Direct Debits are the most secure, most convenient, and cheapest way to collect payments for the health and social care sector.
For the business, accepting Direct Debit payments reduces the amount of administration and bank charges and for the customer, they increase choice and are extremely convenient.
So if you are wondering whether it is right for your business then give us 2 minutes and let us tell you about the 7 things you really need to know about Direct Debits including;
Direct debits are one of the easiest payment methods to use for both the customer and the business and certainly one of the most secure.
The whole process is automated and digital, from the moment that the business sends the instruction to the BACS network to the point where the money hits their bank account.
Because the Direct Debit system needs to be secure, the business can only use this method of collection when they have been authorised (by a sponsor bank) and using software from an authorised provider like Access PaySuite.
To start the process the company obtains an authorisation (called a ‘Mandate’) from the customer and this allows them to make calls on their bank account.
Then when it comes time to collect payment, the amounts are added to PaySuite (usually automatically from an operational or financial system) and then Paysuite transmits this to the BACS network.
A day later, the payments arrive in the business’ bank account.
More than ever these days, customers expect choice.
We expect to be able to buy the goods and services we want and of course, we also expect to be able to use the payment method that is right for us.
So care companies that don’t offer Direct Debit as a payment option stick out like a sore thumb and can lead to customer complaints and in extreme cases, choosing a different care provider.
So adding Direct Debits to your payment methods is a no-brainer.
Imagine a world where your payment collection process was seamlessly integrated from start to finish.
Imagine your operational systems being able to adjust the monthly Direct Debit for different services, the Direct Debit collecting the amount, and your financial software being automatically updated with the invoice payment.
The time saved in payment processing when using Direct Debits is huge. Compare it with manually producing and sending out invoices, receiving the payment, banking cheques when they appear and then manually updating your financial systems and you can see that the time saving is massive.
Direct Debit processing systems, such as the one from Access PaySuite, offer almost full automation of the process from start to finish, allowing teams to get on with more pressing work to benefit the organisation.
When you have a sophisticated Direct Debit system such as Access PaySuite you have enterprise-class reporting at your fingertips.
With Direct Debit collection services, gone are the days of constantly checking your bank account to see if money has gone in, payments are set to come from clients on set days and if payments fail you can simply re-process a particular payment until it clears or needs escalating.
Similarly, these systems will alert when a missed payment has occurred and alert when a Direct Debit has been cancelled by a client, allowing you to prioritise contacting clients who are an immediate threat to secure cash flow.
You can run reports that allow you to understand your cash flow better and let you know when payments are going to arrive and how much you’ll receive.
One of the biggest reasons that care business owners like Direct Debits is that they are the cheapest way to receive payments.
When you consider that the entire Direct Debit system is automated and digital from the point of view of the banks and requires very little in the way of management then you can see why that would be true.
For private clients there is no charge for paying by Direct Debit so it is better for your customer and for the business, the bank charges for a Direct Debit receipt is a fraction of that for processing a cheque or cash.
With a Direct Debit processing service such as the one from Access PaySuite, the collection amount is a fixed flat fee no matter the amount, meaning your cash flow isn’t eaten into significantly when processing larger client fees.
In the care sector, fees often vary because extra services are offered or equipment and consumables are provided.
This means that the payment amounts have to be changed, often on a weekly or monthly basis.
With a method like a Standing Order that simply isn’t possible and for customers using cheques and cards to pay, it means that they need to spend time responding to the different payment amounts and paying manually.
Alternatively, organisations can alter Direct Debit collection amounts easily ahead of the payment date without constantly having to ask for re-authorisation from clients.
One of the most important items in the business toolbox for the care sector is the cash flow forecast.
When times are uncertain, the cash flow forecast is the thing that every business owner needs so that they can understand what their bank account is looking like and whether they will be able to pay the salaries or rent.
Accepting payments by Direct Debits means that not only do you know in advance what you are going to receive and when it will appear in your account, it also means that you won’t suffer as many missed payments, making your cash flow forecasting better and your bank account healthier.
Direct Debits provide a more flexible payment option for your clients and this manifests itself in the form of greater convenience.
The client doesn’t need to worry about making the payment as it all happens automatically and they can be sure that the amount they pay will match the invoiced amount.
The peace of mind that this provides, especially when people can be at a low ebb, is incredibly valuable.
This can provide an instant boost to client satisfaction as well as providing a better user experience.
Being able to offer Direct Debit as a payment collection choice means clients don’t have the burden of remembering to pay their bills each month, something that will be welcome when families and care receivers already have enough on their minds.
Direct Debit is the way forward for the Health and Care sector
We hope that we have convinced you that Direct Debits can make a massive contribution to providing greater customer satisfaction and helping you to run a profitable business.
They cost less, are easier to administer and require very little in the way of manual intervention.
For the customer they improve satisfaction and choice, are more convenient and cost nothing to action.
If you’d like to find out more about how Access PaySuite can help you to supercharge your business then call us now and we’ll give you a free demonstration.