Use cases for Direct Debit

The level of control Direct Debit gives merchants makes it perfectly suited to recurring payments and invoicing. Its 3 day payment cycle makes it less suited for payments where instant clearing is required.


Direct Debit is great for…

  • Regular payments such as subscriptions. Retention rates are exceptionally high, as churn due to card expiry is completely eliminated. An example would be membership organisations.
  • Invoicing for services where instant payment is not required. Examples are marketing agencies and driving schools.
  • Account customers who have an ongoing relationship with the merchant. Direct Debit automates the collection process and lets customers simplify the way they pay. Wholesalers are a good example.

Direct Debit isn’t so good for…

  • Transactions which need immediate clearing. Direct Debit payments are not instant - see our timings guide for more info.
  • Liquid assets and high value goods, such as cars or currency. The Direct Debit Guarantee could make these a target for fraudsters.

Direct Debit payments through GoCardless

Our simple online interface makes it cheaper and easier to access and use Direct Debit than ever before:

  • Online businesses: We are the leader in online Direct Debit, with a simple API that integrates with your website & CRM. This automates the manual processes associated with other providers.

  • Invoicing: GoCardless has partnerships with Sage, Xero, FreeAgent and KashFlow to reconcile your Direct Debit payments automatically.

  • Small businesses: Set up online in under 5 minutes with our simple online interface.

To find out more about collecting Direct Debits with GoCardless visit our website.

‹ View table of contents Next page ›

Latest features

A practical guide to increasing your fees

From developing your plan to handling objections – here's our seven step guide to increasing your fees, without losing important clients.

The little book of churn: Advice from SaaS business leaders and investors

What is churn? Why does it matter? And how can you measure it? In this guide, SaaS leaders and investors share advice and insights on churn.

Video: Can you pay by credit or debit card through GoCardless?

As GoCardless specialises in bank to bank payments, you can’t use us to process card payments. But why is this? Joe Robins explains in this video quick guide.

View all


Reference guides

View all