Direct Debit, direct debit training, Direct Debit Training and Consultancy
Bacs, Training
29, OCT 2020

Blog by Sarah Cottee, Training Manager

I appreciate that Bacs training isn’t always at the top of the priority list. Often it’s the first casualty of stressed or busy times BUT now more than ever you should be considering Bacs training for your team – and here is why!

Common Issues

The ongoing situation with the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted common issues that a lot of Service Users are facing:

  • Lack of staff – Staff absent with sickness or having been put on Furlough
  • Lack of back-up staff / trained members of the team who confidently know how to process direct debits
  • Manual processes
  • Difficulties sending letters – mailing houses and offices are closed so staff can’t get into the office to use franking machines / no email addresses have been collected to use as an alternative to the post
  • An increase in cancelled direct debits
  • Unable to submit files – Smart card holders are absent or unbale to access systems (again, often because they can’t get in the office).

These issues can cause stress and increase the likelihood of errors creeping in. Often Service Users don’t realise they could make improvements to their Direct Debit processes until something goes wrong. COVID-19 has highlighted this for many. As a result, many organisations are now looking for improvements in their processes and this is why it may be the perfect time to consider training – while these issues and risks are fresh in your mind with the COVID-19 lockdown.

Lack of Knowledge

We recently ran some market research with delegates who attended our training courses:

When asked what causes them the most frustration when processing their direct debits 72%, said they were concerned about the lack of knowledge about Direct Debits within the Business.

It’s perhaps not surprising that Bacs training course attendees would highlight a lack of knowledge as a concern. What’s interesting though is the consistency in the explanations around this with 3 main recurring topics of concern:

  1. Being shown how to do a task but not understanding why it is important or why it is being done
  2. Not knowing if they have done the task correctly and receiving no feedback
  3. Concern about lack of knowledge elsewhere in the organisation

When asked what would increase their confidence in managing their direct debit system, 58% felt understanding the Direct Debit rules better would help. Many stated this confidence would help them explain to colleagues what was required as well as reassuring them / creating less stress.


In Market Research, when asked how they would like their processes to be improved, 49% highlighted a desire to move to a less manual processes.

From our sample, 63% said the most time-consuming aspect of managing their Direct Debit system was all the administration required. This included sending out Direct Debit Instructions manually, chasing return of the DDIs, dealing with rejection reports (Bacs reports) and reconciling failed collections etc. A few respondents highlighted the time required to deal with Indemnity claims – especially during lockdown where numbers have increased.

Respondents identified that any time savings through automating the process would be appreciated. For this reason, many of those not currently operating an AUDDIS system were keen to introduce it. AUDDIS is where Direct Debit Instructions are sent to Bacs electronically rather than via the post and many respondents who have struggled with paper systems were wishing they had implemented AUDDIS / were keen to implement AUDDIS soon.

Paperless Direct Debit

In Market Research, when asked how they would like their processes to be improved, over a third – 36% – expressed a desire to move to Paperless Direct Debits.

As well as introducing AUDDIS, many respondents were keen to look again at introducing Paperless Direct Debits – using online or telephone sign-up. Many recognised this would provide benefits when their customers were unable to get out to post Direct Debit Instructions. Respondents – correctly – identified that it would save them time as well.

The Value of Training

After attending training 92% of respondents claimed to feel “very confident” about Direct Debits.

The common themes identified in this research included:

  • The need to streamline processes
  • The improvements offered by moving to AUDDIS or Paperless Direct Debits
  • The impact of a lack of training
  • The need to reduce administration
  • The benefits of improving knowledge and confidence

Our Accredited Bacs Training can help with all these. We offer a range of training options and these include our online “live” training courses.

Online Bacs Training

Our online, face-to-face Direct Debit Training course provides a thorough overview of the Direct Debit scheme. Bacs Training Courses are delivered by our experienced Training Manager via online platforms using a mix of learning techniques. These include interactive breakout sessions, online whiteboards, presentation slides and discussion points. Courses are run at pre-arranged times on a day that suits you and the timings of the course can be varied according to your needs.  The course is modular and prices start from just £150 + VAT. Whether you are working from home or from the office – if you have internet access you can easily attend a course!

If you would like to know more about our training courses you can see details on our Training Pages. You can read more about moving to AUDDIS or Paperless Direct Debits on our Consultancy Pages. Alternatively, please feel free to get in touch with the team and we will be happy to help:  training@cleardirectdebit.co.uk.