Customer focus group highlights

Our interactive community meetings provide a great opportunity for closer collaboration between us
and you, our customers. They provide the forum to engage with your peers, stay abreast of industry 
news and help shape the paygate solutions that will most benefit your business, now and into the future.

Here are some of the highlights from the various sessions that you may find interesting: 

paygate’s account manager, Jon Bell, started the focus group by providing an overview of the v3 platform.


Our most recent major upgrade introduced enhanced flexibility and user-friendly features. Throughout the presentation, Jon highlighted the fresh design and our commitment to preserving the familiar Bacs process and screens you’re already comfortable with, ensuring a seamless experience without the need for additional training.


Other notable points covered were its increased speed for enhanced user satisfaction, its compatibility with both current and future technologies and the option to add additional modules designed to provide enhanced functionality.


If you are interested in making the move to v3 visit our dedicate page or get in touch. ​

Next, Gary Vry, our Head of Development, guided everyone through the new v3 modules.




Introducing our brand-new v3 workflows module, which comes packed with exciting features aimed at enhancing user experience and simplifying your payment processing.  You can expect a new browser-based workflows tool, a revamped scheduler trigger, improved engine performance and diagnostics, as well as more comprehensive documentation – all designed to facilitate the setup of your workflows.


Gary also presented some other exciting functionality, such as enhanced logging, the ability to chain multiple actions within workflows, and precise timing options, including delay, wait for, and blackout times.


These automated workflows eliminate the manual effort involved in Bacs payments, allowing you to remain in control.




Next, we delved into the exciting new v3 Bureau. Jon-Paul (paygate Developer) showcased bureau functionality, breaking free from the constraints of a single standard 18 submission and introducing a completely overhauled manual submission mode.


With a familiar workflow structure, there’s no longer a requirement to complete a submission in a single session, making the workflow significantly more flexible. The new functionality allows for drag-and-drop file uploads from any location and supports multiple file formats per submission.


To learn more about our new workflow and Bureau modules, do not hesitate to get in touch. ​

We then turned our attention to the eagerly anticipated launch of our new DDM (Direct Debit Management) solution, which brings with it a host of exciting features.


Developed over a span of 18 months and integrated as a module within v3, our new DDM harnesses cutting-edge technology, resulting in swifter integrations with platforms like Xero, Sage, and Salesforce. Some of its key features encompass advanced notices, messaging tools, online sign-up capabilities, and flexible Direct Debit scheduling.


This robust, AUDDIS compliant system not only ensures compliance but also consolidates your Direct Debits into one central location, providing clear cost, resource, forecasting and error reduction advantages for operational efficiency.


To learn more about our DDM, don’t hesitate to schedule a call with one of our product experts.

As we look ahead to the next 6 months, we’re committed to prioritizing your needs, our valued customers, in the creation of exciting new features. Our roadmap includes the introduction of Single Sign-On (SSO), simplified submission processes, the addition of a remittance module, and the upcoming release of an on-premise version of v3.


These focus groups serve as invaluable opportunities for us to glean insights and feedback regarding our products. They provide us with a deeper understanding of how you use our products and the challenges you face.


We invite you to join our next focus group session to contribute your insights and shape the future of our offerings.

Nitik Thakkar, our Customer Service Manager, explained the journey of a support case, raising a ticket, accessing help resources in paygate v2 and v3, before moving on to our Bacs-approved and paygate training offerings, and finishing with news about booking a valuable account review with your Account Manager.

An overview of the planned new customer portal was given and our live poll showed there was a lot of interest in this, with 100% of respondents saying the functionality was ‘interesting’, and 88% could see themselves or colleagues using the portal. Separate to the paygate processing system, the customer portal will provide a one-stop place to manage your account, user permissions and support tickets.

We asked whether you’d find value in Bacs-approved training and paygate refresher training.  The audience said yes! so we’ll be reviewing our offering, keep an eye out for more comms on this.

Our Account Managers are busy touching base with our customers and running informal paygate and process ‘health checks’. Recent feedback from customers who’ve had a review said they found it useful and it had led to valuable improvements in their processes and paygate usage. Look out for more comms on the above topics over the coming months, but if you’d like to know more now, get in touch.

We explored the three most popular ways to streamline Bacs processing with automation; automatic file upload and approval, automatic file signing and submission and the most popular function, automatic retrieval and deposit of A reports. Get in touch if you’d like to know more about these easy-to-set-up timesaving workflows.

We discussed the options available within paygate for introducing MFA security, the hot topic of the moment!


