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),
Eurozone via SEPA (The Single Euro Payments Area), and
Sweden via Autogiro .
BACS, SEPA and Autogiro 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 Sweden 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.
To accept direct debit payments with GoCardless and Chargebee, you must:
Have a GBP/EUR bank account linked with your GoCardless account.
Accept payments in GBP/EUR and/or SEK.
GoCardless supports three currencies: GBP (UK), EUR (Eurozone) and SEK (Sweden). You can transact in all three currencies from your GoCardless account.
When a customer initiates a direct debit payment, an instruction is sent to her bank to allow an authorised third party (your business, in this example) to collect a certain amount of money from her account.
This section will go over what the process looks like from your perspective - everything from how your customer can authorise collection of funds from the bank account to how the GoCardless-Chargebee integration can make things more convenient.
If you are using GoCardless then your customer authorizes your withdrawal of funds from her account using a Direct Debit Mandate .
GoCardless generates a mandate for a particular customer during the checkout process. The funds will be withdrawn from her account after the mandate is verified; the entire process takes a minimum of three and a maximum of five days.
If you are using the GoCardless-Chargebee integration, you will have to redirect your customer from your website or Chargebee's checkout page to GoCardless in order for her to complete her payment.
GoCardless will collect and confirm her bank details before sending her back to Chargebee's thank you page or your website's thank you page. This process of ushering your customer to and from GoCardless is called the redirect flow . A mandate is generated (and will have to verified) when the redirect flow is complete.
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.
Here's what the redirect flow would look like from your customer's perspective:
Depending on your bank, GoCardless will appear against transactions that your customer makes on your website. If you would like to customize what appears on her bank statements, navigate to Settings > Merchant Settings from your GoCardless dashboard or contact GoCardless support.
The payment flow on Chargebee look like this:
When a direct debit payment is initiated against a customer (and this holds for both one time payments and recurring payments), a payment due invoice with a payment initiated tag is created in Chargebee.
Direct debit payments take between 3 to 5 working days. When the funds are received, GoCardless marks the payment as successful. If they are not, it marks the payment as failed.
Chargebee is notified of the change in the status of the payment (via webhook) and consequently marks the invoice as either paid (for a successful payment) or not paid (for a failed payment). For more, check out our invoices page.
In the event of a chargeback, you will be notified with an email from Chargebee. Additionally, Chargebee will add a comment to the transaction in your Transaction details page for reference.
An invoice looks like this:
Chargebee makes use of GoCardless's OAuth feature to safely connect to your GoCardless account. This means that you will be redirected to GoCardless's login page where all you will need to do is enter your login details to configure your account with Chargebee. If you do not have a GoCardless account, you can create a new one.
Step 1: Navigate to the GoCardless configuration page
Navigate to Settings › Gateway Settings and click on Add a Gateway. From the list of payments gateways, select GoCardless.
On the GoCardless configuration page, you have an option to either create a new GoCardless account or connect to an existing account.
Step 2: Connect to a GoCardless account
Option A Create a new account
If you choose to create a new account you will be redirected to the GoCardless website where you can sign-up for a GoCardless account:
If you are creating a new account, don't forget to complete your setup later. Navigate to Settings > Company Info from your GoCardless dashboard.
The bank details you enter on this page will be the bank account GoCardless uses to settle any payments that you receive.
Option B Connect to an existing account
If you choose to connect an existing account you will be redirected to the GoCardless login page. When you authenticate your account with your unique username and password, it will connect to Chargebee automatically.
Step 3: Other configurations
You can enter a message that will appear to your customers when they are redirected to GoCardless's hosted pages (to enter bank account information and set up a mandate).
Depending on when you would like GoCardless to appear on your hosted pages, you can set the Display Option For to one of the following:
None of the customers: Choose this option if you do not want GoCardless to appear as a payment method option for any of your customers.
Customers with Direct Debit payments enabled: With this option, GoCardless will appear only if you have manually enabled the Allow this customer to pay to via his/her bank account option on a customer's details page in the web interface.
All customers: Choose this option if you want GoCardless to appear as a payment method for all of your customers on Chargebee's hosted pages and Customer Portal.
In the event that your GoCardless account gets unexpectedly disconnected with Chargebee, you can use the Reconnect option on the integration page to re-establish a connection. Use this option to troubleshoot transaction failures with the message access token not active, as a faulty integration is usually the cause of these.
Once you have configured your GoCardless account with Chargebee, your customers can begin to pay you via direct debit. Here's how you can allow new customers to pay you via GoCardless.
Option A Use Chargebee's Hosted Pages
If you have chosen New & Customers with Direct Debit payments enabled as your Display Option For on the GoCardless configuration page then GoCardless will appear as a payment method on Chargebee's checkout page.
Here's what the flow is going to be if you are using GoCardless with Chargebee's hosted checkout pages:
Upon clicking the Direct Debit/GoCardless option on the checkout page, your customer will be redirected to GoCardless's hosted pages (more on the redirect flow here).
In GoCardless, she will be able to enter and confirm her bank details, authorizing the withdrawal of funds from her account towards this payment and future ones.
With the redirect flow complete (and the customer's mandate successfully generated), GoCardless redirects her back to Chargebee's checkout page where she can enter any other information required to complete her order - shipping address and so on.
