Selectapension grows since smoothing cash flow with direct debits
Founded in 2004, SELECTAPENSION is a market leading fintech provider, specialising in designing and rolling out software to help financial advisers with product selection and investment planning. In the years that followed, they developed additional modules and analysis tools for advisers to give the best pension advice for their clients. When she first started at SELECTAPENSION, Pauline Malin was responsible for the accounts and cash flow, supported by their accountants. The business has grown rapidly since then; as Business Director, Pauline now oversees all finance operations, commercial sales and marketing.
The Challenge - Relying on clients to set up standing orders
When they launched their pension switching tool, SELECTAPENSION realised a large upfront investment for their software would be off-putting for potential clients. To ease their customers’ cash flow, they designed a discount for those who paid an annual licence fee and offered the option to pay by monthly standing order. However, they were reliant on customers setting up a standing order for the correct amount and leaving it in place for the agreed payment schedule. By 2011, they began looking at how to take the burden of administration away from their clients and switch to a simple direct debit solution that puts SELECTAPENSION in control. Their accountant recommended looking at Eazy Collect, as a cost-effective, easy-to-deploy solution.
The Solution - Moving clients across to direct debit collections
Eazy Collect arranged a managed facility to collect direct debits on behalf of SELECTAPENSION on a twice monthly basis. Upon setup, they worked closely with them to ensure batch files were easy to reconcile across to SELECTAPENSION’s customer relationship management system to pay back against the annual invoices. Getting new clients to pay by direct debit first, then transferring long-standing relationships over to the system helped SELECTAPENSION embed the new process into their operations.
To mitigate the direct debit risk underlying the Direct Debit Guarantee for customers, Eazy Collect required proportionate reserve balances on SELECTAPENSION’S dedicated client account. Pauline feels the lines of communication are always open with Eazy Collect. “When we were a small business, I was balancing the books very carefully. Andy never forced the issue that we had to keep funds on retention with them and this allowed us to manage cash flow and ultimately supported our growth.”
The Impact - Streamlining finance operations to support client base growth
Being able to manage payments through the custom-designed customer relationship management (CRM) system makes the whole process simple for the Ripe team. It means they can be more responsive when things change for their policyholders.
Working with Eazy Collect has streamlined their cash flow; funds are collected twice monthly and transferred automatically to SELECTAPENSION. The daily reports give the accounts team complete control to follow up with customers and Pauline always has very good visibility of what’s happening and what they need to do.
Pauline says, “I’ve been really happy with the Eazy Collect system and Andy’s entire team has been great. Without a doubt, it is helpful to our customers to pay by direct debit. And what’s great about direct debit is that as soon as customers cancel a direct debit, Eazy Collect sees it immediately and notify us. Their reports are vast and I like having the visibility to keep us in full control.”