So your small business needs a reliable way of collecting payments? And you just want to know which direct debit services pay on time, and are the most secure. We can help you!

Here is the best guide which gives you a run-down of the top 15+ providers including payment timeframes, billing services, transaction fees and fraud prevention. Let’s begin.

Top 5 UK Direct Debit Bureau & Recurring Payment Companies

  1.   SmartDebit

SmartDebit claim to have more than 20 years experience in creating payment solutions for companies and organisations of all sizes. They offer bureau direct debit, online payments, direct debit training and cheque processing and imaging amongst a wide suite of products to businesses, charities, sports clubs, schools and colleges.  

SmartDebit Pros

  • Timely and efficient payment processing.
  • Highly secure FCA approved transfer.
  • Simple pricing structure.
  • Managed payment solution.
  • Excellent customer support.

SmartDebit Cons

  • Products suited to larger businesses.
  • Set up fees and hidden charges have been reported. 

Fees and Packages

  • Bureau rate: £199 set up fee + £30 per month + 20p per transaction.
  • Managed rate: £250 set up fee + £35 per month + 35 per transaction.
  • No annual fees.

Further information: SmartDebit Website 

  1.   Go Cardless

Founded in 2010 and headquartered in London, this UK Direct Debit Services company has developed a great industry reputation in its relatively short history. They provide invoice payments, recurring payments, international debt collection and partner integration to their clients. Go Cardless claim to be on a mission to take the pain out of getting paid for businesses with recurring revenue.  

Go Cardless Pros

  • No initial setup fee.
  • Excellent integration for UI and API.
  • Flexible collection dates.
  • Recurring payments and invoice services.
  • Accepts payments across SEPA, Bacs & Autogiro.

Go Cardless Cons

  • Monthly fees can be expensive.
  • High transaction fees.

Fees and Packages

  • Standard rate: 1% per transaction + 20p (capped at £2).
  • Plus rate: 1% per transaction + 20p (capped at £2 + £50 a month).
  • Pro rate: Volume-based pricing (£200 a month).

Further information: Go Cardless Website 

  1. Vindicia 

The San Francisco based SaaS subscription billing platform enables businesses to incorporate these types of payments as part of their overall service offering. Vindicia claim they make it easy to entice more customers to join, renew and upgrade their subscription, membership or other recurring offerings. You can also run loyalty programmes, promotions and campaigns through their payment system.

Vindicia Pros

  • Innovative features to increase subscribers.
  • Unique subscription billing solutions.
  • Specialist software produced to recover missed payments.
  • Seamless and secure payment system.
  • Free trial available.

Vindicia Cons

  • Limited reporting tools.
  • Lack of pricing information.
  • User dashboard needs work.

Fees and Packages

  • Fees : free trials & bespoke pricing.

Further information: Vindicia Website

  1. London & Zurich

London & Zurich provide businesses with bespoke customer payment solutions which help them to collect repeat payments from their clients. This trusted player offer a wide range of products including online payments and a payment gateway option to a wide variety of industries.  

London & Zurich Pros

  • One of the most trusted industry names.
  • Excellent customer support available.
  • Affordable and suitable for businesses of all sizes.

London & Zurich Cons

  • Set-up fees applicable.

Fees and Packages

  • Set-up rate: £199 (branded & settlement within two working days).
  • Direct Debit payment: Flat 1.25% collection fee.
  • Monthly rate: £29.99 (Online training & dedicated support).

Further information: London & Zurich UK Website

  1.   AccessPay – Payment and Cash Management

This Bacs approved software provider offers a range of simplified Direct Debit payments, cash management, SEPA, Faster Payments and a range of other services through an integrated cloud system and their intuitively designed interface. The company’s mission is to transform the way business payments are sent and received.  

AccessPay Pros

  • No setup or transaction fees.
  • Quality payroll management system.
  • User-friendly dashboard.
  • Same day payment service.
  • Impressive list of high profile clients.

AccessPay Cons

  • Lack of transparency in pricing.
  • Delayed or withheld payments reported by clients.
  • Product range not as comprehensive as competitors.

Fees and Packages

  • No setup or transaction fees: Bespoke service.

