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Direct Debit Blog

Information for companies considering using Direct Debit and Paperless Online Direct Debits as a payment option for their customers.

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Recent blog posts

New PAYM Mobile Payment Service

Posted by on in Direct Debits

PAYM is the new mobile payments service that will be launched on 29th April 2014 and will immediately be available to 30m people. The service, driven by the Payments Council is supported by most of the major banks though a few have delayed launch until later in the year.

The idea of the service is to allow you to make payments to other people or businesses direct from your phone without needing to know their bank details.

To receive money in this way, users need to attach a mobile number to their bank account, through a registration process with their bank.

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Here at Eazy Collect, we've been extolling the virtues of Direct Debit for over a decade, and now it seems that even the DVLA are beginning to see why Direct Debit is such an efficient payment method.

Car tax discs have been around since 1921, but with the DVLA holding a database of vehicle registration numbers and tax disc payments, the need for the humble piece of paper sticky taped to the windscreen is coming to an end. Paying for car tax, or more correctly, Vehicle Excise Duty, is also due for an overhaul with the option to pay by monthly Direct Debit being added alongside Annual and 6 Monthly options.

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It's Not Difficult To Take Direct Debits

Posted by on in Direct Debits

Often, companies are put-off a Direct Debit scheme to take payment collections from customers as they fear it's difficult to setup and then equally complex to migrate customers. Whilst gaining approval from your bank to take direct debits may prove challenging as you'll need to have a strong trading history and very healthy financial figures, a much simpler alternative is available.

Whatever route you choose, you'll need to obtain a SUN (Service User Number) to enable you to handle payments.  This can either be obtained via your bank, subject to the above stringent requirements, or you can obtain one from a BACS approved Bureau like Eazy Collect Services.

Using a BACS Approved Bureau, will help you avoid complex application processes with the bank (though there's still some rules) and avoid having to pay for any BACS software and maintenance; avoid having to worry about the security risks; and avoid having to think about compliance at every turn.

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PM Cracks Down on Late Payments

Posted by on in Direct Debits

David Cameron pledged today to crack down on late payments.

The PM said he would take action against late payments, which in some cases can lead to staff not being paid and even drive SMEs out of business. He plans to announce a consultation on tackling late payment and whether there is a case for further legislation or penalties.

“It’s not right that suppliers are not getting paid on time for the work they do and the services they provide, and I know that late payment can have devastating effects on our small and medium-sized businesses.” he said
 
If you collect regular payments from customers, you could wait for legislation or take matters into your own hands today with direct debit.

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SMEs’ attitudes to payment methods

Posted by on in Direct Debits

 

A recent study by Bacs, interviewing 500 small to medium sized businesses found that electronic payments are now become the favoured way to pay with a 75% increase in companies now using online banking.

Direct Debit was cited as a preferred payment method with 60% of SMEs seeing direct debit as the preferred way of collecting money and ensuring it arrives on time.

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Direct Debit Management is Easy...

Posted by on in Direct Debits

Direct Debit has been around for a long time and over the last 10 years, the father of electronic payments has seen a surge in uptake as utility companies, gyms, membership organisations and even charities take advantage of the benefits it has to offer.  Those who start using the Direct Debit Service generally see improvements in the reconciliation of accounts, non-payments and overall cashflow.  The hands-off nature of the payments means that customers, members and donors don't feel the impact of payments meaning you received your money quickly, on time and automatically.

So what happens when you submit a payment through our Direct Debit Management Portal - Eazy Customer Manager?  The process is pretty simple:

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The new consumer watchdog for the banking sector, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has reached an agreement with seven of the UK's largest banks and building societies which will undoubtedly help consumers avoid bank charges from failed Direct Debits.
 
In the unprecedented move, Barclays, The Co-operative, HSBC, Nationwide, RBS Group, Santander and National Australia Group will begin a process whereby direct debits, Standing Orders and future dated bill payments will be retried later in the day if they initially fail due to lack of funds.  Lloyd's Banking Group advised that they already operate a similar system for most payments, and are working to extend the scheme to all transactions.
 
