Welcome to our guide on how to use GoCardless with Martialytics. This guide runs from connecting your accounts through to billing your students and tracking payment statuses directly in Martialytics.

What is GoCardless?

GoCardless is an online direct debit provider based in the UK. With GoCardless you can accept direct debit payments from your customers in:

BACS, BECS, ACH and SEPA are networks of financial institutions - each conveniently processing payments directly from one bank account to another in a particular country or group of countries.

Creating a merchant account with GoCardless automatically registers you on the BACS and BECS networks. Customers wanting to process payments in the US or Europe will need to contact GoCardless support to help you register with the relevant scheme.

Understanding Payments via GoCardless

When a customer initiates a direct debit payment, an instruction is sent to their bank to allow an authorised third party (your business, in this example) to collect a certain amount of money from her account.


If you are using GoCardless then your customer authorizes your withdrawal of funds from their account using a Direct Debit Mandate. A mandate is another term for a Direct Debit Authorisation.

GoCardless generates a mandate for a particular customer during the checkout process. The funds will be withdrawn from their account after the mandate is verified; the entire process takes a minimum of three and a maximum of five days.

Card Payments vs Direct Debit Payments: The waiting period

Unlike card payments, payments via direct debit have a waiting period. This waiting period is typically from three to four business days (five, if the mandate needs to be verified - in the case of a first time payment). Settlement usually doesn't take more than five working days.


As a pull-based payment system, the Direct Debit network is not typically well suited to refunding payments. Nevertheless, GoCardless understands that there are times where is is necessary to return a payment to customer. A request to refund a payment needs to be submitted from your GoCardless dashboard, and these are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. A full guide on submitting a refund request can be found here: Refunding payments.

Let's get started! 

First thing's first, you'll need a GoCardless account. You can either sign-up at www.gocardless.com or you can create one directly from Martialytics. If you have an existing GoCardless account, enter your details to connect your accounts. Otherwise click on the Sign Up button.

If you have an existing account with mandates already set up, you can use the Martialytics + GoCardless Syncing Tool to assign your students in Martialytics the existing mandates from GoCardless. Read our Syncing Tool Guide for detailed instructions: 

Assigning billing to students

Assign your Recurring Plan or Passes Plan to the student, and choose Direct Debit (GoCardless) as the payment method:

If you don't have a mandate set up for that student, you can send them a request form via email:

The student will then receive an email and a link to a form:

Once set up and verified, you'll see the student's details linked, allowing you to process transactions for that student. You can process Plans and Passes, Shop transactions and One Off payments using GoCardless direct debit:

Tracking payments

You can view the status of all transactions against the student on the student's profile. Simple click on the Transaction History area to bring up all of the transactions made for the selected date range: 

Mousing over each GoCardless transaction will show you the status of that transaction. You can check these at a glance using our traffic light system:

  • Paid Out (Green): Payment has cleared.

  • Pending Submission (Amber): The payment has been created in your GoCardless dashboard, but hasn’t yet been submitted to the banking system for processing. The payment will be automatically submitted prior to the charge date. You can still cancel payments while they are pending submission.

  • Failed (Red): The payment was not successfully collected from the customer’s bank account. The reason for this failure will be listed on your GoCardless dashboard. You can attempt to take payment again using the Retry button.

It's as simple as that to automate your Direct Debit billing through Martialytics! 

Already use GoCardless to bill your students? Well, we have built a nifty tool that enables you to sync your existing mandates to the students profiles on Martialytics. Click here to learn about our Sync Mandates tool.

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