According to the latest report from Ofcom, the UK telecoms sector is worth £37.5bn, expanding by £0.1bn in 2016.
The forecast is for more growth as demand from both individuals and businesses booms.
Predictions from recent research suggest 92% of adults in the UK will have a smartphone within the next five years, an increase from 85% today.
And official statistics from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy revealed that the number of UK businesses has hit a record high of 5.5m, an increase of 23% since 2010. Of these newcomers, 1m are small enterprises, 4,000 are medium-sized and 900 are large businesses.
That’s 5.5 million new and established firms potentially looking for telecoms providers to offer them the most attractive package. And, based on today’s population, 92% is more than 60 million people looking for the best deal on their smartphone.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably taking full advantage of this ripe market and your telecoms business is thriving. You’ve established excellent relationships with carriers, signed up your first customers, nailed your product offering and streamlined your marketing.
But there’s a problem. You’re not quite on track to meet your business goals. One issue is eating into valuable time that you should be spending on your core business: chasing unpaid fees.
The Headache of Unpredictable Payers
Does this look familiar? One customer forgets to pay on time for the third month in a row, another tells you that their cheque is ‘in the post’ and that hard-to-reach client has transferred an incorrect amount and now you have to follow up with numerous phone calls and emails.
Not only is chasing fees time-consuming and stressful, but customer payment uncertainty is affecting your cash flow and budgeting, impacting your future growth plans.
You’re not alone. Many telecoms providers had the same issue when they were starting out, such as Jennifer Spencer, director of Real Time Reception Ltd.
She said: “Prior to using FastPay, our customers paid us when they remembered or wanted to. We spent an inordinate amount of time sending reminders and watching our bank account. Some would pay immediately but it soon became clear that there were some late payers and some never payers, some paid by internet, some by cheque in the post.
“It was impossible to plan or budget as we really never knew what monies were available to us.”
Direct Debit Eases the Pressure
Now you’ve identified that unreliable customer payments is your business expansion bottleneck, you need an improved system for collecting customer payments. It’s likely that you turn in the first instance to your bank, expecting that they will manage a Direct Debit facility for you.
But this isn’t always the case, as Julie Jerrum of UK Telecom Solutions Ltd elaborates:
“Having never required this facility before, when I set up the bank account for UK Telecom Solutions in January of 2012, I wrongly assumed the bank would provide it.
“However, when I met with the bank manager he explained the risks involved and that banks never offer this facility to new businesses.”
Both Real Time Reception Ltd and UK Telecom Solutions Ltd turned to FastPay to act as their Direct Debit partner, swiftly relieving the pain of pursuing unsettled payments.
Here we detail five benefits of using FastPay as your Direct Debit collection company, as emphasised by our successful telecoms clients.
Fast, Easy Set-Up
“I was expecting a painful, complicated process, but was very pleased to be proved wrong! The set-up was fast and the process was very straightforward. They provided me with simple-to-follow instructions that covered everything I needed to know.” – Julie Jerrum, UK Telecom Solutions Ltd
FastPay offers two services, depending on your requirements.
We act as the Direct Debit originator in our Managed Service. It requires no approval from your bank and there’s no need for you to provide a Service User Number (SUN) as you’ll receive a branded SUN from FastPay. Or choose our Bureau Service if you’re a large enough organisation to get a bank-sponsored SUN from Bacs and would prefer to act as the Direct Debit originator yourself.
Both are easy to set up and FastPay guides you through the process. Our aim is to alleviate your stress, not add to it with piles of paperwork.
Whichever option you choose, you can be up and running in 24 hours.
“In the two years I have used FastPay they have never made a mistake and all charges have been exactly as they promised.” – Julie Jerrum, UK Telecom Solutions Ltd
Our two services have an initial set-up fee and then a charge starting from 3p per transaction depending on the volume of transactions. There are no hidden charges or monthly fees and no minimum contract period. You pay for what you use.
“Our existing clients were happy to change to Direct Debit, some of them asked why we hadn’t done it before! All our new customers are signed up to Direct Debit automatically.” – Jennifer Spencer, Real Time Reception Ltd
It’s not just you who will be happier using our Direct Debit services. Your customers will also benefit, as in the long term it also saves them the hassle of organising payment. They will have the correct amount taken on time, every time from their account without having to lift a finger.
FastPay is invisible to your customers, your name and branding appears on all documents, including on customers’ bank statements, a technique shown to boost client retention.
Saves You Valuable Time
“I can’t believe how much it transformed my working day. I rarely need to chase payments now. I know what date monies will enter our account and I can budget effectively. I can spend my time and energies more effectively too, keeping customers and staff happy.” – Jennifer Spencer, Real Time Reception Ltd
No more chasing, no more checking.
FastPay collects your customers’ payments on the date you choose every month. Any bounced or cancelled Direct Debits are reported to you as soon as they occur, and cleared funds are transferred immediately.
High Level of Professionalism
“I send over one spreadsheet each month with the information they require and the rest happens like clockwork. FastPay’s attention to detail and professionalism has helped us concentrate on our core business and build a successful company.” – Julie Jerrum, UK Telecom Solutions Ltd
FastPay offers a reliable, professional service with knowledgeable staff on hand by phone or email to assist with any query. We offer the latest in data protection to ensure your data and your customers’ personal information is kept secure.
Never Chase Unpaid Fees Again
We have experience in collecting payments for telecoms providers just like you. As the statistics at the start of this article demonstrate, there are millions of opportunities out there. So, wave goodbye to time-consuming tracking of unpaid fees and pursuing unpredictable payers and say hello to new business growth and success.