Let’s add our first customer and set up a new Direct Debit mandate or Instant Bank Payment.

  • A customer is a person or company we want to take payments from.
  • A mandate is an authorisation from a customer to take payments from their bank account - once you have a mandate set up, you can charge the customer with future API calls. (A customer can have multiple mandates, but you’ll almost always only want one.)
  • An Instant Bank Payment is a one-off payment collected via open banking. It can be combined with a mandate to collect an initial setup fee and a subscription or simply used on its own.
Note: When setting up a mandate, your setup process (e.g. a set of payment screens on a screen or a paper form) must comply with Direct Debit scheme rules. To make this easy for you, GoCardless hosts secure and fully-compliant payment pages that have been translated into many European languages.

Mechanisms to add customers

You have four options for setting up Direct Debit mandates:

  • Use our new open banking powered Billing Request Flows: GoCardless now provides secure, hosted, mobile-friendly, conversion-optimised payment pages with all the advantages of the hosted payment pages mentioned below but with the added benefits and flexibility of Instant Bank Payments and bank account verification alongside Direct Debit Mandate setup.
  • Use our secure hosted payment pages: GoCardless provides secure, hosted, mobile-friendly, conversion-optimised payment pages that have been translated into many European languages and comply with the “scheme rules” of the Direct Debit schemes. You redirect the customer to us, they provide their bank details on our site, and then we send them back to your application. You never have to handle end customers’ bank details.
  • Use our Drop-in payment page solution: You can use this to host the mandate setup experience within your software, but let us handle the compliance and security aspects. You just need to embed a piece of JavaScript code that will load the experience in your web property, without the need for a redirect.
  • Build your own Direct Debit setup process: Rather than use our ready-made flow, you can build your own using the Billing Requests API. If you’d like to do this, please contact our sales team who’ll be able to explain the process.

Below is a comparison of the 4 solutions:

GoCardless Billing Request Flow GoCardless hosted payment pages (redirect flow) Drop-in Custom payment pages (using the Billing Requests API)
Can Instant Bank Payments be taken? Yes No Not yet, however a new version will allow this Yes, however payers will need to be redirected to GoCardless for the authorisation step
Can a verified (bank account authorised) mandate be created? Yes No Not yet, however a new version will allow this Yes, however payers will need to be redirected to GoCardless for the authorisation step
What is the payer experience like? Payer is redirected to pay.gocardless.com/… where the payer puts in bank account details Payer is redirected to pay.gocardless.com/… where the payer puts in bank account details Payment page opens up in a modal on the integrator’s website. Payer does not leave integrator’s website Integrator has complete control of UX and the payer does not leave the integrator’s website
How much engineering work is required to use this? Minimal engineering work required Minimal engineering work required Minimal engineering work required Complex piece of work that requires integrators build payment pages for each scheme
Who takes care of scheme compliance and when things change? GoCardless hosts these pages and merchants / partners don’t need to worry about compliance. GoCardless hosts these pages and merchants / partners don’t need to worry about compliance. GoCardless hosts this modal and integrators don’t need to worry about compliance. Integrator is responsible for ensuring their payment pages are up-to-date with scheme compliance requirements
Who is responsible for security? GoCardless collects all sensitive data (personal and bank account details) in a secure way and integrator does not have to worry about storing them GoCardless collects all sensitive data (personal and bank account details) in a secure way and integrator does not have to worry about storing them GoCardless collects all sensitive data (personal and bank account details) in a secure way and integrator does not have to worry about storing them Integrator needs to collect sensitive data and send them to GoCardless using our API
What happens when GoCardless adds new features or schemes? Merchants and partners automatically get any new features or schemes we add Merchants and partners automatically get any new features or schemes we add Integrators automatically get any new features or schemes we add Integrators will have to update their custom payment pages to use newer GoCardless features or add new schemes
Who is this best suited for? Merchants and partners who don’t mind the redirect Merchants and partners who don’t mind the redirect All merchants and partners who want to host the payment experience on their website and provide a great experience for their customers Typically larger merchants and partners who want complete control over UX and don’t mind the technical complexity
Does the merchant need to be on a certain package to use this? This is open for all merchants and partners This is open for all merchants and partners This is open for all merchants and partners Only merchants on Pro package and above can build custom payment pages. Partners can build custom payment pages on behalf of merchants who are on any package. Only restriction is partners can only give the same experience for all their merchants.

Setting up Direct Debit mandates or Instant Bank Payments using a Billing Request Flow

You can read all about Billing Request Flows and the experience for your payers in our documentation here.

Setting up Direct Debit mandates using the Hosted Payment Pages

You can read all about how to set up mandates using our Hosted Payment Pages in our documentation here.