Accepting direct debit payments through GoCardless

Updated 2 months ago

GoCardless is one of the world's leading Direct Debit processors, serving more organisations than any other provider.

GoCardless offers a simple & modern API-based platform - making it easy to collect Direct Debit payments in Beacon, and to have those payments flow automatically into Beacon in real-time, without any manual data entry or uploads.

link Create a GoCardless account

To collect Direct Debit payments via Beacon, you'll need to connect your GoCardless account to Beacon. If you haven't already got a GoCardless account, you can sign up here.

Tip: you'll need to verify your GoCardless account before you can start collecting Direct Debits through Beacon.

link Connect GoCardless to Beacon

1) Go to Settings > Payments in your sidebar

2) Click Connect with GoCardless

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3) You'll see a new window open, prompting you to give permission to Beacon to access your GoCardless account. (Connecting will allow Beacon to create payments on your behalf)

4) Click Connect account

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5) That's it! You'll now see the option to set up a direct debit as a payment option on your recurring donation forms. When new subscriptions donations come in, you'll see them in your GoCardless dashboard, as well as in Beacon.

link Getting verified

To collect Direct Debit payments and receive payments through GoCardless, you'll need to verify your GoCardless account. This primarily involves providing information about your charity to GoCardless.

You can get verified at

In Beacon, you'll see your GoCardless verification status once you've connected your account:

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link Setting up mandates

Donors or members can set up mandates using Beacon's online recurring donation forms:

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After completing their donation, a number of magical things happen automatically.

In GoCardless:

  • A customer will be created
  • A bank account will created (linked to the customer)
  • A mandate will be created (linked to the customer)
  • A subscription will be created for the amount the donor/member chose in the form (linked to the customer)
  • The customer will be sent an email confirming their direct debit (from GoCardless)

In Beacon:

  • A person will be created / updated
  • A Gift Aid declaration will be created (if the Gift Aid box was checked and one doesn't already exist)
  • A subscription will be created (linked to the person)
  • An email will be sent to the donor/member acknowledging them
  • Notification(s) will be sent to internal Beacon users

On top of this, any payments paid as part of the subscription set up will be automatically imported into Beacon once they are processed.

Note: it's currently not possible to set up mandates manually in the Beacon admin. Let us know if you'd like to see this feature.

link Managing mandates, subscriptions and payments

As Beacon is always talking to GoCardless, it's possible to see the status of a person's Direct Debit mandates by visiting their profile in Beacon: (you can click through)

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When viewing subscriptions in Beacon, you can view & visit the corresponding subscription that exists in GoCardless:

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You can also manage Direct Debit mandates and subscriptions via the Direct Debit page in the navigation menu:

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link Collecting payments

As mentioned previously in the article, any payments collected through GoCardless subscriptions set up via a Beacon form automatically flow into Beacon:

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Note: currently any payments or subscriptions set up outside of Beacon are not automatically saved to Beacon. (We'll be adding this in the future!)

link Frequently asked questions

link How do payment timings work?

Unlike credit cards, Direct Debits mandates need ~10 days to be verified by the donor or member's bank before they become active. As such, there will be a bit of a time delay between a donor completing a recurring donation via a Beacon form and the money being paid to you.

When setting up the subscription, Beacon automatically sets up the subscription to issue the charge at the earliest possible date - so you can get paid as soon as possible.

Note: money never touches Beacon's bank account. It's paid directly from GoCardless to you.

link Do we have to be on a particular GoCardless plan?

Beacon works with all GoCardless plans. The Standard plan is good for getting started, but if you'd like to customise the reference shown in donor bank accounts or the email notifications they receive from GoCardless, it's worth checking out the Plus and Pro plans they offer.

Visit the GoCardless pricing page for more information.

link Do you have a feature for us to import our existing direct debits processing in GoCardless?

Currently no, but stay tuned on this! This is 100% a feature we'll be building going forwards. Please get in touch to learn more.

link I've heard Beacon works with multiple currencies. Which currencies can we collect Direct Debit payments in?

Currently, only UK Pounds (GBP) is supported. If you'd like to collect Direct Debit payments in other currencies, please do let us know!


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