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Gocardless online payment system


Updated on January 22, 2013
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General Information




GoCardless is a next generation payments company. We make it incredibly cheap and easy for anyone to take payments online using the Direct Debit infrastructure.

Based in London, we are a rapidly-growing, highly technical team. Combining years of financial services experience with a customer-driven approach we are transforming online payments.

GoCardless is the easiest way to accept Direct Debit payments online.

We handle the whole process, saving you time and allowing you to focus on what matters most: your business.





Countries of use



private and business







The minimum amount is £1 and each transaction is capped at £5000. There are no limits on how many transactions you make.

Funds you have collected are paid directly into your UK bank account

All payments are paid out after 7 working days

Integration approaches

PayLinks, API, Partner Application

Information for developers

GoCardless was written by developers, for developers. Our REST API is powerful but simple, and with our 
client libraries and tutorials you can accept your first payments in minutes.

Docs may be found here


Recent news

Posted on June 18, 2019
GDPR one year on: 5 things we’ve learned about scaling a privacy programme

Remember when GDPR was coming into effect last year, and every organisation we’d ever had contact with decided to send an email?

Some asked for our consent, some just checked in. More knowledgeable companies, or those who had taken good advice, didn’t email at all, trusting that solid privacy practices in the lead-up to GDPR made it unnecessary.

At the time, we shared details of our privacy programme; one year on, we’ve had a chance to experiment. We’ve learned some of what works, and what doesn’t. And regulatory guidance, events and enforcement have started to shed light on what good looks like for GDPR.

Yet the discussion at every privacy event I’ve attended in the last year, and every panel I’ve spoken on, inevitably turns to one topic...

How do you achieve privacy at scale?

How do you comply with every prescriptive element of GDPR, and meet the principles of the regulation, in a way that minimises unnecessary distraction from your core business? In short: how do you create ‘privacy by design’?

Few companies hire enough people with ‘privacy’ in their job titles to meet all the requirements of GDPR. It follows then that if privacy sits on top of normal business processes, it won’t scale.

With that in mind, here are five things we’ve learned over the last year about embedding privacy in the business.

1. Speak the language of the business

We didn’t get this right the first time around. To build our GDPR-compliant register of processing activities, we used questionnaires sent out from an off-the-shelf tool.

We asked all our data processing teams a lot of questions – all the wrong ones, as it turns out. “Can you identify a lawful basis of processing for this activity?” “How are you meeting the principle of purpose limitation for this activity?”

We knew we had gotten it wrong when we looked at our GDPR-compliant register and saw dozens of different variations on the term “not sure”!

In v2.0, we took a different tack. We asked the business only the questions we knew they could answer, like – what are you trying to do with the data, what data do you need to do it, what systems help you accomplish it. As a result, our updated register is clear, actionable and easy to keep up-to-date.

2. Be where the business is

We can’t have a privacy expert in every meeting – there aren’t enough of us, and even if we could be everywhere all the time, it would just slow things down.

But that means almost every GoCardless employee will at some point have to make decisions that have a privacy impact . . . like scoping a new product, choosing a new supplier, or training a new data model.

I have seen even very well-designed privacy programmes fail when they just aren’t adopted by the business.

When people are asked to step out of their day-to-day role, they’ll tend to take the path of least resistance. It’s not because they don’t want to do the right thing! But even if they understand what we need them to do (and see point 1), the process we’ve created might just make it hard for them to do it.

Privacy processes can’t stand alone, they need to be part of business as usual. Our head of data puts it nicely: we need to make it really easy for people to do the right thing and really hard for them to do the wrong thing. Which leads to...

3. Automate as much as possible

As the privacy field matures, we’re starting to see tools offering out of the box automation and compliance.

The problem with many of these is that they offer a standalone experience: a tool for managing data processing agreements that doesn’t sit within a broader supplier contracting function; a tool for tracking data subject access requests that can’t be used by Support, a data protection impact assessment that isn’t part of the product development lifecycle.

Privacy processes that don’t fit within a broader business context will take people out of their day-to-day. Then, if they’re done at all, they aren’t done well.

