FAQs - Getting started
Is Direct Debiting suitable for any size of organisation?
Absolutely. Direct Debiting is proven to be the ideal way for all types of organisation – from large corporations to small local clubs – to collect payment easily and on time. Direct Debits give you control over recurring billing, can improve cash flow overnight and customer retention long-term. Read what our customers have to say about the benefits of using SmartDebit.
How can you provide a Direct Debit service when our bank has declined us?
We’re a commercial Direct Debit Bureau (Number B08032). As such, we’re approved by both our bank and by BACS to provide Direct Debiting services.
Can our business name appear on a customer/member/donor bank account statement?
We can set up an individual Service User Number (SUN) to ensure that your name appears on the bank statement, rather than ours. If you already have your own SUN, you can instruct the bank, when completing the direct debit application, to use your preferred name.
Why can’t I go to my bank for a Direct Debit service?
To provide a Direct Debit service account or Service User Number (SUN), a bank would have to first sponsor you to BACS then indemnify themselves against your making any collections that have to be refunded. In other words, if you’re unable to make the repayment the bank has to do so on your behalf – putting it at risk.
Banks also want to make big profits; the volumes have to be high enough to give a suitable return. The bank therefore needs to risk assess an organisation and its size then weigh this up against how much profit it can make – discover more about the advantages of using SmartDebit bureau over a bank.
Can I automate the whole process?
Yes, automation can be either partial or full. If you need to provide collection amounts each month, we can provide a ‘Collection File’ in CSV format. If you want to take control of the entire process from sign up to edits and receipt of reports, we have an ‘API’ (Application Programme Interface) solution. If your developer would like to review this, please email us for the necessary documents.
How long does it take to activate my Direct Debiting account after I have applied?
We can begin providing you with our Direct Debiting bureau service within just a few days. However, paperless Direct Debits (setting up transactions via phone and web site) can take longer than paper Direct Debits (also called mandates).
How do I get my money once it has been collected by Direct Debit?
Our Direct Debiting bureau service collects the money on your behalf then transfers it by BACS free of charge directly to your bank account. We can also send the funds via a same day transfer (called CHAPS) but this will incur a bank fee. If you have your own Service User Number (SUN), the direct debit monies will be paid directly to your bank account.
Can I set up Direct Debits via the phone or from our website?
Yes, our SmartDebit payment service can be linked to your website and call centre to set up new payers – discover how easy it is.