Here at Truclean Plus Ltd we use the GoCardless payment gateway to collect payments from our customers. Gocardless is a company which was founded in 2011, with a global focus on allowing customers and companies to set up recurring direct debits that suit us both. Specifically, for window cleaning, the advantages are clear, you have a multinational company who collects the payments, and importantly only after the job has been done each month! Gocardless works with many companies such as Thomas Cook and Virgin, in fact, Thomas Cook were recently using Gocardless to allow customers to pay up holiday bookings (kind of like a Christmas catalogue).
On our window cleaning website, the customer clicks on the small blue box that says “pay with Gocardless” on the ways to pay page of our website and this is how its set up. We do not see your bank details because it is an encrypted system, but we do see your name and address, and email address as well. This allows us to have a contact for you. When this form is filled in, you are also automatically linked to our window cleaning round because we use the app squeegee and have Gocardless and squeegee (our window cleaning round software) linked.
Yes, on many levels. As a direct debit, you have guarantees in place by law, Gocardless is a direct debit scheme. One guarantee not everyone knows about is that on the small print of all direct debit guarantees it states “The direct debit guarantee protects customers from payments taken in error. In the case of an incorrect or fraudulent payment, the payer is entitled to a full and immediate refund from their bank”. We personally have many of our customers using Gocardless, and because all customers receive a notification before any money can be taken by Gocardless there is never an issue. Gocardless have a great reputation and are a rapidly growing company. In fact, even as recent as 2018 the financial times lists them as one of the top 1000 companies in Europe for sustained annual growth in revenue. Gocardless are within the top 50 companies on that list.
Once you have signed up, you will be added to our worksheet and have future payment means set up. We will clean the properties windows and put a ticket through the letterbox to let you know we have been. That evening we initiate all Gocardless payments for that day. We initiate the payments by going onto our Gocardless dashboard and manually inputting all payments. Just before the payment charge date, you will receive an email saying “Truclean plus ltd window cleaning services are debiting for x amount” because another part of the direct debit guarantee is that payments must involve notification. You do not need to repeat any form filling, this one set up is all you need to do.
If you used a bank standing order to pay, what if we are running late or early? you may pay more than you should over the course of a year. With Gocardless you only pay once the clean has been completed, nothing is debited until the job is done. The process is completely contactless, so you only have one form to fill in and that’s it! No more manual bank payments or falling behind with payments, we will manage the regularity of all payments while you are notified each time as well. This method of payment leaves a paper trail, meaning ourselves and you as the customer have an agreed service and an easy to access account to verify the fact payments were made. If collecting money, payments can often not be ticked off on a window cleaning collection sheet. However, with Gocardless there are no grey areas of “I paid last time”, “but we haven’t marked that payment down”…it is all easily available in black and white for both the customer and ourselves. You are not tied into a contract. Cancel at any time, or port the payment method to your new address-we can change the address to your new property on the dashboard. We can debit when it suits you, it doesn’t need to be debited 7 days after the window clean. We can initiate debits on the 1st of the month/31st of the month whichever works best for you. Just let us know when your preferred date would be, for example, we have many customers who choose to have the amount debited from their account around their payday; and we have the debit date recorded next to their name.
The one thing we noticed is that this drastically reduced collection time, and improved cash flow. That’s why so many small businesses now use it. Have we had issues with Gocardless? Not really. The only issue we have had is an occasional payment bouncing, where there are insufficient funds in the customers bank - in this case we have to click on resubmit and the process begins again. We have had plenty of positive feedback from customers and their relatives (mainly sons/daughters) that have signed their parent up to our Gocardless system. In doing so, their parents had no need to handle any money at the door or have the stress of remembering to withdraw money for our window cleaning services, they also liked the fact they could easily keep track of all payments via their online banking. Another customer was abroad on holiday and received the email notification to say payment was being taken (as per usual). They liked the fact that they were then able to cross-reference when we had been out to clean their windows, even though they were not in the same country at the time. Gocardless provides a hassle and stress free way of paying for our window cleaning service.