Making the decision to take Direct Debit payments from customers could boost your turnover by an impressive 300%. A bold claim backed up by telecoms specialist Sean Reynolds whose company enjoyed exactly that tangible result by switching to a Direct Debit payment method with FastPay.
“It’s proved to be the best solution we could have hoped for and we couldn’t operate our business without it. In fact, we don’t know how we ever survived without it.”
But how can something so simple have such an impact? And how do you set up a similar scheme?
Why Switch To Direct Debit?
Before making the switch, Sean, like many directors running a successful SME, found that collecting customer payments via Standing Order, cheque or credit card was causing headaches: time-consuming reconciliation, missed payments that needed to be chased and no comprehensive reporting system.
Standing Orders in particular were creating stumbling blocks in his cashflow because any changes to the amount, frequency or date of collection had to be arranged by the customer with their bank.
He also only discovered that a Standing Order had bounced or been cancelled when the payment didn’t come through, a process that could take a month or longer. Cheques could bounce, credit card fees could spiral.
Compared to these traditional payment methods, Direct Debit has unbeatable flexibility:
- Pro-active reporting systems quickly alert you to all payments and non-payments, easing the accounting burden
- Ability to adjust the collection date and amount easily by informing the customer of your intentions, adapting to your business needs
- Opportunity to offer customers the option to spread the cost of their payments, improving customer service
- High success rate with re-presenting bounces, maintaining cashflow
All these benefits put you and your business back in control
For Sean, taking control meant researching Direct Debit payment solutions to find the best fit for his company.
Once only available to larger, corporate businesses who paid banks many thousands of pounds to manage their schemes, technology has now made it simple for SMEs, organisations and charities to take Direct Debit payments.
A Direct Debit bureau like FastPay makes it easy for them by offering straightforward solutions to collect money quickly and efficiently.
After taking advice, Sean chose the FastPay Managed Service which is ideal for smaller businesses and organisations who don’t already have a Service User Number (SUN) or can’t get one from their bank.
This Direct Debit payment method means there’s no need to set up your own expensive scheme or to get approval from your bank. It allows you to focus on developing your business instead of wasting precious time and resources chasing money.
With a full reporting process, you’re informed of any bounced or cancelled Direct Debits so you remain in total control without the administrative burden.
By opting to accept Direct Debit payments, Sean’s business saw immediate benefits including:
- Reduced administrative workload and costs – less time spent sending reminders and chasing payments
- Improved cashflow – knew exactly when cleared funds would be in his bank account, unlike other payment methods which could arrive at any time
- Happier customers – Direct Debit gave them peace of mind, convenience, security and flexibility
When combined, these three areas allowed Sean to run his business more efficiently, freed up staff time to focus on developing new revenue streams and attracted more customers who wanted an easy way to pay for the company’s services.
The overall result? A 300% boost to his business growth
Sean, whose business provides mobile, landline and data connection solutions, said: “We found FastPay and they offered the best and clearest deal from all of the Direct Debit payment solutions we’d checked, so we selected them as our provider.
“It was such a breeze to implement Direct Debits into our business, bearing in mind this was a new service and we had zero idea how to implement it or what the various formats and codes meant.
“The team at FastPay made everything so simple and easy for us to understand and implement this product. Direct Debit has become a key service in our business.”
How Do You Set Up A Direct Debit Scheme?
Setting up a Managed Service scheme like Sean’s to accept Direct Debit payments is easy:
- FastPay provides you with a personalised SUN number
- Your customer completes a Direct Debit instruction form online, over the phone or on a paper mandate
- You send FastPay their account details, the amounts you wish to debit from your customers and the nominated collection date
- FastPay prepares and submits those details to Bacs for collection and your customer’s account will be debited
- The amount will be credited to a Client Trust Account FastPay holds in your name
- FastPay pays the money into your bank account once the funds have cleared
- You check your account and are reassured that payments have been made successfully
Once up and running, FastPay will handle all the day-to-day administration of the service keeping you informed every step of the way while you get to concentrate on the important job of building your business.
Sean added: “Using Direct Debit has improved our business by 300%. We are now in control of all our customers’ payments and we always recommend FastPay to our customers who need to improve the way they collect money.
“FastPay aren’t just fast, they’re easy to work with, never get anything wrong and are simple to communicate with.”