Finally, your customer will be redirected to Chargebee's hosted thank you page.
A customer object will be created in Chargebee, fully equipped with all the details your customer has just entered. Once this customer object exists, Chargebee will take over sending payment instructions to GoCardless i.e. you will be able to initiate payments against the customer directly from Chargebee.
If your customer chooses to use GoCardless as a payment method on checkout, the Allow this customer to pay via his/her bank account option in the customer's Customer Details page will be enabled automatically.
Option B Use Chargebee's API
If you don't want to use Chargebee's hosted pages or you have chosen Customers with Direct Debit enabled as your Display Option For on the GoCardless configuration page, you can use this option to create a customer and add payment details in Chargebee.
Once you have configured your GoCardless account with Chargebee, you can use the create a customer or create a subscription parameters to create a customer on Chargebee before you initiate the mandate verification procedure.
Remember to pass the allow_direct_debit=true field or click the Allow this customer to pay via his/her bank account option in the Customer Details page.
Once the customer is created, you have a few options on how to proceed. Each option redirects the customer to GoCardless's hosted pages where he can enter his bank details and confirm his bank account. GoCardless will create a mandate and verify it in three to five days. You can add your customer's bank details using one of the following options:
You can request that you customer add a payment method. Navigate to Customers > [Customer Name] > Request Payment Method. An email will be send to the customer with instructions on how to add or update payment information.
Ask the customer to add a payment method via the customer portal.
Generate an Update Payment Method URL and forward it to the customer to use.
A webhook will reach Chargebee if the customer updates his payment information. Assuming that a mandate has been generated, Chargebee will set the customer's status to Pending Verification. The status will move to Active after the customer's mandate has been verified and his payment has been processed.
If the verification of the mandate has failed or is canceled, GoCardless will notify Chargebee of the same. Chargebee will remove the payment method from customer and subscription will be canceled on renewal (if Auto-collection is OFF).
Your customer will be able to make use of your service as soon as his bank details are confirmed; before his bank account has been verified. This leaves you susceptible to fraud (people who will make use of your service only to cancel the mandate before it is verified). We recommend enabling direct debit only for customers you know and trust.
To allow a customer to make a direct debit payment, enable the Allow this customer to pay to via his/her bank account option when creating a customer. In case the customer already exists and wants to start paying via bank account, you can enable this option by navigating to her Customer Details page and clicking the Change customer details option.
Step 2: Set the customer's preferred currency to either GBP, EUR or SEK
In order for GoCardless to appear as a payment method when your existing customers are checking out or updating their payment details, you will have to set their preferred currency to GBP, EUR or SEK - one of the three supported currencies in GoCardless.
You can set a customer's preferred currency by navigating to her Customer Details page and clicking the Change customer details option or via the API using the preferred_currency_code parameter.
The Preferred Online Currency option will appear only if you have multi-currency enabled for your site. If you don't, your site's base currency will be set for the customer as well.
Step 3: Ask the customer to update his payment details
With Steps 1 and 2 complete, your customer is authorized to pay via direct debit and he will need to update his payment information, choosing GoCardless and submitting and confirming his bank information so a mandate can be created and verified.
You can ask your customer to update his bank details using one of the following options:
Via a request that you send across. Navigate to Customers > [Customer Name] and click the Request Payment Method option to send an email to the customer. The email will contain instructions on how to add and/or update payment information. Alternatively, you can generate an Update Payment Method URL and forward it to the customer to use.
Via the customer portal.
As with new customers, if the verification of the mandate has failed or is canceled, GoCardless will notify Chargebee of the same. Chargebee will remove the payment method from customer and subscription will be canceled on renewal (if Auto-collection is OFF).
GoCardless is available in two modes: Test and Live. The test account is similar to the live account but is mainly for testing purposes. You can test out transactions from end to end, with the test account.
Chargebee supports integrating with both GoCardless's test as well as live accounts. The mapping is as follows:
Chargebee Test Site - GoCardless Test Account Chargebee Live Site - GoCardless Live Account
Chargebee's Test site can be connected only to a GoCardless's Test account and Chargebee's Live site only to a GoCardless's Live account.
You can test the workflow after you integrate your Chargebee account with GoCardless.
To test payments, you will have to
Create test mandates in GoCardless. Check out the GoCardless testing page for information on how to go about this.
Update the payment method for a customer in your Chargebee test site using the API.
You can simulate all possible payment scenarios including payment success, payment failed, payment cancelled, payment charged back, mandate cancelled and mandate failed.
The direct debit network requires that your customers be informed of a charge three days before it is due. GoCardless automates these notification emails so your customers are always aware of charges you make to their accounts.
Additionally, there are three types of email notifications available on Chargebee for direct debit payments. They are:
Payment Initiated: To inform customers that a payment has been initiated via Direct Debit from their bank accounts (GoCardless will send out an automatic email)
Refund Initiated: To inform customers that a refund has been initiated towards their bank account.
Subscription Renewal Reminder: To inform customers that their subscriptions are due for renewal and that they will be charged for the same.
It is not possible to dispute a chargeback on GoCardless.
GoCardless is not supported on Chargebee's Rhapsody theme.
GoCardless is not supported with v1 of Chargebee's Hosted Pages.
GoCardless does not support iframe tags.