We’ve found it more effective to start with the business – what does their day-to-day look like? What documents do they create, what tools do they use, what are their decision-making points?

Those are opportunities to ask the right questions at the right time, and to be able to escalate to the privacy team where necessary.

For example, when our data teams build a new feature, they’re prompted from within the process itself to identify a business purpose from our (now clean and up-to-date) GDPR register. If a business purpose isn’t present, the model can’t be built. And if there isn’t a suitable purpose listed in the register, then it’s an indication that something new is happening that needs privacy review.

The process also gives us an audit trail that we can test to make sure the right decisions are being made.

4. But beware of silver bullets

Automating privacy processes can end up working against you. Some companies make programmes scalable using checklists. But this approach can backfire.

Layers of bureaucracy badly applied disempower employees, keep them from being accountable for privacy impacts, and lead to unexpected risks (“this wasn’t on the checklist, so it must not be a problem”).

We’ve been careful to keep our processes simple, and focused heavily on training and guidance for our teams.

For example, we’ve launched training for our product managers and functional leads, giving them the resources to think about building privacy into our products from start to finish.

One resource has been a particularly useful part of our product scoping documents and privacy impact assessments: A tailored taxonomy of privacy risks that helps guide thoughtful conversations about minimising unintended or unlawful consequences from the use of personal data.

5. Listen to what your programmes tell you

GDPR allows data subjects to exercise their rights with the data controller. The two rights requests we see most often are subject access requests and subject deletion requests.

Early on, we made a decision that subject rights requests don’t go straight to our privacy team. They are handled first by our customer support agents using their own tools (Zendesk macros and our Support Hub), before they go to our rights request software to track to completion.

This has been very successful for two reasons: First, these requests don’t happen in isolation. Sending the requests to Support first brings them to the people who are best trained to identify and resolve the underlying problem (supported of course by training and resources from the privacy team).

Second, our Support team has an enormous amount of experience with metrics and KPIs. Using their tools allows us to keep close track of SARs as well as other complaints, questions and incidents.

How quickly and efficiently we can handle an access or deletion request tells us a lot about the health of our privacy programme, and tracking these metrics is one of our key risk indicators.

We track other risk indicators too, like marketing unsubscribe rates, supplier risk ratings and time to respond to data-related legal tickets. These tell us a lot about where the gaps are and allow us to optimise.

That feedback allows us to make constant incremental improvements to the programme, and also helps us meet the principle of Accountability, the heart of GDPR.

What tips do you have for scaling a privacy programme? Join me on LinkedIn to continue the conversation.

Read more on Gocardless
Posted on June 4, 2019
How do consumers prefer to pay for recurring purchases in 2019?

How do consumers want to pay for subscriptions, memberships, bills and instalment plans? The answer to this question can hold the key to conversion rate optimisation for businesses. Knowing which payment methods your customers are comfortable with, and which they actively prefer to pay with, can have a significant impact on revenue generation for businesses taking recurring payments.

We partnered with YouGov to ask 12,785 consumers across the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand what their payment preferences are in 2019. The research covers four typical recurring purchase use cases: traditional subscriptions, online subscriptions, household bills, and instalments. Together, these markets represent more than two-thirds of the world’s recurring payment volume.

Want the full report? Download your FREE copy here. Or watch Duncan Barrigan, VP Product at GoCardless, deliver the foreword on video below.

Which payment methods do consumers prefer to use for recurring purchases in 2019?

As the data shows, the answer to this question depends on where your customers live. If you take a look at existing research, for example, you’ll see that cheques are more relevant in America relative to the rest of the world. While in China, mobile payment transactions are huge. Cultural and technological landscapes can differ drastically from country to country. And these can heavily influence consumers’ payment preferences.

Let’s take a look at some key insights from the data…

German consumers don’t like credit cards...

On average, 40% of Germans are ‘very unlikely’ to use credit cards (and 29% feel the same about debit cards).

...but North American consumers love credit cards

Canadians are more likely to make recurring payments on credit cards than any other nationality surveyed. 27% are ‘very likely’ to use them for traditional subscriptions (such as gym memberships) and 26% are for household bills and online subscriptions.

