Accepting recurring payments

Posted: 30th October 2008

We’re working on an idea for a service which would involve collecting fees from our clients monthly, so I’ve been doing some research into options for accepting recurring payments. My first thought was direct debit but it’s quite a difficult one to get a handle on. My first thought was to try our bank on the basis that if they couldn’t provide it as a service they could at least give us some advice on how to go about it. What a foolish idea that was. I got through to some guy who basically said ‘we don’t do it’ and sent me to a website that didn’t look like what we need at all.

I’ve also tried emailing Business Link for some advice but not a peep out of them yet (am I surprised?).

Thankfully I’ve got the A1Business Forums to go to for help. What would I do without the forum? I’ve had some really useful advice from there and it looks like these are my options:

  1. A direct debit ‘middleman’ service whereby we pay a per transaction fee for charging by direct debit.
  2. A payment processing service service as WorldPay or PayPal which would offer us some kind of payment by ‘subscription’ as long as we’re collecting the same amount each month (which in theory we should be).

I’m not sure what the best option will be. I’ve sent off an enquiry to WorldPay to find out what they can do for us. Meanwhile I need to find out what I can about the middleman services and read up on PayPal. Even though PayPal may not come across as the most ‘professional’ approach to taking payments it should be a nice easy way into it so might be all we need to get the ball rolling.

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