QuickFile have teamed up with GoCardless, to provide a robust, fully featured direct debit management system for collecting one-off and recurring payments from your clients. The advantages of using GoCardless alongside QuickFile are as follows:
- No setup fees! Open a GoCardless account and start raising bills in a few minutes.
- Only pay for the transactions you process. 1% capped to a maximum of £2.
- Setup a recurring payment plan and collect funds automatically.
- Collect up to £5,000 per month.
- Ideal for large one-off payments due to low processing costs.
- Backed by the direct debit guarantee.
Before you can start setting up direct debits, you will need a GoCardless account. Log into your QuickFile account, head over to the Account Settings area and click on the option for payments. You will see a button to authenticate GoCardless, this will allow you to link an existing account or to setup a new GoCardless account.
and look for:
Once the GoCardless account has been linked to QuickFile you are ready to start raising bills.
As soon as your GoCardless account has been activated, your clients will have the option to pay you via GoCardless. When an invoice is viewed on the client side an option will appear to pay online. From there they can enter the GoCardless payment forms to initiate a new payment via GoCardless.
A pre-authorisation is when your client agrees to allow you as the merchant to withdraw funds up to £5,000 each month. This is ideal for subscription based services or variable billing. You can se tup a pre-authorised direct debit for each client on QuickFile by heading over to the client management screen.
The process for setting up a pre-authorisation is as follows:
- From the client management screen click the button to set up a new direct debit.
- Enter a contact name and e-mail address to send the invitation to.
- QuickFile will send an e-mail to your customer with a link they can use to agree the direct debit relationship. You can preview the e-mail here or just grab the link and use this in your own e-mail.
- The client clicks the link and follows the instructions to authorise the direct debit. Once authorised, you will be notified.
- You can now initiate new direct debit requests and link the direct debit to your recurring invoices.
The great thing about pre-authorised direct debits is the ability to link them to a recurring invoice. This means you don’t need to worry about chasing payment, the funds will be automatically collected when the new invoice is issued.
To link a recurring invoice template to your pre-authorised direct debit, just go into the invoice editing screen for the master recurring template. Click on the checkbox "Auto Bill with Direct Debit".
As of November 2014 you can also configure a deferment period in days so that the direct debit collection request is made n number of days after any invoice is created from the template. Previously any collection request was made as soon as the invoice was created. To use this facility change the default value for "Initiate request after" from 0 to your chosen number of days.
When you return to the recurring template preview screen, you should see a blue banner in the top left corner of the invoice to denote that the payments will be automatically collected via Direct Debit.
You can also take one-off payments using a pre-authorised direct debit. You can do this from the client management screen, just click on the direct debit options and then click the green button ‘Collect Funds’.
Before you process the request, you will be able to see how much is remaining from your monthly direct debit limit.
Once you have a pre-authorisation set up with your client you can also manually request payment from within the invoice preview screen. In the "More Options" menu lookout for the following link "Collect by Direct Debit".
Clicking the above option will reveal a dialogue box that will allow you to either process the request now or set a date in the future upon which the collection should be initiated.
Direct debit funds are usually remitted into your bank account within 3-5 working days from when your client initiated the payment. It is important to note that unlike card payments, the funds are not secured until they reach your bank account. Any merchant collecting payments this way should be mindful of this point when fulfilling obligations to their clients.
You can find out more on payment timings here
To make things clearer for you, QuickFile creates a GoCardless merchant account automatically when you active your GoCardless account on QuickFile. This is a type of merchant account in QuickFile where all the broken down payments will appear. Not the lump sum payments that GoCardless transfer to your bank account, these should be entered manually on the merchant account and tagged as a transfer to your current account.
When funds are transferred to your bank account from GoCardless, we perform some additional steps on your account.
- Initially we automatically create a deposit on your merchant account in QuickFile
- If the payment relates to a one-off or recurring invoice, we tag the deposit as a payment to the related invoice.
- If the payment relates to a generic credit (initiated from the client management screen) we drop the funds as a credit on that particular client account. We then leave you to match up the credit to one or more invoices on the clients account.
Please note: QuickFile will automatically add deposits to your GoCardless merchant account. These deposits will be automatically tagged. Please check for any duplicates and avoid adding any payments manually where possible.
As of January 2014 all new pre-authorisations are defaulted to a maximum montly amount of £5,000, this is the limit permitted by GoCardless, although in most cases you wouldn't be invoicing anywhere near this monthly limit. For pre-authorisations setup before January 2014 the limit will be as per what you entered when creating the pre-authorisation and to increase beyond this you will need to cancel and re-issue a new pre-authorisation request to your client.
At the time of writing (November 2014), GoCardless pre-authorisations are linked to the application from which they were created and cannot be moved from one application to another. You can however move pre-authorisations from one QuickFile account to another, we have a handy tool for inputting existing pre-authorisations. You can access the manual entry form by clicking the link on the new pre-authorisation form.
You will find the pre-authorisation ID in the GoCardless control panel. Once you have entered and saved this ID against a particular client, you will be able to invoke the direct debit features straight away. When saving the ID, QuickFile doesn't check to see if it is valid, therefore it is advisable to open the direct debit popup again to see if it can obtain the latest balance.
If you have an account query relating to GoCardless then you can contact them from their website. If you need any help with the QuickFile direct debit features please get in touch in the main forum