New feature: Get paid on time with GoCardless

What if you could skip a big chunk of admin and cut out the stress of those awkward phone calls and emails asking your customers to pay overdue invoices? With GoCardless, you can. 

We’re excited to announce we’ve teamed up with GoCardless, one of the UK’s leading payment fintech companies. Together, we’re bringing you a smart solution to help you take control of your payments so you can get paid on time. Not only that but you’ll save time on your finance admin.

How does it work? With GoCardless, you’ll be able to collect payments for your invoices using Direct Debit

Direct Debit isn’t just for bills

Council tax, car insurance, electricity bills – we’re used to using Direct Debit for these types of monthly payments. But with GoCardless, your business can use Direct Debit to collect recurring or one-off invoice payments too. 

For your repeat customers, you can save admin time for both of you by using Direct Debit. Your customer sets up their payment details just once and authorises you to collect directly from their bank account whenever a payment is due. When you invoice them, GoCardless collects the amount you’ve billed on the due date. (They’ll always be notified before each payment is collected.) 

For one-off payments, it works like a transfer – the money goes from your customer’s account to yours. But your customer doesn’t need to set up the transfer themselves, they just need to agree to the Direct Debit mandate.

Game-changer for small businesses

Direct Debit payments with GoCardless aren’t just a time-saver for your business, it’s easier for your customers too. 

Let’s say you have a customer who places an order every month but the amount they order each time is different. At the moment, you create and send them an invoice every month, which they have to remember to pay you. 

However, when you’ve set up the payment via GoCardless, the payment you collect adjusts to the amount on the invoice you sent to your customer. Even better, your customer doesn’t need to do anything – the money is collected automatically!

Direct Debit is easier for your customers 

  • Simple
    Customers don’t have to log into online banking, write and post cheques or even remember to pay.
  • Quick
    To set up their payment, customers add their account details, agree to the Direct Debit mandate and that’s it. Done.
  • Clear
    GoCardless sends your customers an email to notify them when their payment will be collected.
  • Safe
    Your customers’ payments are protected by the Direct Debit guarantee if a payment is ever collected by mistake.

3 way to use Direct Debit with GoCardless

To see how payments by Direct Debit could simplify your finance admin, here are some examples of how small business owners can use GoCardless:

Bailey, fruit and veg delivery

  • Limited company
  • Charges for goods sold
  • Same clients, different orders every day

Bailey’s customers – local pubs and cafes – place an order almost daily. Every month, he adds up the orders and sends each customer an invoice. Some customers pay by transfer, some by card, some by cheque, some in cash, and some… need chasing up. Every. Single. Month. Chasing up payments, paying cash in at the Post Office and processing cheques takes up days of Bailey’s time.

With GoCardless, customers still get their invoices to check every month, but their payment is collected automatically. Without so much finance admin to do, Bailey has more time to meet new clients and suppliers to grow his business.

Sandy, freelance graphic designer

  • Sole trader
  • Charges by the hour
  • Same clients, different amounts every month

Sandy has several long-term clients. The hours she works for each client vary every month. She has to spend a day on financial admin every month to create, send and chase up on invoices, and her clients have to set up a transfer every time they need to pay her.

With GoCardless, Sandy sends invoices each month setting out her hours and the payment amount, then on the agreed day, the amount is collected automatically by Direct Debit. Her clients love how easy it is, and Sandy loves that she can spend more time designing and less time pestering clients for payment.

Jasdeep, training consultant

  • Limited company
  • Charges per course delivered
  • Corporate and public sector clients, some repeat clients

Jas delivers week-long leadership development courses for several clients. He invoices clients at the end of each course. It’s often tricky to get set up as a supplier with a client’s finance team. To remove this hassle, Jas includes a clause in his standard contract that payment is by Direct Debit. He sets up the mandate ahead of time and schedules a one-off payment when he creates the invoice.

Jas now spends less time chasing payments and when he works for the same client again, he can use the same mandate to set up another one-off Direct Debit payment.

Is GoCardless right for your invoices?

To help you decide, here’s how invoices with and without GoCardless payments stack up:

Invoice without GoCardless Invoice with GoCardless
✅  One-off payments ✅  One-off payments
❌  Regular and variable payments ✅  Regular and variable payments
✅  Set payment date ✅  Set payment date
✅  Customer pays in cash, by cheque or transfer ❌   Customer pays in cash, by cheque or transfer
❌ Customer pays by Direct Debit ✅ Customer pays by Direct Debit
❌ Money collected automatically ✅  Money collected automatically
❌ Customer’s payment protected by Direct Debit guarantee ✅  Customer’s payment protected by Direct Debit guarantee

As you’d expect, there’s a small fee for the GoCardless service. You pay per invoice so you only pay for what you use. 

GoCardless charge 1% + 20p for UK transactions, capped at £4. If your transaction is over £2,000, there’s an additional fee of 0.1% on the amount over £2,000. VAT will be applied to these fees.

Fees vary if you join GoCardless on a Plus or Pro plan.

All the fees for GoCardless services are set out on their website:
GoCardless |Pricing

How to set up payment by Direct Debit

Ready to try out GoCardless?

  • Connect to GoCardless
    First, get ready to use GoCardless with your Tide account:
    • Click on an invoice
      A panel will appear on the right
      If the GoCardless option is available for that invoice, you’ll see a box for Direct Debit with GoCardless 
    • Click Ready to set up
    • You can then either Sign up or if you already have a GoCardless account, choose Sign in

  • Send mandate request to your customer
    GoCardless will ask your customer to authorise a Direct Debit mandate. You’ll be notified when they authorise it.
  • Create an invoice in your Tide app or Tide on the web
    Set the payment terms as usual.
  • Schedule a payment by Direct Debit
    Via Tide on the web, schedule the payment, either for the invoice due date or another day you choose.
  • GoCardless collects the money
    On the agreed day, GoCardless automatically collects the money from your customer’s account.
  • You get paid on time
    The money arrives in your Tide account.

If you want to make invoices and payments easier for your business and your customers, GoCardless is a smart new option. By saving time on your invoicing admin, you can get back to doing what you love: growing your business. 

To get started, log into Tide on the web and go to Invoicing.

Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash
First published: 14 September 2020 (GoCardless beta test)

Suzanne Worthington

Suzanne Worthington

Senior Writer

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