Bureau Contingency, direct debit processing
Bacs, Bureau Service, DD Resilience, Direct Debit, Training
06, DEC 2019

Have you considered your Direct Debit resilience? Have you reviewed the risks and considered if you are too reliant on one or two key people?

At a recent regional Direct Debit training course, 3 attendees (out of 9) expressed a concern that their Direct Debit processes were so heavily reliant on them as an individual that if they were absent or on holiday, their whole DD system could fall over.

                “I’m the only one that holds a smartcard. If I’m not around, we can’t process”

It’s a worrying thought. All the hard work you do as an organisation is all very well and good, but if you fail to collect the organisations income – or if it’s collected in error – the impact on reputation, customer experience and financial stability can be immense.

                “I’m the only one who can run the strike so I have to time it to when I’m in the office”

A process that relies heavily on one individual presents risks for the organisation. If there is only 1 (or even 2) smartcard holders for example, what happens if ….

  • the smartcard expires, or is lost / broken?
  • the smartcard reader / software or computer equipment used for processing Direct Debits breaks?
  • the individual is taken suddenly ill or is away on holiday – or even leaves employment.

Would the organisation be able to adapt and continue collecting your Direct Debit income? Do you have some other way to ensure your DIrect Debit resilience?

                “the smartcard expired so we were basically stuck and had to write to all the customers and tell them we’d collect double the next month”

The risks of not having adequate Direct Debit resilience include:

  • less / no income! Being unable to collect the DD income as planned
  • greater administrative task – to contact customers and reconcile payments
  • concern and worry amongst the staff
  • customers missing out on products / services – or receiving products / services they havent paid for.

Obviously some organisations do not have numerous employees who can cover Direct Debit processes – it’s a specialist task and requires some knowledge to be done correctly and within Bacs scheme rules.

                “There’s only me. I am the team. I don’t have anyone else I can ask to help”

There are however steps that any organisation can take to help mitigate the risks associated with a lack of Direct Debite resilience:

  • Link to a bureau for contingency purposes. If smartcards expire / are lost or stolen, the bureau can transmit files to Bacs for you. Income is collected as planned and there are no unhappy customers, no follow up administration and the organisation receives the income it needs to operate, as planned and on time.
  • Training! Nominate a back-up and ensure they are trained so they can step in and process if require.
  • Have a Contingency plan, keep instructions for someone else to follow (and ensure they are regularly tested and updated) and finally….
  • Keep contact numbers handy for the Direct Debit experts. When things go wrong, know who to turn to for help!

                “Clear Direct Debit is definitely an organisation that has saved us a lot of money and has provided us with support in moments of need. Direct Debits are our main source of income and for most charities  automated processes are not always so reliable, so it’s good that we have Clear Direct Debit as a back-up support. We have been working with Clear Direct Debit for a few years now and they are very efficient and responsive. They have been a great support to our organisation!” Kersti Kukemelk, Family for EveryChild.

In an emergency Clear Direct Debit can have you set up on our bureau and ready to collect payments within 24 hours. We have strict SLA’s to respond to email enquiries within an hour and you will always get through to one of our team on the phone within working hours. Although we are able to react as quickly as this, a number of organisations are set up to use us on an ongoing basis which gives them the peace of mind and assurance that they are covered all year round regardless of what may happen.

Questions? You can read more on our website about our Direct Debit training or Direct Debit Contingency bureau, or you can contact us on 01737 826957 or by email: info@cleardirectdebit.co.uk.