Direct Debit Collection Date as Payment Date


My apologies if there is another thread that covers this issue, but I couldn’t find anything that exactly matched my query/feature - please direct me to any duplicates!

My question relates to how invoices are marked as paid when charged by direct debit. Seemingly, the invoice is marked as paid when the payout is received from Go Cardless, however, from the customer’s point of view, their invoice is paid when the money leaves their bank account.

This can cause some confusion with client statements, as they will appear to have an outstanding balance, when they believe the money has already come out of their account. In my particular scenario, the money was collected from the customer last week, but the amount will not be remitted to my bank account until later today, but I send out weekly client statements - so they will receive a statement that shows an outstanding amount, when really, the money has left their account, and it just hasn’t been recorded yet, because the I haven’t received the payout.

So, I was wondering if either:
(1) If I manually pay the invoice from the Go Cardless merchant account, once the collection has been confirmed by Go Cardless will break any automatic tagging facility in some way, or:

(2) It would be possible to consider marking an invoice as paid when Go Cardless indicates the funds were successfully collected - UNLESS there is still something that can go wrong between this point, and the point at which the funds are paid out to my bank account.

I feel this would actually bring it inline with how the Stripe integration works - once a customer pays an invoice online by Stripe, the amount is charged to the Stripe Merchant account immediately, and the invoice marked as paid. Once the Stripe payout is received, this is added to the merchant account, which then brings everything inline (modulo the Stripe processing fees, of course).

Thanks for any advice!

Best wishes,

Hi @Tom_Spink

In most situations, the payment isn’t classed as received until it’s cleared. For example, a cheque may be handed over but until it’s cleared, the funds aren’t accounted for. I believe this is why we take it as the withdrawal date rather than the confirmed date.

Also, payments can still fail after being “confirmed”. Card payments are slightly different as funds are confirmed at the point of payment. Chargebacks can happen, but that’s a different scenario again. Hope that makes sense and gives a bit of context!

If the direct debit collection is requested through QuickFile, then we will automatically tag the payment. If there’s already a payment against the invoice, we’ll assign it to the client account. There isn’t a way to stop this.

As mentioned above, it is rare, but it can fail between confirmation and payout.

This is taken from the GoCardless website:

In rare cases, the payer’s bank sends us a payment failure report more than one business day after the charge date. Consequently, as it is not included in the expected failure report, the payment is marked as ‘confirmed’.

Usually in these cases, the bank will inform GoCardless in the following working day’s report (two working days after the charge date), however on very rare occasions this can take longer.

Once GoCardless receives notice of the failure, the payment status will be updated.

It can happen later than the payout even, but this would at least help minimise the errors (hopefully).

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Hi @QFMathew,

Thanks for the clear explanation, and of course, this all makes sense.

Best wishes,

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