As a telecoms provider it is essential to have a Direct Debiting facility to be able to invoice multiple customers varying sums on a monthly basis. Without it, chasing payment would involve costly resource and negatively impact on our cash flow. 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.
I contacted FastPay on the recommendation of one of our suppliers. 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. I send over one spread sheet each month with the information they require and the rest happens like clockwork. In the two years I have used FastPay they have never made a mistake and all charges have been exactly as they promised.
FastPay has enabled UK Telecom Solutions to offer a professional Direct Debiting service to our customers. Their attention to detail and professionalism has helped us concentrate on our core business and build a successful company. I regularly hear other business owners talking about the problems they are having as a result of people not paying on time and I never hesitate in recommending FastPay as the way to eliminate these issues.
Director, UK Telecom Solutions Ltd
About three years ago I decided to re-brand my business and as part of this process I decided I wanted to correct all of the small niggles that I had put up with for the previous nine years I had been a freelance accountant. One of the biggest issues for me as a sole-practitioner was the fact that I was always owed somewhere between £5 – £10,000 in invoicing which is quite a large sum of money. My wife was always saying ‘you’re really busy but never have any money’ … I think she suspected I was supporting a mistress somewhere!
The obvious answer was to collect my fees on a monthly basis. I had looked in to this a few years earlier but standing orders were very cumbersome (and too dependent on the client to complete paperwork!) and a licence to operate a direct debit scheme was far too costly. This time around I put the question out on Accountingweb and the solution came back that I could use a third party to operate the direct debit on my behalf. This sounded ideal and one of the first names I came across was FastPay.
When I approached FastPay they responded quickly with quotes and as has been born out over the years, they seemed very professional from the start. I was particularly attracted to the fixed fee pricing based on a standard number of collections each month. It transpired that my 90 collections is a very efficient number as the standard pricing is based on 100 collections!
The set up process and communication to clients is time consuming and for the first couple of months you do wonder whether it is going to be worth the effort. However, within three months I had about 90% of my clients signed up and was collecting a similar % of my fees up each month. Most clients saw the new facility as a benefit as it enabled them to budget better for my fees. For me, suddenly I had money in the bank and my wife stopped checking my mobile phone!
Three years on and without doubt this was the best single thing I have ever done with my business. If that seems over-dramatic then perhaps you aren’t as attached to having permanently positive cash-flow as I am. The facility with FastPay has worked faultlessly from day one. I get early warning if a client changes their direct debit or bank account and the submission takes me about 5 minutes each month to send across via email. It has also reduced my administration significantly. Previously to increase fees for each client each year was a huge task but now I just notify them of the ‘tiny’ increase in the monthly DD and let FastPay do the rest. I am always bemused that many accountants still don’t operate this way …. the cost really is insignificant compared to the huge benefit and we are supposed to know a bit about business!
Director, Median Accountancy & Taxation Services Limited
Having never set up a business before, we were quite overwhelmed by what was involved when we set up our outdoor fitness business over 4 years ago. With so many rules and regulations there was so much to learn. But what was fundamental to our business was providing a service and collecting our clients’ payments for the services we provided. If we could get those two things right, we hoped that everything else would fall into place.
Due to the nature of our business, the easiest way for our clients to pay is by monthly direct debit. As our company was not large enough to collect our own direct debits we knew we needed to find a company to assist us. I was very apprehensive about this and went about my research. I came across FastPay via a google search and contacted them, as well as one or two other companies. What drew me to FastPay was their efficient responses to all my questions and their simple, easy to understand collection service. For someone like me understanding the process was essential. They passed this element of my selection process with flying colours due to the excellent literature they provided and their user-friendly website. But the deciding factor for me in selecting them was their extremely quick and helpful responses to all my questions (and there were, and have been, quite a few!). Anyone in business knows that you can’t afford to wait 2 or 3 days for an answer.
I find that their door is always open and if I need another copy of something or can’t find a report they’ve sent, they send it over again without hesitation.
I am delighted to say we have now been working with FastPay for over 4 years and their service is quite simply impeccable. They are friendly, efficient and always respond in the quickest time. They take time to explain their procedures and provide you with useful tools to assist you such as submission calendars letting you know when you need to submit files and when their offices are closed etc. I have also found them extremely supportive in understanding the nature of our business.
We submit nearly 500 direct debits every month and continually make changes to those collections by removing payers and submitting new payers. In all the time we have worked with FastPay there has never been a mistake on their part and this means the service we in turn provide to our clients is the very best it can be.
I would not hesitate to recommend FastPay to anyone. Their customer service is faultless as is the financial service they provide. If only everyone we dealt with was as efficient as FastPay.
Director, Parkfit Ltd
We decided to try to improve cash flow and remove as much of the administration work as possible from our accounts department as it was becoming quite tiresome for them chasing up invoices that hadn’t been paid on time.
FastPay was very easy to set up and met very little resistance from our existing client base.
Engaging FastPay has provided 3 distinct benefits, 1) Less time spent chasing invoices for payment, 2) Improved cash flow and 3) We have also found a new client’s lack of willingness to go onto direct debit a fairly reliable indicator of lack of cash flow or credit worthiness, Many of those that refuse to go onto direct debit often fail to pay on time manually and a high percentage, compared to those happy to go onto direct debit, end up being terminated and debt collected for non-payment.
I would recommend FastPay as an excellent service to boost cash flow, cut down on admin and streamline the collection of client revenues.
Managing Director, Converted Limited
I run a music school which provides one to one instrumental tuition and for many years we have billed our students on a school term basis. Rather than continue with this method which confronts students with a large bill to pay three times a year, I decided to look into the possibility of students paying by Direct Debit on a monthly basis.
I found FastPay’s website was easy to read, understand and user-friendly. The fees for the service FastPay provides are clearly displayed and not over complicated as was the case with some of the other companies I considered.
When I contacted FastPay for further information, both by e-mail and phone, I received prompt and efficient replies to all my questions. Three months later, I’m happy to say that I am continuing to receive a really good personal and professional service from the FastPay team and I have recommended them to several other business colleagues. Despite these uncertain times my business continues to grow.
Thank you FastPay
Anne Sheehan Music School Ltd
Mardon have been in the business for nearly 10 years and started as a small family business. We found that many of our customers needed our recycling equipment to progress their business but were unable to afford an outright purchase, so we decided to rent them out on a monthly basis.
As time went by, our customer base grew and the company evolved, payments became increasingly difficult to track down and keep up to date, and it became apparent that we would need a separate rental company. After discussions we also decided that payment by direct debit would form part of our terms and conditions, as we wanted to overcome the increasing customer debt, and reduce time spend chasing for payment. We found our own bank most unhelpful, but then we discovered FastPay.
FastPay helped and advised us every step of the way, and even supplied direct debit mandates with our company logo. The charges were very reasonable, and the procedures fairly straight forward the staff were very helpful and responded very quickly when I was uncertain of anything at the outset. In fact, we were so delighted with the straight forward service that we decided to use the service for our original company, and so set up two FastPay accounts.
We have never looked back and feel strongly that our decision to offer payment by direct debit was the right one, a good 90% of our rental invoices are paid regularly and within the 30 days credit limit, and new customers with no trading history even pay monthly in advance. We are very pleased to be associated with FastPay, and look forward to a long and successful association with them. I would not hesitate to recommend FastPay to service payments by direct debit from your customers. Well Done Guys!!
Mardon Recycling Machinery Ltd
Mardon Rentals Ltd