Insight information wanted about setting up direct debits globally

Not the usual sort of BLN blog post but an interesting question for one of our members and I am almost certain that someone can answer this fairly easily. This is a redacted note from one of the participants in our BDO CFO Breakfast Brainstorm yesterday. If anyone has knowledge or experience of how you set up the equivalent of a direct debit payment in other countries, please feel free to chip in! Thanks in advance.

“Thanks for making it to the CFO Breakfast Brainstorm yesterday. I found the meeting very useful. Hopefully I will see many of you again on the 15th July at the BLN Growth Forum, or the next CFO meeting.

“Off the back of yesterday’s meeting, I was wondering whether I could plunder the group for some information or experience in setting up monthly subscriptions, globally. Here at redacted, we sell our software with full invoice and payment at purchase. You can buy support as far out as 36 months, but this is again paid for in full up front.

“We are looking into setting up a monthly subscription process. The idea being to remove the barrier of the “whole” purchase price, and make it easier for the end users to subscribe to our product for a couple of months to see if they like it.

“There are numerous other implications for offering this type of access to our products. The main point I’m struggling to understand is how, what I know as a ‘Direct Debit’ here in the UK, works globally. Fairly recently SEPA was launched in the EU, which I understand will allow direct debiting in Euro, from any Euro country to another. This sounds like it solves the process in the EU, but how about the US and other countries? What are the implications for the customers, there must be extra forms and contracts? What are the real life teething problems of getting something like this up and running?

“Much like yesterday’s top 10 things to look out for when seeking venture debt funding, I’d really appreciate anyone who has been through this process, telling me their top issues or anything critical they learnt.

“I’m looking forward to any help you can provide, before I ask the same questions of our banking providers and get their version of the truth!!”

4 responses to “Insight information wanted about setting up direct debits globally”

  1. The equivalent of Direct Deposits exists in all banking regions and indeed the EU has come out with a unified, standardized approach under their Single European Payments Area provisions which are being rolled out now. Regardless one can go to most banks and have the equivalent of a direct debt established. In the US, it is known as an Autumated Clearing House payment or ACH.

  2. Mauro Pretolani says:

    maybe paypal is a better solution?

  3. Jeff Zie says:

    PayPal works in some territories and not others. No one-stop shop solution, I’m afraid… Zuora may be able to help… But that’s not perfect, either.

  4. Josh Tabin says:

    Mark, we have accounts in three countries and handle this sort of thing often. Please feel free to have your friend contact me and I’ll share my experiences.