How To Encourage Your Customers To Use Direct Debit?

Updated: Jan 25, 2019


You want to start using Direct Debit as your primary payment option for your customers due to the benefits that it brings to your business. From automation and flexibility, to low costs and low failure rates, maximising your company’s Direct Debit uptake is key to realising its full impact. So, how can you encourage more of your customers to pay via Direct Debit?


This is a question that we have been asked by a number of our clients and at Curlec we are strong believers that Direct Debit doesn’t benefit just your business, but it brings a whole host of advantages to your customers too. Advantages that ultimately, add to the quality of services that you are delivering.


Below are some methods that you can use to increase Direct Debit uptake amongst your customers.


1. Offer Incentives


Who doesn’t love an incentive or a discount? The truth is using Direct Debit brings a whole host of cost, time and admin savings to your business. These savings can be passed on to your customers to encourage them to start paying by Direct Debit. Here are examples of how some of our clients have used incentives:

  • Discounted monthly fees

  • Waiving of upfront fees

  • A gift for those paying by Direct Debit!


2. Explain to Customers the Benefits


Direct Debit doesn’t just benefit you as a business but it also makes the lives of your customers much easier. Regular bill payments become automatic and customers no longer have to worry about services being suspended due to non-payment.


There are a number of benefits that can be easily articulated to your customers. For example, Direct Debit only requires a one-time sign up and following this they don’t have to worry about triggering the payment again, saving them time and hassle in the future. Explaining the benefits using other relatable behaviours is also a useful tactic, such as the example of the difference in ease between paying your phone bills via a postpaid plan versus a prepaid one.


3. Offer Peace of Mind


We understand that some customers may have concerns over paying by Direct Debit due to businesses being put in control of when they get paid. However, be sure to highlight that customers are also empowered in this two-way relationship.


When your customer signs up for their first Direct Debit with a Curlec merchant they get created with a free account on our system. It is here where customers can monitor all their payment transactions in real time. On top of this, your customer retains control over when to terminate or amend their Direct Debit mandates (subject to any other commercial agreements with you) and this can be easily done within the Curlec portal.


4. Make Direct Debit your Preferred Payment Option


If you want to influence your customer’s payment choices you could explicitly state that paying via Direct Debit is your preferred payment option. In some cases, we’ve had clients who have removed other payments options altogether or introduced barriers to nudge customers to pay by Direct Debit.


In an online setting you could make Direct Debit the first option on your website’s payment page. This would indicate that this is your preferred payment option and get the attention of your customer.


5. Be Honest


There is truth to the saying ‘honesty is the best policy’. In some cases, it helps to be honest with your customer by explaining to them how Direct Debit will help your business due to the reduced admin and cost savings you will make.


This tactic is particularly useful for smaller businesses with a close relationship to their customers, like a boutique gym or social club.

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