Americans are almost as keen – credit cards are their preferred method for both traditional and online subscriptions.

People stick to tried and trusted methods to pay bills

Outside North America, consumers in every country surveyed said they were ‘very likely’ to pay their household bills the traditional way – by Bank Debit (or as Europeans tend to call it - Direct Debit).

Consumers want alternatives to credit cards and debit cards

In 9 out of 10 markets surveyed, around one-third of consumers said they were likely to choose Bank Debit to pay for online subscriptions. And yet, looking at the top 44 global subscription websites, only 1 offered Bank Debit as a payment option (and only in Germany).

There’s a divide over digital wallets like PayPal

In Denmark for example, an average of 44% of consumers were ‘very unlikely’ to use a digital wallet to make any kind of recurring purchase. Whereas in Spain, an average of 16% were ‘very likely’ to.

Preference guides consumers’ purchases

For B2C companies, understanding consumer purchasing preferences is critical. Having been given a wide choice of payment methods, consumers are minded to exercise it - and they may well go elsewhere if they can’t pay the way they want.

If there’s anything to take away from this research, it’s that there is no ‘one size fits all’ global offering for recurring payments. There is no single solution that will suit all your customers across every country, income bracket or age group. But armed with the right data, you can implement the best solutions for your business, and optimise your conversion.

Read more on Gocardless
Posted on June 4, 2019
Comment les consommateurs préfèrent-ils régler leurs achats récurrents en 2019 ?

Comment les consommateurs veulent-ils payer leurs abonnements, leurs factures et leurs versements ? La réponse à cette question pourrait bien être la clé de l’optimisation du taux de conversion pour les entreprises. Connaître les méthodes de paiement avec lesquelles vos clients sont le plus à l’aise, et celles avec ils préfèrent payer, peut avoir un impact considérable sur la génération de recettes pour les entreprises encaissant des paiements récurrents.

Avec l'aide de YouGov, nous avons sondé 12 785 consommateurs sur 10 marchés (Royaume-Uni, France, Allemagne, Espagne, Danemark, Suède, États-Unis, Canada, Australie et Nouvelle-Zélande) pour découvrir leurs préférences de paiement en 2019. L’étude portait sur quatre types de paiements récurrents : abonnements traditionnels, abonnements en ligne, factures (charges) et versements. Nous avons sélectionné ces marchés car, à eux tous, ils représentent plus des deux tiers du volume de paiements récurrents dans le monde.

Quelles sont les méthodes de paiement préférées pour les achats récurrents en 2019 ?

Le rapport indique clairement que tout dépend du pays des consommateurs. Par exemple, les paiements par chèques sont beaucoup plus importants en Amérique que dans le reste du monde. La Chine, quant à elle, privilégie fortement les paiements mobiles. Les paysages technologiques et culturels varient énormément d’un pays à l’autre et ils influencent beaucoup les préférences de paiement des consommateurs.

Voici un aperçu de ce que ce rapport nous a appris :

Les consommateurs allemands n’aiment pas les cartes de crédit...

En moyenne, 40% sont « très peu susceptibles » d’utiliser des cartes de crédit et 29 % des cartes de débit.

... tandis que les consommateurs américains les adorent

Les Canadiens sont plus susceptibles d’effectuer leurs paiements récurrents par carte de crédit que n’importe quelle autre nationalité interrogée : 27 % sont « très susceptibles » de les utiliser pour des abonnements traditionnels (salle de sport par exemple) et 26 % pour leurs factures et abonnements en ligne. Les Américains sont presque aussi enthousiastes : la carte de crédit est leur méthode préférée pour les abonnements traditionnels et en ligne.

La plupart des gens s'en tiennent à des méthodes éprouvées pour payer leurs factures

En dehors de l’Amérique du Nord, les consommateurs de tous les pays sondés ont déclaré qu’ils étaient « très susceptibles » de payer leurs factures de la manière traditionnelle : par prélèvement bancaire (aussi connu sous le nom de prélèvement automatique en Europe).