Further information: AccessPay Website

Direct Debit Bureau & Recurring Payment Companies

  1. Eazy Collect

This truly omnichannel Direct Debit service company has provided a payments service covering online, in-person, via mobile app, telephone and tablet since its foundation in 2002. They service a broad range of businesses through their highly secure and application based system. 

Eazy Collect Pros

  • User-friendly and modern interface.
  • Extensive integration options.
  • Fantastic range of products available.
  • Client administration overhead significantly reduced.

Eazy Collect Cons

  • Expensive option for smaller scale retailers.
  • Only basic customer support free.

Fees and Packages

  • Fee: Tailor-made service and associated fees.

Further information: Eazy Collect UK Website

  1. Adyen

This large global payments company which is based in Amsterdam offer a Bacs Direct Debit service and a set of solid recurring payment and subscription features that reduce the potential for failed payments and increase customer retention. Adyen list high profile organisations including Microsoft, Booking.com and Spotify amongst their impressive list of clientele.  

Adyen Pros

  • Safe, trusted and fast settlement.
  • Great customer support available.
  • One-click recurring payments option.
  • Covers a wide variety of payments including SEPA.
  • Built-in customer retention features.

Adyen Cons

  • Expensive option for smaller merchants.
  • No Direct Debit available.

Fees and Packages

  • Processing Fee: 0.10 per transaction.
  • Payment Method Fee: 0.50 per transaction.

Further information: Adyen Website

  1. FastPay Ltd.

The Manchester headquartered has been providing simple, comprehensive Direct Debit services since incorporation in 2008.  Fastpay offer a Managed Service for UK SMEs and a Bacs-approved Bureau service for high-volume merchants. By offering transparency and a quality service, they have attracted a wide array of clients including Premier League football clubs.

FastPay Pros

  • Transparent fee structure.
  • No monthly fees.
  • Excellent customer support available. 
  • Complete list of Direct Debit services on offer.

FastPay Cons

  • Suited to larger merchants.
  • High setup fees in comparison to competitors.

Fees and Packages

  • No monthly or annual fees.

Further information: FastPay UK Website

  1. Clear Direct Debit

This Bacs Approved Bureau offers Direct Debit services, Bacs consultancy, bespoke Direct Debit training which has been developed working with players in the Bacs, banking & software and CRM supplier industry.  

 Clear Direct Debit Pros

  • Bacs Accredited Training Provider.
  • Direct Debit Services.
  • Bacs Approved Bureau.
  • Quick 48 hour setup.

Clear Direct Debit Cons

  • Undeveloped online reputation.
  • Lack of pricing transparency.

Fees and Packages

  • Fees: Not published – bespoke services. 

Further information: Clear Direct Debit Website

  1. SmarterPay

This Yorkshire-based Direct Debit company provides Direct Credit processing, Direct Debit enabling clients to set up recurring and periodic payments as well as offering card payment services for online payments. In addition, this BACS approved funds transfer solution can provide a shopping cart and payment gateway for selling online.  

SmarterPay Pros

  • Integrates with existing payroll software and accounts.
  • Control and authorize payments with smartcard access.
  • Great eCommerce features offered.
  • Unique payment service using Direct Credits.

SmarterPay Cons

  • Lack of pricing information can lead to increased cost.
  • Under developed online reputation.

Fees and Packages

  • Fees: Not published – bespoke services.

Further information: SmarterPay Website

  1. allpay

Originally established in 1994 to provide swipe card payment facilities to local government, allpay now claim to allow the collection of payments every date of the month and at multiple frequencies. They offer a wide variety of Direct Debit and Credit & Debit to clients in various sectors including housing, central government, debt collection and utilities.  

allpay Pros

  • Very safe and secure service.
  • Allows clients to reduce administration.
  • Bespoke products available.

allpay Cons

  • Questions raised over quality of software provided.
  • Previous clients expressed concern over customer service.

Fees and Packages

  • Tailored to specific client needs.

Further information: allpay Website

  1. Secure Trading

The Secure Trading Group was founded in 1999 and is a leading payment service provider in the UK market. This independent company offer recurring payment solutions only to their substantial client base.  

Secure Trading Pros

  • Provides excellent payment management tool ‘MyST’.
  • Allows for weekly, monthly and quarterly transaction processing.
  • Payment details need only be entered by customer once – at the time of purchase.

