As we head steadily into Q2 of 2018, it’s always beneficial for a business to look back and reflect on the previous year.
2017 was a busy time for FastPay Direct Debit services. In twelve months, we focused on adding value to the service we provide to our clients as well as creating useful, informative content for potential new customers.
Upgrades and New Partnerships
We’re continually assessing and analysing the FastPay Direct Debit provision to ensure it’s the most user-friendly, intuitive and time-efficient offering for our customers.
We aim to provide an easy-to-set-up facility and straightforward dashboard and in 2017, we focused on making improvements to our software to streamline the process of setting up and managing Direct Debits.
As we’re continuously refining, 2018 will be no different. We encourage customer feedback and act on this to enhance our software to meet client expectations and requirements.
In addition to these software upgrades, we also negotiated and secured a number of exciting, new partnerships in 2017. Collaborations boost our Direct Debit business, and we’ll be looking to establish more this year.
FastPay Direct Debit services work effectively on their own, but also when effortlessly integrated into customers’ existing business software and tools. For example, accountancy or billing platforms and applications.
Last year we launched our integration with the Xero software. Xero is a provider of online accounting software for small businesses.
It gives a real-time view of cash flow and up-to-date-financials. The mobile app offers an on-the-move ability to send invoices, log expense claims, create purchase orders and reconcile in seconds.
Integrating our Direct Debit service into this tool supports seamless reconciliation of invoices that have been paid by Direct Debit as well as quickly flagging any missed or delayed collections.
2017 also saw us working behind the scenes to bring online a new Sage integration. We’ll launch later this year. Sage is the UK’s second largest technology company providing software to manage accounting and financials, operations, people, payroll, and payments
The FastPay and Sage integration assists with the smoother processing of client payments as well as easier consolidation of financials and budgeting.
Submission Reminder Tool Launched
Last year we devised, built and tested a new submission reminder tool to offer an additional layer of convenience and time-saving for clients.
The tool was launched at the beginning of 2018 and enables customers to set reminders to submit their collections to FastPay. Our application will then email a reminder at the time and date chosen.
This allows for a smoother operation for busy clients, as they submit collections on time, every time, easily meeting their optimal business timeframes and improving cash flow.
Since we launched in 2008, FastPay has been steadily growing. There are many measures we track to evaluate this business growth. One of which is incoming enquiries.
We enjoyed an increase of approximately 30% in new customer enquiries in the first quarter of 2018, compared to the same time period in 2017. This is testament to the successful marketing and business activities in 2017. These customer interactions we filter and spend time answering individuals’ questions and sharing requested information. We then convert the relevant and appropriate exchanges into happy customers.
As evidence of our highly valued service, many of our new clients are referred to us from existing satisfied customers. In 2017, we continued to see a healthy number of referrals and this looks set to continue in 2018.
Added Value to Customers With Content
In September 2017, we put live a resourceful blog with regular practical, informative and engaging articles. This content is aimed at addressing the payment collection pain points of our customers, as well as offering advice and practical guidance on other small business-related topics and specific niche sectors and enterprises.
In addition to the articles, we also researched, wrote and produced two free ebooks for existing customers and potential new customers to download and read at their leisure.
The ebooks include:
- A Business Guide to Recurring Payments and Customer Loyalty
If your accounting systems are more 20th century than 21st century, it’s time to start playing digital catch-up. This ebook can be downloaded here and includes:
- The Simple Solution to Payment Problems
- The Business-Boosting Benefits of Direct Debit
- The Customer-Charming Benefits of Direct Debit
- How Much Will a Direct Debit Bureau Cost?
- Starting Your Direct Debit Journey Now
- Guiding Your Accountancy Practice into the Digital Age
If your accountancy practice was born before the digital revolution and you’re still relying on traditional methods of working, it’s time to say goodbye to technophobia. This ebook can be downloaded here and gives readers insights into:
- Not falling behind with new technology
- Taking the first steps into new technologies
- What accounting tasks can and should be automated
- The benefits automation will bring
- Defining your technology strategy
This resource has proved to add significant value to our customers, with an increase of 227% in web traffic to the blog from March to December 2017.
We’ll continue to produce useful content for customers in 2018, with another ebook in the pipeline, focusing on the gym sector.
Ramped Up Marketing
Marketing continues to be an important consideration for every business. It allows new customers to find you as well as strengthens a business’ position in its industry.
Critical for business growth, we embrace the marketing discipline with a strategy and structured plan.
We revamped our website and saw an increase in traffic of 266% across the year. Our busiest month was November, which saw an increase of 348% in website traffic from all sources.
FastPay is also active on social media, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. And in 2017 our brand engagements across these channels was up 193% compared to the previous year.
2017 was a Great Year, Here’s to 2018
We’re constantly looking for ways to improve our business and the service we provide to customers. The past year saw many achievements in terms of upgrading our systems and signing with new partners, as well as creating useful articles and ebooks that are helpful to our customers.
Thank you to our passionate people, our customers and our partners for an excellent 2017.