Les consommateurs veulent des alternatives aux cartes

Sur 9 des 10 marchés sondés, environ un tiers des consommateurs ont déclaré qu’ils choisiraient probablement de payer leurs abonnements en ligne par prélèvement bancaire. Si l’on se penche sur les 44 des principaux sites web d'abonnement mondiaux, un seul propose le prélèvement bancaire en tant qu'option de paiement (et uniquement en Allemagne).

Les consommateurs ne sont pas convaincus par les porte-monnaie électroniques comme PayPal

Au Danemark, 44 % des consommateurs ont répondu qu’il était « très peu probable » qu’ils utilisent cette méthode pour des achats récurrents. À l’opposé, 16 % des consommateurs espagnols ont déclaré être « très susceptibles » d’y avoir recours.

La préférence guide les achats des consommateurs

Comprendre les préférences d’achat des consommateurs est essentiel pour les entreprises B2C. Les consommateurs ont désormais un vaste choix de méthodes de paiement et ils sont disposés à l’utiliser ou aller ailleurs s’ils découvrent qu’ils ne peuvent pas payer comme ils le souhaitent.

Ce qu’il faut retenir de ce rapport, c’est qu’il n’existe pas de méthode globale « one size fits all » (ou approche unique) pour les paiements récurrents mais il n’y a pas non plus de solution unique qui conviendrait aux consommateurs de tous les pays, toutes les tranches de revenus ou tous les groupes d’âge. Avec les bonnes informations, vous pouvez mettre en place les meilleures solutions pour votre entreprise ainsi qu’optimiser votre taux de conversion.

Read more on Gocardless
Posted on May 31, 2019
Security vs. convenience in payments: Insights into SCA from Merchant Risk Council London

Merchant Risk Council events are some of the best places to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the payments sector, from open banking and borderless payments to blockchain and virtual marketplaces.

The same issue at the top of every agenda

One topic that dominated this month's Merchant Risk Council London was Strong Customer Authentication (SCA), part of the PSD2 regulations. SCA is the new regulation for authenticating online payments, and will be rolled out across the European Economic Area (EEA) on the 14 September.

SCA has been put in place to increase security for payers and reduce payer fraud as well.

SCA consists of a 2-factor authentication that will apply to all electronic (online) payments.

  • Knowledge: Something only the user knows, such as a password
  • Possession: Something only the user possesses, such as a token or a mobile phone
  • Inherence: Something the user is, such as a biometric (eg. Fingerprint, Face ID)

We talked about SCA with players from across the payments landscape, both at the event itself and at a roundtable dinner we hosted on the topic.

This article looks at three key topics that emerged from those discussions.

1. The regulatory context

It’s hard to dispute the core aims of SCA - reducing fraud and making online payments more secure. Everyone we met was in favour of taking a principle-based approach to achieving these goals and was excited by the potential for innovation that this allows.

However, there was widespread frustration at the lack of consistency in the depth and granularity of the regulation, which some attributed to the pressure that regulators face from well-funded interest groups. In turn, this could lead to an inconsistency of implementation.

2. A readiness divide

The 14 September deadline is fast approaching and few - if any - of the online businesses we spoke to felt ready for the change. While C-suite executives seem to have recognised the size of the potential impact that SCA could have on conversion, there is a broad lack of clarity about what issuers and PSPs could (and should) be doing to mitigate this.

Businesses are also divided on their readiness to communicate to their customers. While some are actively communicating, others worry that reaching out proactively will spook their users into churning.

Many businesses are still waiting to take action on SCA and the communication approaches of those that are taking action differ widely. The reason for these differences stems from the very real worry that making the necessary changes could lead to a significant drop in conversion.

3. The customer’s point of view

As mentioned above, the point of SCA is to reduce fraud and make online payments more secure. The question is whether payers really value this over the convenience of existing checkout flows.

While we know that customers want convenience and a lack of friction, and regardless of the intentions of SCA, the new regulations add an extra barrier to successfully completing a transaction. Nobody knows for certain that customers want, or would even tolerate, more security measures than are already in place.

In a recent GoCardless survey of 1,000 payers, 45% of those asked would be ‘frustrated’ by a more secure but more lengthy checkout process when buying from their favourite brand, while an additional 23% would go as far as shopping with them less often because of it.

