GOCARDLESS AS A PAYMENT METHOD FOR JDM WINDOW
WHAT IS GOCARDLESS?
Gocardless is a company which was founded in 2011, with a global focus on
allowing customers and companies to set up recurring direct debits that suit us both.
Specifically for window cleaning, the advantages are clear, you have a multinational company who collects the payments, and importantly only after the job has been done each month! Gocardless works with many companies such as Thomas Cook and Virgin, in fact Thomas Cook was recently using gocardless to allow customers to pay up holiday bookings (kind of like a Christmas catalogue).
HOW DOES IT WORK?
On our window cleaning website, (www.jdmwindowcleaning.co.uk) the customer clicks on the small blue box that says “pay with gocardless” on the ways to pay page of our website and this is how it’s set up. We do not see your bank details because it is an encrypted system, but we do see your name, address and email address too. This allows us to have a contact for you. When this form is filled in, you are also automatically linked to our window cleaning round because we use cleaner planner (our window cleaning round software) and have gocardless and cleaner planner linked.
IS IT SAFE TO USE?
Yes, on many levels. As a direct debit, you have guarantees in place by law; gocardless is a direct debit scheme. One which guarantee not everyone knows about is that on the small print of all direct debit guarantees it says “The direct debit guarantee protects customers from payments taken in error. In the case of an incorrect or fraudulent payment, the payer is entitled to a full and immediate refund from their bank”. We personally have many customers using gocardless, and because all customers receive a notification before any money can be taken by gocardless there is never an issue. Gocardless have a great reputation and are a growing company. In fact even as recent as 2018 the financial times lists them as one of the top 1000 companies in Europe for sustained annual growth in revenue. Gocardless are within the top 50 companies on that list. Also, https://www.forbes.com/sites/trevorclawson/2015/07/24/the-upward-march-of-fin-tech-gocardless-breaks-the-1bn-barrier/#1ed54c6e19c7 here is an article highlighting their success by the highly respected Forbes magazine.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS OF GOCARDLESS
Once you have signed up, we have you added to our worksheet and have future payment means set up. We will clean your windows, and put a ticket through the letterbox to let you know we have been, and that evening we initiate all gocardless payments for that day. We do that by going onto our cleaner planner software and manually input all payments with the reference “window cleaning services”. Just before the payment charge date, you will receive an email saying “JDM window cleaning services are debiting for x amount” because another part of the direct debit guarantee is that payments must involve notification. You do not need to repeat any form filling; it’s a onetime set up.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF THIS SYSTEM?
If you use a bank standing order to pay, what if we are running late or early? You may pay more than you should over the course of a year. With gocardless you only pay once the job is done each time, nothing is debited until the job is done each time. This is contactless, so one form to fill in and that’s it! No more manual bank payments monthly or falling behind with payments, we will manage the regularity of all payments while you are notified each time as well. This offers a paper trail; both of us have an agreed service and also an easy to access account to verify the fact payments were made. If collecting money, payments can often be not ticked off on a window cleaning collection sheet-with this, there is no grey areas of “I paid last time”, “but we haven’t marked that payment down”…it is in black and white. You are not tied into a contract. Cancel at any time, or post the payment method to your new address-we can change the address to your new property on the dashboard. We can debit when it suits you, it doesn’t need to come off 7 days after the window clean. We can initiate debits on the 1st of the month/31st of the month...whatever suits you. Just let us know, we many customers who choose it to come off on their payday for example; and we have the debit date recorded next to their name.
HOW HAS THIS WORKED FOR OUR COMPANY
The one thing we noticed is that this drastically reduced collection time, and also improved cash flow. That’s why so many small businesses now use it. Have we had issues with gocardless? Not really. The only issue we have had is an occasional payment bouncing, where there are insufficient funds in the customer’s bank in, this case we have to click on resubmit and the process begins again.
James, Dominic & Mark.