Secure Trading Cons

  • Bespoke service makes pricing unclear.
  • Relatively expensive full payment service offered.

Fees and Packages

  • Fees: Bespoke service provided.

Further information: Secure Trading Website

  1. Bottomline

Bottomline claim to be the UK’s most trusted recurring payment provider. They offer an impressive array of products including Bacs payments, Direct Debit service and pay Direct to name but a few.  

Bottomline Pros

  • Manage all products from intuitive dashboard.
  • Payments collected automatically on appointed date.
  • Reduced administration costs.
  • Comprehensive auditing and reporting trials.

Bottomline Cons

  • Lack of information about fees.
  • Mixed customer service reviews.

Further information: Bottomline UK Website

  1. Natwest 

The BACS Direct Debit service offered by this major retail and commercial bank enables their clients to collect payments directly from individual bank accounts under pre-arranged Direct Debit instructions. Natwest provide two options for Bacs Direct Debits via the Bacs system which allows their clients to collect payments from customers.

Natwest Pros

  • Maintain strong control over audit trail. 
  • Reduces the cost of collecting regular payments.
  • Provides for greater control over cash flow.
  • Dedicated Relationship Manager assigned to every customer.

Natwest Cons

  • Reports of questionable customer service at times.
  • Software which hosts online banking system unreliable.

Fees and Packages

  • Pay-as-you-go Package: 2.75% +  £0.20 per transaction (Credit & Debit Cards).
  • Pay Monthly Package: 2.75% per credit card transaction, 0.75% per debit card transaction (inclusive of £19.95 per month in charges).

Further information: Natwest Website

  1. Lloyds

Lloyds claim it’s Bacs Direct service enables their clients to make and receive payments cost-effectively and securely. They offer a Direct Debit payment to cover insurance premiums, subscriptions, salaries, wages, pensions and interest payments.  

Lloyds Direct Debit Pros

  • Elimination of book-keeping errors.
  • Improved cash flow with same day transfer.
  • Reduced administration costs.
  • Instant notification of unpaid debts.

Lloyds Direct Debit Cons

  • Some reports of accounts being blocked.
  • Complaints related to standard of customer service.
  • One star rating on Trustpilot.

Fees and Packages

  • Fees: Tailored to individual business needs.

Further information: Lloyds Bank Website

  1. WorldPay

The London-based payment processing company better known for offering merchant accounts and PDQ machines to their clients, also provide comprehensive Direct Debit and recurring payments services – known as ‘FuturePay’.  

WorldPay Direct Debit Pros

  • Internet-based system is accessible 24/7.
  • Supports a variety of payments including subscriptions & payment by installments.
  • Ability to take an initial payment before the schedule starts.

WorldPay Direct Debit Cons

  • High costs make it less affordable for smaller merchants.
  • Previous clients have reported some technical issues. 

Fees and Packages

  • Flat fees: 2.75% + 20p per transaction.

Further information: WorldPay UK Website

  1. EaziPay

This Direct Debit collections company have 20 years industry experience and provide an array of services including Direct Debit payments, payment gateway and SEPA Direct Debit to more than 1,600 individual businesses across the UK.  

EaziPay Pros

  • Direct payment into appointed account within 3 days.
  • Payment gateway enable clients to start taking card payments immediately.
  • Support for SEPA and UK payments.

EaziPay Cons

  • Basic level of customer service offered.
  • Payment software may not be suitable for larger merchants.

Fees and Packages

  • Flat fee: 40p per Direct Debit collection (for all collections).

Further information: EaziPay UK Website

  1. Debit Direct

Debit Direct claim to offer a fast, efficient and reliable way to collect payments of any value, automatically. They provide a system for regular outlay including mortgage, mobile phone charges, council tax and other household bills.

Debit Direct Pros

  • Account setup within 48 hours.
  • Manage account online through portal.
  • Increased customer retention.
  • Competitive fees.

Debit Direct Cons

  • Additional expenditure for BACS Approved Software and training required.
  • Service User Number required to enable Direct Debit payments.
  • Fixed payment schedule may not suit high invoices.

Fees and Packages

  • Flat fee: 80p per collection.
  • Monthly:  £15 per month.

Further information: Debit Direct UK Website