Despite the numerous benefits of accepting Direct Debit payments, many small businesses are still intimidated about accepting them. This is largely due to the perception that the process to get accepted as a Direct Debit Originator is difficult and expensive. If this has been your worry, then there’s some good news -- the question of how to set up direct debits for your business does not have to be a challenging one if the process is handled properly.
The first step for most SMEs looking to add Direct Debit as a payment option is liaising with their bank. Unfortunately, this can be slow and challenging, and leaves many business owners thinking that Direct Debit may not be worth the hassle, despite the huge potential for growth it brings. Don’t let this step discourage you! It’s just a necessary part of the process and one that has to be endured in order to reap the benefits Direct Debit offers.
The first consideration of any bank that is evaluating your business to accept Direct Debit will be how long your company has been operating and how much revenue you’re bringing in. Typically banks require you to have been in operation for many years, generating millions of pounds in revenue with strong profit margins before they will take your application any further.
If you are one of the lucky businesses that does pass these requirements, you will move on to the additional hurdles you’ll need to jump over before being able to accept Direct Debits through your bank, such as capital outlays on specialist software and training for your staff.
If you are one of the unlucky organizations, however, it may feel like the end of the road in terms of your ability to accept Direct Debits. Thankfully, it’s not! While most banks do a poor job of providing guidance on where businesses can turn if they are unable to meet the necessary thresholds (leading many SMEs to settle for alternative and potentially less effective or efficient methods of payment), there is another course of action.
How to set up Direct Debit for your business
So where do you turn if you can’t accept Direct Debits through your bank? A Direct Debit management company.
A Direct Debit service can help you to be accepted onto the Direct Debit scheme, no matter your revenue or company size. What’s more, such a service will manage everything for you, providing you with your own Service User Number (SUN), which is a unique identifier for your company and a requirement for any business wishing to collect payments by Direct Debit.
Once the initial application is complete, they will then work with you to set up a Direct Debit system, one that is created specifically for your business. After that, they will handle the rest, leaving you free to focus on the more important components of your business.