There are various MFA options available with paygate, at login and approval stage, and for signing payments.  These range from third party MFA Apps such as Google and Microsoft, SMS OTP, USB tokens and email.  And of course for signing, smartcards can be replaced with HSM in some cases.  Our own paygate MFA App is also on the development roadmap.


The options available do vary depending on the version of paygate you’re using but generally speaking, paygate v3 has the widest choice for login, approval and signing.


Your account manager is best placed to answer any questions about MFA, drop them a message here and they’ll get back to you.

There was some interesting conversation around the paygate API, launched last year and available on our v3 platform.  It enables you to embed paygate within any third-party business system to create fully bespoke automated processes.


There’s definitely interest in the API with some customers already building API integrated systems, and others reporting plans to explore it this year.  We welcome the audience feedback that more use-case content would be helpful to understand the value of the API.

Gary Vry, our Head of Development, gave an update on Vocalink’s planned update to certain ciphers in Bacs/Faster Payments.  We’re working with Vocalink to ensure full compatibility with paygate v2 and v3 when these changes go live, currently expected before the end of March 2023. Look out for more comms on this over the coming weeks.

September 2022 highlights

Our poll showed that 50% of our community respondents run half their applications in the cloud vs on-premise and those that haven’t yet made the move, were eager to discuss the benefits of a cloud solution. Our Head of Development, Gary Vry, laid out the key benefits: 


  • Enhanced security – With multiple levels of access control.
  • Automatic updates Implemented remotely to ensure you are always compliant.
  • Reliability – A resilient environment for paygate cloud with 99.999% uptime.
  • Access anywhere, anytime – Securely access and manage your payment procedures anywhere, anytime.


The cloud also provides the ability to access highly available, ultra-secure, hardware-based Hardware Security Modules. Switching from smartcards to HSM enables secure signing of your payments, from any location, eliminates the challenges of smartcards and opens the door to automation for maximum efficiency.

Direct Debits provide clear cost, resource, forecasting and error reduction advantages and have become the most effective way to collect payments.


Our Direct Debit Management Solution (DDMS) is a powerful AUDDIS compliant system that enables you to stay compliant as well as manage your Direct Debits in one place, streamline cash flow, ensuring greater visibility of financial information and operational efficiency.


We took a look at the exciting new features coming in paygate v3 direct debit collections:


  • API : A fully featured, modern API. Build paygate’s Direct Debit into your own products and services.
  • Online sign up : Quickly integrate DD sign-up into your own website.
  • Payer portal : Engage with your payers and help avoid mis-collections and indemnity claims.
  • Indemnity claims : New functionality for streamlining indemnity claim handling.
  • SMS messaging : Alert your customers of upcoming payments with Direct Debit SMS messaging to increase revenue and reduce failed payments.
  • Validation – Built-in validation for sort code account numbers and address look-up.

For more information about our DDMS, schedule a call with one of our product experts.

Launched in 2009, Direct Corporate Access (DCA) allows corporates to make payments 24’7 that will clear to a beneficiary account within two hours (usually much faster).


DCA offers a cheaper alternative to the more expensive one-day service CHAPS provides for high value payments, a faster alternative to the three-day Bacs bulk processing cycle. Importantly, corporates know exactly when the payment is made.


Although banks allow corporate customers to receive Faster Payments, only Barclays Corporate currently offers DCA. Bureaux can submit to DCA if they are sponsored by a DCA bank who also sponsor their SUN. paygate is such a bureau.

Making paygate v3 accessible to users of differing abilities is a goal for the paygate product team. But we’re not there yet. We are pleased to confirm that we now have an ‘Accessibility Champion’ on the development team. Accessibility will inform how we design paygate from now and continuous testing and the ‘Web Content Accessibility Guidelines’ WCAG 2.1 will help us on our journey. Expect gradual improvements over time, starting 2023.

Training is provided as standard as part of a new setup, but we also offer user familiarity, admin functions and module specific training.


Our team of product and industry experts can provide bespoke tailored training for the precise needs of your team; from Bacs and payment process training to paygate functional competency and knowledge gaps in areas such as policies and procedures. Some direct advantages of training include increased efficiency, reduced mistakes and ensured compliance.


Relevant and consistent training provides employees with the expertise they need to fulfil their role and make a positive impact on your business. Get in touch if you are interested in any training sessions.

May 2022 highlights

What’s the difference between an API and a workflow?  Good question but as one participant put it: “When I hear API, I tune out and find the nearest techie bod.”  You’re not alone!


Luckily Gary Vry, Head of Development, helpfully provided the answer.


