Anyone got any experience of setting up their clients on a direct debit payment basis (chance would be a fine thing, I know ...)
One of my contacts has a client who wants to pay by DD, and is trying to find out if there are any people who perform the same kind of service as Worldpay / PayPal etc in handling the relationship with the banks for you.
I know you can use PayPal etc for recurring payments (and do so myself) - but this is a specific requirement around DD.
Generally speaking, Direct Debit is only available to larger companies. You will find all the details on the BACS site; but the long and short is that you have to apply through your bank and pass some fairly rigorous compliance tests before you are accepted. Generally speaking it is only worthwhile if you are going to be very large volumes of business and almost certainly not worthwhile if you just need it for one customer.
As Perry says, because DD gives you the right to decide how much money you want, and then to simply take it, you need to jump through a few hoops first.
Can you not achieve what you want with standing orders? Not as good if the amount varies month on month, but there's far less red tape, and setting up regular payments is a breeze (though more tight-fisted clients seem to find them harder to set up than others!)
As a franchise TaxAssist Accountants use direct debiting to collect fees, and we can offer to provide small businesses the means to achieve this for themselves.
I was the first franchisee of TaxAssist Accountants to collect fees by Direct Debit.
I had been bullying the bank we used to let us have this facility for a number of years, and they resisted because of indemnity issues, and not wanting to offer this facility to companies who had a turnover below £150,000.
When they finally agreed in 2005, they then quoted me their fees, which made me, flinch. Ironically at around the same time I was offered a way to collect fees by direct debit at a fraction of the cost, and snapped up the opportunity.
A little while later this facility was made available to all TaxAssist Accountant franchisees, and we would be delighted to recommend it.