Introducing a Direct Debit scheme isn’t just one more way to collect your customers’ cash: it’s a comprehensive, automated system that will transform your business.
Not only will the benefits of Direct Debit surge through your company, helping everything from cashflow to office clutter, it will catapult your customer service to the next level.
Here we explore how a Direct Debit set-up can have such dramatic effects for everyone.
First, we’ll take a closer look at how it benefits your business, then we’ll focus on your customers.
Brilliant Business Benefits
Every business knows that late payment hurts. For every unpaid invoice, your cashflow becomes more uncertain as time ticks by. Hours must be put aside to chase customers, an unenviable job which puts a strain on staff as well as your bottom line.
The ripple effect could affect your ability to meet your own commitments such as paying bills, VAT and PAYE.
Using Direct Debit collection for regular income such as subscription payments removes these cashflow challenges, unlike other payment methods which are plagued by unreliability.
Your clients are signed up to pay you on a regular basis with a predictable amount. If a payment fails, you are quickly notified, minimising any cashflow disruption.
The cash just keeps flowing, replacing uncertainty with reassurance.
Direct Debit has a positive impact on customer loyalty and retention. By offering them the most efficient and flexible payment method available, they see you as a helpful, hassle-free company that strives to make their lives easier.
They trust that you will take the right amount from their account at the right time and that you’ll inform them of any changes to their payment plan.
You’ll be free to communicate with them about more customer-friendly topics than potentially embarrassing money matters. The time freed up to focus on client relationships will add extra value to the services you already offer.
Save Time and Money
You want your staff to be happy in their work, enjoying high levels of morale and motivation.
Your accounts team are likely to be faced with daily headaches from the day-to-day administrative intricacies of keeping their department running at optimum levels.
These demands may mean that other areas are unintentionally neglected: building customer relationships, keeping up-to-date with industry topics or focusing on their own career development.
With a Direct Debit set-up, their jobs will become easier as many complicated processes are automated, reducing the danger of human error and eliminating extra admin work.
They will be able to focus on the task in hand armed with clear, up-to-date information provided by your Direct Debit bureau partner.
Streamline Your Banking
With Direct Debit collection services via a bureau, you receive swift, automatic notifications about any problematic payments: bounces, failures and cancellations.
This comprehensive breakdown of all payments, including successful ones, allows any issues to be tackled efficiently. You stay in-the-know and fully up-to-date with all the comings and goings of your account.
Alongside the strict regulations imposed by Bacs and your bureau’s sponsoring bank, Direct Debit for businesses is also covered by a unique guarantee.
The Direct Debit Guarantee protects customers if on a rare occasion there’s an error when processing your payment. Unlike Standing Orders which aren’t guaranteed by any financial body, all Direct Debits are covered.
Direct Debit has unbeatable flexibility. If you’ve always relied on Standing Orders to collect regular payments, you’ll be well aware of their limitations.
You’re given no advance warning that a Standing Order won’t appear in your account on time or has been cancelled. Your cashflow is unexpectedly interrupted.
You have to ask your customer to change the amount or payment date: they might refuse, forget or take several weeks to get around to contacting their bank.
The result? Frustration and financial uncertainty.
With Direct Debit for businesses, the ball is in your court. When a mandate is in place, you can alter how much is collected, how often and on what date, provided you notify your customers. You’ll wonder how you ever managed without its flexibility.
Software advances have revolutionised the world of regular payments. The integration possibilities are impressive.
You can connect your online payment gateway to your accounts team’s system to your bureau’s software, making the whole process smooth and pain-free. You can integrate as much or as little as you like using powerful APIs and platforms such as Xero.
This highly efficient automation removes the need for manual reconciliation and eliminates the risk of data entry errors.
Everything flows seamlessly through the digital chain, resulting in increased payment efficiency, reduced admin time and a real-time cash overview.
Combining the logic of Direct Debit with the power of these integrations will become an invaluable part of your business’ growth.
Outstanding Customer Benefits
An Unrivalled Choice
Every business wants happy customers and setting up a Direct Debit scheme for them is guaranteed to raise a smile. Its value to them is unrivalled.
Your new payment option will let them tick off an item on their never-ending life admin list. Their monthly subscription, bill or rent will be paid on time every time with minimal input and hassle.
You can persuade them to make the switch from their current payment method by highlighting the many benefits of Direct Debit.
Paying automatically by Direct Debit is the ultimate fast finance solution for your customers. By providing a scheme, you’re making their lives easier and their opinion of your business rocket.
Gone are the days when they had to dig out their cheque book, find a stamp and remember to post a cheque. No longer do they have to queue at a bank, building society or Post Office counter to pay their regular bills. And listening to hold music while waiting to pay you over the phone will be a thing of the past.
Get them signed up and they could be saving up to seven hours a year on boring admin tasks. Extra time they’ll want to thank you for.
Peace of Mind
Once they’ve filled in their mandate, either online, over the phone or on paper, customers can sit back and relax: their payment is being taken care of by you and your bureau.
No need to remember payment dates and amount, they’ll know that their bills are being paid automatically. They’ll never receive late payment penalties from you and won’t flip into their overdraft because you’ve cashed their cheque on an inconvenient day.
Using Direct Debit means they’ll avoid any interruption to receiving your service and be spared any awkwardness when you remind them to pay up.
Security and Trust
Direct Debit collection doesn’t just reassure your customers that payments have been made successfully, it offers unbeatable levels of security.
You can tell them that the Direct Debit Guarantee protects them with a comprehensive range of safeguards. You can put their mind at rest that Direct Debit is the most secure form of payment available, making the chances of fraud highly unlikely.
Using a bureau such as FastPay will also mean that their account details are stored securely on 128-bit encrypted dual servers.
Flexible Budgeting and Full Control
Offering a Direct Debit set-up will give your customers the confidence that they can remain in full control of their finances.
Its flexibility means that they can choose their payment date and change it at any time. This means that they can efficiently manage their own cashflow and prioritise your payment within their budgeting.
These benefits can’t be found in alternative payment choices such as Standing Orders and are a big selling point when encouraging your clients to make the move to Direct Debit collection.
A Money-saving Solution
Because your business will be saving money, you can pass this onto your customers, sharing the benefits of Direct Debit between you.
Offering a discount or incentive for using Direct Debit is a popular technique to enhance customer loyalty and satisfaction. For example, you could offer a 5% reduction in your fees or a lower interest rate if Direct Debit is used to collect monthly instalments for a high-value item.
By offering an incentive to sign up to regular Direct Debit payments, your customers get a more flexible repayment plan, and the core benefits of a faster, more efficient method of payment.