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
- UK via BACS (Bacs Payment Schemes limited)
- Australia via BECS (Bulk Electronic Clearing System)
- Eurozone via SEPA (The Single Euro Payments Area)
BACS, SEPA and BECS are networks of financial institutions (like ACH in the US) - each conveniently processing payments directly from one bank account to another in a particular country or group of countries (the UK, Europe and Australia respectively).
Creating a merchant account with GoCardless automatically registers you on the BACS network, however you will have reach out to GoCardless support to help you register for SEPA and accept payments from European customers using GoCardless.
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 The funds will be withdrawn from their account after the mandate is verified; the entire process takes a minimum of three and a maximum of five days.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 payment or a one time payment). Settlement usually doesn't take more than five working days.
GoCardless processes refunds via bank transfer since the direct debit networks DO NOT support refunds. Refunds can sometimes fail or be charged back as a result. To avoid this, GoCardless recommends initiating the refund two days after the charge date in order to avoid refunding a failed payment.
Let's get started!
First thing's first, you'll need a GoCardless account. You can either create one at www.gocardless.com or you can create one directly from Martialytics.
1. Go to your School Settings menu and select Member Billing:
2. Click on the "Connect to GoCardless" button
3. If you have an existing GoCardless account, enter your details to connect your accounts. If you don't, click on the "Sign Up" link underneath the "Connect account" button:
4. 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:
5. Assign your Recurring or Passes plan to your student, on the student's profile. Then choose Direct Debit (GoCardless) as the payment method:
6. If you don't have a mandate set up for that student, you can send them a request form via email:
7. The student will then receive an email and a link to a form:
8. Once set up and verified, you'll see the student's details linked correctly like so, allowing you to process transactions for that student. You can process Plans and Passes, Shop transactions and One Off payments using GoCardless direct debit:
9. 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 (Green = Processed, Amber = Pending and Red = Failed). You can also cancel transactions before they've been processed and refund them after they've been processed.