The API and workflows serve different requirements and both technologies are available in the paygate solution. There is some crossover between what each can do but broadly speaking an API is for integration with other business systems, while workflows are for automating payment processes.


Workflows are easier to set up whereas APIs definitely fall into the Developer/programming domain. That may explain why the API attracts less interest. The other reason put forward by some participants was that often legacy systems are just not up to the task of working with APIs.


In contrast, the many positive comments about workflows – how easily they’re set up, tweaked on the fly and their time-saving benefits – shows that workflows are not weighed down by the same obstacles that make APIs less appealing.


The dev team are exploring adding Bureau and Collections APIs to paygate v3 next year. Tell us what you think, or if you have any questions about APIs or workflows, contact us.

As well as the possible introduction of Bureau and Collections APIs, the development roadmap for paygate v3 responds to customer feedback around workflows. A new browser-based Designer tool, new scheduler trigger, improved engine and diagnostics, and better documentation will all make it easier for you to set up your own workflows.

Chris Hester from our Payment Consultancy team discussed how the newest v3 functionality enhances the payment process from multi-factor authentication (MFA) security at login, using APIs for data protection and customising dashboards to put Bacs reports at your fingertips. The topic that got the most interest was our new anti-fraud module that gives you the ability to black-list known fraudulent bank accounts.  

Our poll showed that majority of respondents were interested in SMS messaging.


With 90%+ read rates, SMS messaging is one of the easiest and most effective ways to stay in touch with your prospects and customers.


The ability to send SMS messages means you can send alerts to your customers as part of your direct debit collections process. For example, you can send an SMS message informing the customer you will collect the Direct Debit in 3 days time so they can ensure the appropriate funds are available. This improves the success rate of your Direct Debit collections.

Top benefits of using SMS messaging also include enhanced engagement with your customers, better conversion rates and improved efficiencies.


More information on this new product will follow in due course. Watch this space!

We wanted to explore the popularity and demand for single sign-on (SSO) to help shape future development of this functionality at paygate. We’re are currently exploring the feasibility of introducing third party authentication functionality for signing into paygate v3.


SSO allows users to sign into multiple applications using the same credentials via authentication and secure federation. We already have SSO for all paygate solutions, allowing users to login once to access all their paygate services such as Validate, DDMS and paygate online.


Participants told us that some of the main drivers for using SSO are compliance with strong business security policies and user experience.


SSO provides a robust and faster mechanism for maintaining security and managing user access to critical business systems like payment platforms. Customers benefit from a quicker single process of disabling user access across multiple systems when users leaves the business – a real game changer for businesses with higher staff turnover.


Our poll showed that around 40% of respondents are already using SSO technology in their business, with Okta and Azure being the most popular.

We wanted to get feedback from the audience on how often they were sending international payments and whether this was functionality that we should focus development work on.


The poll results told us that 45% of respondents are not sending any international payments, and those that do are mainly sending SEPA and Swift payments.

January 2022 highlights

We heard interesting views from the audience around payment fraud and how our new fraud module – that introduces account white and black listing – could help mitigate it.  


When asked about fraud, 10% of poll respondents were aware of Bacs payment related fraud in their organisation in the past two years.


A good use case example for white and black listing accounts is your payroll submission.  Setting up a white list of all your employee accounts and a black list of supplier accounts in your payroll payment group ensures that supplier payments can’t be made as part of your payroll run, either fraudulently or erroneously.


The security theme continued with discussion around smart cards and the alternative HSM or HSM-aaS method of signing submissions, as well as the role of MFA to boost login security.

We explored the benefits of a secure Bacs payment API to integrate paygate with other business applications and how it could improve security and streamline operations.

As well as acting as an MFA authenticator, we sought customers’ feedback on using a paygate mobile app to review submission contents, action approvals and rejections, and digitally sign and submit submissions.

Validation is a step in the Bacs payment process that check’s the validity of bank accounts entered into paygate either manually or via an API. 


Our poll showed that 60% of respondents are collecting Direct Debit payments where modulus checking of account details is mandatory.  This is fulfilled with our Validate product.


We’re pleased to announce we are working on the release of Validate-Plus which is a more comprehensive verification version of our Validate product. As well as checking that a bank account is live and can make Direct Debit payments, Validate-Plus goes further and verifies that the account holder’s name, address and date of birth all match with live banking data.

Benefits of joining our focus groups

Have your say

Engage with the paygate team to share your feedback and help us better understand your business needs


Connect with your peers to share knowledge and explore shared challenges within your industry or role

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Suggest updates

Help us identify other fintech solutions to broaden our offering and make your job easier

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