A common point of reference for businesses is a similar legislation rolled out in India in 2014. Local businesses reported an overnight drop in conversion of 25%. Companies affected by SCA are understandably keen to avoid a similar scenario.

The ongoing SCA conversation

With SCA likely to remain on the agenda for the foreseeable future, the best course of action is to keep the industry-wide discussion flowing, especially as more businesses begin to take note and begin developing appropriate strategies.

GoCardless will be attending Money 20/20 Europe in Amsterdam on the 3-5 June. If you’d like to talk to us more about SCA and the wider payments landscape, you’ll find us at booth K103 in Hall 1.

Read more on Gocardless
Posted on May 1, 2019
GoCardless and Zuora go live in Sweden and Denmark

Last month we announced our new scheme launch with Zuora in Australia, and this month we’ve turned our attention to the Nordics. We’re excited to announce that Zuora customers in Sweden and Denmark can now take recurring payments with GoCardless via Autogiro and Betalingsservice!

GoCardless has been processing payments in the Nordics since 2015, and with the addition of Autogiro and Betalingsservice to our Zuora partnership, we’re uniquely positioned to support the growth of the Nordic subscription economy and solve the common issues that enterprise businesses face through collecting recurring payments.

John Phillips, Managing Director, EMEA, Zuora, said: “Our mission is to enable all companies to be successful in the subscription economy. Collaborating with GoCardless means we can offer our customers, and their customers, more flexibility and scalability when it comes to subscribing to new goods and services."

What is Autogiro?

Bg Autogiro is a Direct Debit scheme for collecting Krona-denominated payments from a bank account in Sweden. It's the Swedish equivalent to SEPA Direct Debit in the Eurozone and Bacs Direct Debit in the UK.

Bg Autogiro is a popular method for collecting payments in Sweden. Approximately eight out of ten Swedes use Autogiro with the average customer paying five to seven bills per month via Autogiro.

What are the benefits of Autogiro?

Autogiro payments are bank-to-bank. Autogiro operates through the Bankgirot clearing scheme, rather than through the card networks. This has significant benefits when taking payments on an ongoing basis:

  • Low cost. Since Autogiro payments aren't routed through expensive card networks, they're much lower cost than taking payments by card.
  • High retention. Churn due to card expiry is completely eliminated. Autogiro relationships last longer than ongoing card payments.
  • Anyone can pay. Anyone with a Swedish bank account can pay by Autogiro. This includes both businesses and consumers.

What is Betalingsservice?

Betalingsservice is the Direct Debit scheme within Denmark, it enables merchants to automatically collect Krone-denominated payments from their customers.

What are the benefits of Betalingsservice?

The Betalingsservice clearing scheme avoids the need to use any card networks. Operating in this way can be beneficial when taking payments on a regular basis, for example:

  • Lower costs. Direct Debit payments are typically cheaper than Denmark’s card network.
  • Higher retention. Direct Debit eliminates the risk of customer churn from card expiry, meaning your customers can enjoy a longer relationship with your service.
  • Open to everyone. Anyone with a bank account can use Direct Debit to make payments, as long as they have signed a debtor agreement with their bank.

GoCardless’s Head of Global Enterprise Partnerships, Karl Stjernstrom said: “As a global payments provider, we know that businesses need scalable solutions to effectively manage recurring payments across multiple territories. We’re really excited to be growing our partnership with Zuora through these new scheme launches to help businesses collect payments through Bank Debit from their customers across the Nordics”.

Our latest integration with Zuora is another key milestone in our efforts to solve the common problem of late payments around the world. With BECS NZ, PAD in Canada and ACH in the USA also soon to be added, it’s another step towards our mission of creating a truly global bank to bank payments network.

GoCardless for Zuora is now live in the following countries and schemes:

Country Scheme Currency
Eurozone SEPA EUR (€)
UK Bacs GBP (£)
Australia BECS AUD ($)
Sweden Autogiro SEK (kr)
Denmark Betalingsservice DKK (kr)

To find out more about enabling the GoCardless integration simply schedule a call to speak to one of our team.

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