that stated the mandate was active and ready to have payments collected through it, where in fact it was still awaiting a second customer signature via the dual signature authorisation form before becoming active. Consequently, payments were, perhaps unknowingly, being created against mandates that were not yet able to have funds collected through them.
We have stopped offering GoCardless as a payment option on new subscriptions and have very sadly had to instruct our lawyers to take action to recover our losses.
Hmm..Interesting to hear your experience with Gocardless. I have always found the service very good.