Nine in ten UK consumers use Direct Debits to pay some or all of their bills, that’s according to UK Finance who report that in 2017 there were 4.2 billion payments worth £1,305 billion transacted using the scheme.
Not surprising you might say, given that Direct Debit works for most people – consumers and businesses alike – as it provides a simple, straightforward and cost-effective way to collect regular or occasional payments.
Even if you’re already a user of Direct Debit, your business may not be taking advantage of all the benefits the scheme offers.
If you are still using paper Direct Debit Instructions to sign up customers, a switch to using AUDDIS (the Automated Direct Debit Instruction Service) can deliver major benefits for what might initially seem like too small a change to be worth the effort.
Using AUDDIS, the original paper Instruction is now retained by you, and not the bank. So whilst you can still chose paper-based processes to get your customers onboard, you can then simply send or “lodge” the details electronically with the customer’s bank via Bacs-approved software or a bureau.
But why stop there? Waiting for your customers to return a paper mandate can be very frustrating, and what if you then can’t read their handwriting? Not only that, but the delay now introduced – as well as the chasing up to clarify – costs you time and effort, and may risk a customer to change their mind about the sale, be distracted by a competitor, or lose confidence in your ability to deliver.
Save Cost and boost efficiency
Paperless Direct Debit, which is only available to AUDDIS users, takes this even further by offering the scope for greater cost and efficiency savings, as well as aiding your environmental goals. With Paperless, you simply capture all your customer’s details right at the point of sale (via a sign-up page on the internet for instance) without the need for them to sign a paper Instruction at all.
Capturing an instruction in this way means it’s automatically stored without the need for any further re-keying, then transmitted electronically all the way through to the bank.
This has many benefits for your business: it ensures accuracy, removes the window for doubt or another party to interfere, and lowers the effort and costs involved in processing. Sounds good, right? Well that’s not all…
Collect the first payment faster and earlier
AUDDIS allows collection of the first Direct Debit from just two working days after DDI lodgement, and of course with Paperless you don’t have to wait for the customer to complete and post the DDI back to you first.
Less time, effort..and paper!
AUDDIS and Paperless eliminates the paperwork and postage involved in setting up Direct Debits, lowering your costs (postage, printing) and reducing time and effort by your staff.
Right first time
Details can be checked and validated right at the point of capture, removing the need for costly and time-consuming efforts to correct any discrepancies later on. Capturing them both directly and electronically means there’s far less chance of errors creeping in through re-keying or interpreting handwriting.
In this digital age, signing up for services online is not only preferred, it’s widely expected. By asking a prospective customer to download, print and complete a paper Instruction, and then relying on them to remember to post it back to you, gives them many opportunities to forget, lose interest or pass you by in favour of someone else who is offering an easier way to pay. With a faster process and fewer issues customer confidence in your business remains high and means fewer inbound queries for your support team to handle.
The Public Sector Paperless Awards recognises innovative use of digitisation within Government. Paperless direct debit is one way organisations are supporting their digital strategy journey.
Is it time to drop the paper, save yourself time and money, and do your bit for the environment?