The FCA have pressed for the retry-later process following the introduction of the Faster Payments system whereby payments between accounts happen in near real time.  
 
Historically payments into accounts occurred shortly after midnight as part of a batch process followed by direct debits and Standing Orders.  As Faster Payments can be credited to an account at any point in the day, it is possible that an expected payment into the account is applied after the automated payments out have been processed.  The introduction of the new retry process ensures that payments received later in the day are taken into account when making the decision whether or not to honour automated payments out of the account.
 
For a Direct Debit Originator, those that have their own Service User Number, this is great news as there should be an increased number of successful payments as payments received later in the day are accounted for in the decision whether to pay a direct debit or not.  It is, however, unclear at this point whether or not ARUDD (unpaid) reports will be supplied at a later date to Direct Debit Originators for those payments that fail a second time after being subjected to the retrying process.
 
The FCA and Payments Council are continuing to work in close co-operation to help put together a minumum service standards framework across all banks and building societies that offer direct debits, Standing Orders and future dated payments to consumers.  
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CI UKAS smProviding the highest levels of customer service to our clients is something that all of the staff here at Eazy Collect do every day.  However with the rapid growth in our business, we felt it important to ensure that we have the right procedures in place to maintain those high standards.  That's why we took the decision to look at all of our business processes to ensure that they were properly documented and improved wherever necessary.  
 
As part of the process, we also put a "Quality Management Policy" in place which aims to regularly review customer suggestions and feedback in order to continually improve our business procedures and services.     
 
Our work in this area has culminated in certification to the ISO9001:2008 standard; a standard of which we are very proud.
 
A spokesperson for Eazy Collect commented "While the initial stages of documenting and evaluating our procedures has been quite a challenge, the hard work put in during these early stages forms a strong base from which to improve and evolve our service as the company continues to grow".  
 
For more information on our services, please call Gavin or Elliot in our sales team on 01242 650052.  
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Some Direct Debit Stats

Posted by on in Direct Debits

BACS Payment Schemes Limited, the company which sits behind the Direct Debit and Direct Credit schemes is owned by 16 leading banks and building societies based in the UK, Europe and the United States.  All of the members of BACS have a number of roles and responsibilities including:

  • Settling at the bank of England
  • Underwriting the Direct Debit Guarantee
  • Guarantee BACS
  • Fund BACS
  • Underwrite all risks incurred by BACS
  • Direct BACS and determine its plans
  • Use BACS to support their customer propositions

In 2012, BACS processed more than 3.43 billion direct debits with the highest number of payments processed in one day topping a staggering 97.6 million (a value of £23 billion).  BACS also saw an increase in Direct Debit volumes of 3.2% - a figure not experienced in the last five years which goes to show that more and more people are turning to Direct Debit to settle regular invoices.  

Direct Debit remains extremely popular with the public, with 64% of people preferring to pay most bills by Direct Debit and 39% who would like to settle all bills in this manner.   

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Household Bills Soar

Posted by on in Direct Debits

New research from BACS shows that houshold finances continue to be put under increasing pressure with bills soaring by some 40% since pre-recessionary times.  
 
The company behind the Direct Debit Scheme found that in 2007, shortly before the receission began, household bills were averaging £5,834, but by 2012 they had risen to £8,202; an increas eof almost £2,400 per year.
 
Bills for personal services, such as mobile phones, personal loans and gym mebership also rose from a pre-recession high of £3,830 to £4,156 in 2012 making an average of £12,358 per annum on regular bills alone.  
 
Many household bills can be spread across the year by using Direct Debit.  Not only does the payment method save time, it can also save money, with many phone and utility providers offering discounts to those who opt to pay with a Direct Debit.
 
For more information on how Direct Debit can help your company, please contact our Sales Team.  
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