Our Advice on Increasing your Direct Debit Take Up

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As a Direct Debit devotee, you’re already enjoying the benefits it’s bringing to your business.

But what about those long-term customers who need a little more convincing that it’s worth making the switch? And the new ones who need guidance on the best way to pay you?

If they’re clinging on to cheques or stuck on Standing Orders, we have some helpful tips on how to increase your Direct Debit take-up levels.

Take them on board and you’ll easily be able to persuade customers that it’s the most secure, reliable and straightforward option.

Broadcast the Benefits

direct debit benefits

By now, you’ll be well-acquainted with the transformative effects of using Direct Debit to collect regular payments.

You’re experiencing cashflow confidence, customer satisfaction, convenient automation and a vastly more efficient accounting system.

And you also know that the more customers you can persuade to join your scheme, the more impact those benefits will create.

The single most effective way to convert them and increase your Direct Debit take-up percentage is by stressing the benefits it will bring to them too.

Encourage them to fill in that mandate by stressing how signing up will quite simply make their lives easier:

Simple set-up

Tell them that they only need to fill in a Direct Debit Instruction once and can choose how they want to do this: either online, over the phone or via a paper mandate. All they need to provide is their name, address and bank details, then they’re all set.

After that, they don’t need to think about their monthly payment: it will be taken from their account on the expected date with no further action needed by them.


Explain that you can offer them a choice of payment dates to suit their budgeting and cashflow. As well as giving your customers full control, this element of choice has a positive impact on uptake figures.


Stress that setting up a Direct Debit will mean that important payments are never missed or forgotten. They’ll not be charged late payment fees if they overlook an invoice and will enjoy uninterrupted service from your company.

They’ll also not need to spend the time and endure the hassle of posting a cheque and either making a phone call or logging on to pay you by card. Everything will be taken care of by you and your bureau.

Peace of Mind

Reassure them that Direct Debit is the safest form of payment available thanks to the Direct Debit Guarantee.

The guarantee establishes trust between you and your customers due to its wide range of safeguards. Give them peace of mind by highlighting that if any payments are taken from their account in error or fraudulently, they can request an immediate refund from their bank.

And don’t be afraid to share with your customers that Direct Debit benefits you too. If they know that your business is being run more efficiently, they’ll be reassured of the value and quality of your service.

Launch a Marketing Campaign

marketing campaigns

To successfully sell Direct Debit as your preferred payment method, consider devising a dedicated marketing campaign.

The right messages targeted at the right people can work wonders at driving up Direct Debit take-up rates. An integrated, omni-channel approach will help to spread the word.

If you don’t have the right resources in-house, Bacs offers a downloadable marketing tool-kit to guide you through the basic steps.

It includes a range of customisable leaflets, images and templates highlighting the benefits of signing up to Direct Debit, along with a best-practice guide to promoting the scheme.

Offer An Irresistible Incentive

Direct Debit gives you the opportunity to offer incentives, creating a win-win for you and your customers.

Because you’re saving time and money by using Direct Debit, you can pass these savings on to the customer, increasing customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.

A conversion-boosting incentive could be a straightforward 5% discount, a first-month-free offer or even a desirable product for your target audience.

Aim to make the deal as personalised and appealing as possible to tempt your customers away from their credit card or chequebook.

You’ll soon see a rise in your Direct Debit take-up levels.

Make Direct Debit Their First Choice

Stress your commitment to Direct Debit by putting it first at every opportunity: the first payment option on your website, the first suggestion made by your sales team, the first way to pay that your customers consider.

Push Direct Debit as your preferred method, let it take precedence over others and get it front of mind for your customer.

You could even choose to only accept Direct Debit but if you’d prefer to maintain payment flexibility, then perhaps adopt a subtle barrier by not allowing sign-up by credit card online. If a potential customer has to make a phone call to do this, they may be more easily swayed to quickly fill out a Direct Debit mandate via your website.

Share Testimonials

If you have existing Direct Debit customers who are happy with the arrangement, shout about them! Ask them if they’re comfortable with their names and businesses being used online, by the sales team in their pitches and in your marketing material.

Gather some positive quotes, packed with the benefits they’re enjoying, and share these widely to provide real-life evidence that Direct Debit makes a big difference.

You can also share some Direct Debit stats with them: over 80% of UK adults have at least one, over 4 billion were processed in 2017 and its popularity grew by almost 4% last year.

Armed with your inventory of information, you can now start to persuade your customers that Direct Debit is the obvious choice to make secure, reliable and easy payments to you.

Share it with them and you’ll soon see your Direct Debit take-up rates soar.

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