This is something I have had in the pipeline for quite some time now, and being spurred on with some New Year motivation it’s finally a reality! We are delighted to offer our clients the option and convenience to pay by Direct Debit for all our web design and development services and products from this point forward. Everyone knows where they stand with Direct Debit payments these days, easy, managable and predictable. And did you know it’s not that hard to offer this too your clients too?
Why it was important to us
You may or may not realise this but Winking Frog Studios is a very small setup, meaning that each person has many jobs to do. This is the case for a large number of businesses obviously, but no more so than in the small business marketplace. It’s never easy to juggle your time between all the bits and pieces that need done on the payment and admin front whilst still insuring that your are providing the service and/or product that your clients and customers are paying you for. The thing is, one of the most important things that you are being paid for is customer service; which in my mind includes providing your clients with a simple and managable payment solution. There are a number of benefits to both you and the client by going down the Direct Debit route, and it was the automation of regular payments for web hosting and maintenance that really drew me to offering this facility.
Regular & One-off Payments!
I can’t imagine there are many people out there that are not familiar with Direct Debit payments, I know that most of my personal bills and some of the Studio’s bills are automatically taken care of every month through the scheme. But did you realise that you can also use Direct Debit for single transactions and one-off payments? The beauty of this is that no card details are transmitted across the internet, there is no need to take details over the phone and there is no need for clients to log in to their bank account to transfer funds or request that their accountant/bookkeeper make payments for them. It’s all done securely and simply and backed by the Direct Debit Guarantee.
How it will work for us
So to begin with we will be contacting all of our existing web design and development clients to inform them of this new payment option. We use an online accountancy system called FreeAgent for all our invoicing, which can be easily integrated with the service provider we have chosen to work with to provide the facility. Once we receive our clients approval to take payments by Direct Debit we will (for reccuring payments) setup the reccuring invoice and inform the client of the payment date and amount that will be taken. Once they have confirmed that they are happy with these details we will activate the invoice and that’s it! Every month (or year for annual payments) you will still receive a copy of your invoice as normal, however there is no need to arrange any payment as the transaction will be carried out automatically as part of the process.
For any new clients that come on board we will also be offering this as a payment option for project deposits and final payments. Again though we will be totally clear up front as to payment dates and amounts in accordance with the rules of the Direct Debit scheme.
It’s important to note though that we will still retain our current payment options of PayPal, which includes credit and debit card payments, as well as bank transfers for those clients who prefer to pay for things that way.
How can it work for you?
In exactly the same way to be honest, or however suits your business workflow! Whether your invoicing occurs on a one-off, weekly, monthly or annual basis Direct Debit can be used to provide you with an automated way to receive payments and offer your clients and customers the control, transparency and financial security they deserve.
How to get started
There are a number of ways that your business or company can get up and running with Direct Debits, but being a fairly small outfit we have opted to work with an online service provider. This has meant for us that there is absolutely no change in our current banking setup and thanks to their sensible fees and payment timeline, very little (if any) impact on the way we operate things. The company that we have chosen to work with is called GoCardless, who are sponsored by RBS and authorised by the FCA. All this means that both our clients and ourselves can have total confidence in the process, and who we are dealing with. The GoCardless website offers simple, easy to understand advice and guidance on how to get up and running quickly, and the people that I have had correspondence with there have been extremely friendly and helpful – hence the recommendation!
So if your an existing client of Winking Frog Studios keep an eye on your inbox, we will be sending out more information in the next few days. Alternatively, if you would like to work with a web design and development agency that can offer their clients a simple and transparent payment option for single as well as reccuring payments then please get in touch!