SmartDebit is the UK’s leading Direct Debit provider, catering for some of the biggest brands in the country while also catering for SMEs. If you’re looking to take repeat payments from your customers without requiring them to hand over their card details, SmartDebit is one of the first providers you’ll want to look at.
Aside from its Direct Debit services, the company also offers online payments through Global Payments, as well as cheque processing and Bacs accredited training services. So, if you’re running a strictly online business, you might find SmartDebit offers everything you need in a payment solution.
However, most businesses are going to need a separate provider to handle Direct Debit payments, independent from their merchant account/card processing service provider. If this applies to you, then SmartDebit remains a strong option, adding all the DirectDebit capabilities you need to your existing payment services.
The company’s customer service and support teams have a strong reputation and you get a dedicated account manager to help you set everything up and get the best from its services.
That gives you an idea of what to expect and before we take a closer look at what SmartDebit can add to your business you may want to have check out their sales pitch in this short video.
SmartDebit offers three tiers of Direct Debit services: Bureau Service for businesses turning over more than £1m annually, Managed Direct Debit for SMEs and SEPA Direct Debit for accepting payments from several European countries. Then, you also have online payment services – which are covered by Global Payments – as well as cheque processing and Bacs accredited training.
SmartDebit’s managed direct debit service is available for businesses of all sizes. This is ideal if you’re a relatively low-volume merchant/business or you don’t have any experience with the Bacs process – SmartDebit manages the entire process on your behalf.
If you’re a large business turning over more than £1m annually, then SmartDebit’s Bureau service will give you cheaper rates per Direct Debit payment. You also get more control over your account so this is where the company’s training services really prove their worth if you don’t have any previous working experience with Bacs payments.
With SmartDebit’s SEPA Direct Debit services, you can accept Direct Debit payments from customers across 34 European countries – including the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, and many more. The service also comes with checkout experiences in the native language of each country so your customers can arrange recurring payments with you easily.
SmartDebit also offers online payment services through Realex Payments (Global Payments) for eCommerce businesses that also want to accept one-off card payments from customers. While this is a separate company providing this service for you, SmartDebit will act as your point of contact and forward you to the relevant technical team if you need any assistance from Realex/Global Payments.
If you accept a lot of cheque payments from customers, then SmartDebit can help you to store them electronically to reduce disruption to your cash flow. This is a bespoke service the company will tailor to your needs, so get in touch with them if this is something you want them to handle for you.
SmartDebit provides a range of training services to help your business get ready for accepting DirectDebit payments. This includes the company’s Bacs accredited Direct Debit training service that will get your entire organisation prepared. It also provides Direct Credit training, specialist Direct Debit training for bank managers and a number of other courses to help your business get the most from Direct Debit payments.
For a company that specialises in Direct Debit payments, SmartDirect crams a lot of services into its offering and the online payments via Realex Payments makes this company a really strong candidate for online retailers that want to accept card payments and Direct Debit payments online.
Let’s not downplay the importance of that Bacs accredited training, either – because getting into Direct Debit payments for the first time can be overwhelming without any previous experience.
SmartDebit has a simple pricing system, which you can find on its website. If you’re turning over more than £1m per year, you’ll be eligible for the companies premium Bureau service and its best pricing:
If you’re not eligible for the Bureau service, you can still look into the Managed package, which comes with slightly higher fees across the board. Keep in mind that these fees are based on a business with 3,000 monthly transactions and there may be some differences for significantly higher/lower volumes.
SmartDebit is about as transparent as you could hope for when it comes to publicly disclosing its pricing structure, which gets things off to a good start. We’re also really impressed with the company’s reputation among its existing customers – almost all of whom appear to be happy that SmartDebit is providing the services it originally promised them.
That’s not to say all the feedback is 100% positive but sales and transparency is one area that doesn’t seem to be a problem.
SmartDebit has a customer support team that’s available five days per week: 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Thursday and 9am to 5pm on Friday. It’s a shame there’s no 24/hr support but this isn’t particularly unusual for payment services companies and you could argue it’s less important for a direct debit firm to offer 24/hr support than a merchant account provider of card processing company.
If you do run into problems out of hours, there’s also an online helpdesk that aims to help you work through any issues.
You also have a library of guides to help you use SmartDebit’s services and get to grips with Direct Debit payments in general. Finally, you have that optional Bacs accredited training service if your team needs guidance on working with Direct Debit payments.
Beyond technical support, SmartDebit is widely credited by its users for the quality of its customer service and the company’s account managers are praised time and again. If you choose SmartDebit, you can be pretty confident that your account manager is going to help you get the most from its services and use Direct Debit payments as a means to grow your business.
While you have to take Trustpilot profiles with a pinch of salt, SmartDebit has one of the most impressive collections of reviews we’ve seen for a payment services company. If you’ve read the previous couple of sections in this article, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear that its customers highly praise the SmartDebit team and the services they provide.
In fact, it’s difficult to find any significant negative feedback about SmartDebit and when customers to run into any problems, the company’s support team is quick to respond and get issues fixed. You’ll also see they’re quite active on Trustpilot and their social media accounts where they respond to questions and suggestions from customers.
SmartDebit promises to make Direct Debit payments easy for businesses to manage and the company absolutely delivers. With a simple, transparent pricing policy, excellent online resources and Bacs accredited training available, the company will be able to get you set up and running, even if you have no previous experience in this area.
Above all, we’re really impressed by the feedback from existing SmartDebit customers and the company’s reputation in general – especially with how its support team looks after everyone.
So if you’re a UK business that wants to start accepting Direct Debit payments, we’ve got no hesitations about recommending SmartDebit.