Moving to SEPA Direct Debit, Game on
Enabling SEPA direct debit changed a business, it’s been happily ever after ever since.
In this short blog we look at what happened when a business introduced SEPA direct debit and how it changed their operation.
Who did the deed? EasyTrack (http://www.easytrack.ie)
Firstly, let’s see their story.
EasyTrack provides an on-line and real-time GPS vehicle tracking service to their customers, delivering detailed engine and driving details for all their vehicles. Operating country-wide, their business involves the provision of tracking devices and GPS equipment along with an extensive real-time monitoring service.
Once upon a time in a land fa.. they had a problem
Cash, cheques and promises, the company received payment in a number of ways. When payment was received electronically they faced the challenge of reconciling credits on their bank account, a regular challenge for many businesses.
A significant amount of time was being spent meeting customers to collect payment. On top of that, collecting cash and cheques resulted in regular visits to their bank for lodgement.
With banks now limiting the times that they’ll accept lodgements, the cashflow was often less than optimum. In addition, there were regular occasions where substantial sums were held in company vans and in the office while they scheduled a visit to their bank branch. Alas this is no more.
The stress involved in keeping on top of cash collection while also pushing to grow the business made for a very challenging and sometimes stressful environment, growth was under pressure.
Driving Change & Growth
EasyTrack signed up to DebaPay to use SEPA direct debit, it changed their business.
In a short period of time their activity changed from chasing payment to a team focusing on driving sales and ensuring they continued to provide great customer support.
We worked together to plan the introduction of the system, from the application process with their bank to becoming a SEPA direct debit originator through to the communication to their customers about the introduction of the new collection method, communicating with customers is a key element of such a change.
Getting access to SEPA direct debit through their bank took a few weeks, during this time we configured the system for Easytrack and helped the team become familiar with the workings of DebaPay and how direct debit works. This time and effort was very useful, the team were fully prepared for when the system went live and fit to reap the benefits.
From the off, EasyTrack took a firm position on how they wished to change the collection process, aiming for 100% coverage.
Their primary aim was to place all subscription fees (relating to the ongoing monitoring service) on SEPA direct debit. They had great success here in a short time. This was mainly down to the teams desire to drive efficiencies, being acutely aware of the need to free up time to focus on sales.
However, those daring Easytrack knights went further and took the castle. They identified an opportunity to offer customers some flexibility in payment terms for certain high value device sales. Here they chose to take payment for a portion of the total amount via card payment (they also have merchant services) and placed the balance on payment plan, with monthly collections handled via DebaPay.
This became a value-add to the business. As Mark Egan (MD) advised afterwards, "this was something we would never have considered until we saw direct debit in action. We saw the opportunity to offer flexible payment terms and that really helped us grow sales for a number of our products".
Introducing SEPA direct debit to Easytrack customers
While they initially encountered some resistance from certain customers in relation to the signing of the direct debit mandate, this was overcome by explaining the control inherent in the DebaPay system whereby no more or less can would collected from the payer’s account than that stated on the emandate being presented to the customer for approval.
DebaPay enables EasyTrack to explicitly detail the request:
– the purpose of the collection i.e. the service or product being supplied
– the amount being collected (no more or no less)
– the date(s) the payment(s) will be debited from the customer’s account.
Such settings are optional when setting up the direct debit collections, Easytrack don't use them where it's unnecessary.
This detailed and transparent request placed in front of the customer affords them the comfort of knowing they remain in control of their bank account. The customer signs the mandate electronically and immediately receives a confirmation email.
Going further, if the collection is paused or cancelled the customer receives an email advising them accordingly – the customer remains informed at all times.
This helped the change in the Easytrack operation, the team have become skilled at communicating their payment collection policy and customers have accepted it.
The introduction of DebaPay at EasyTrack is a great example of how success is achieved.
The EasyTrack team were surprised at how SEPA direct debit quickly changed their business and at how simple the collection process became with DebaPay. They're continuing to enjoy the benefits delivered.
It didn’t happen by default on enabling SEPA direct debit or DebaPay, such change requires a degree of effort but the pay-off can be fantastic. As we see here, not only did it deliver great efficiency but it supported growth.
It’s been great for us here in DebaPay to witness how the system can change the activity of a business and we’ve also learned from interacting with the team at EasyTrack having worked very closely together during the initial introduction of the system. We’re very grateful to the team for trusting in us to deliver and delighted that the volumes being processed continue to grow.
Feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss how we can help your business. We might struggle to explain the Ruy Lopez opener but we just might share something to help you win the game that's of critical importance to you and your gallant knights.