Earlier this year I set myself the formidable task of joining a gym. I actually don’t mind going to the gym, once I’m there that is, motivating myself to get there in the first place is a completely different story. I do have one bugbear with gyms though, which is enough to have anyone hang up their running shoes for good, and that’s membership payment.
After my induction, and weeks of self-persuading, I rather reluctantly handed over my bank details over the phone and set up a direct debit. A few weeks down the line, I received an unexpected call from the receptionist at the gym explaining that my latest payment had bounced. I rather sheepishly apologised and double checked my details, assuring there was money in my account and that they were in fact-correct. As it turned out, it was no fault of my own and the gym had actually entered in my information incorrectly.
Recently payment innovation leaders Vocalink have announced important news about how banks handle new sort codes. The banks have now reduced the waiting period for the allocation of customer accounts to newly registered sort codes. The waiting period has been slashed by more than half from 17 weeks to six weeks. With the turnaround time halved, you need to make sure you are using the most up-to-date data available to validate and check customer bank details. Even with a standard bank validator solution you may not recognise valid sort codes which in turn could lose you the sale. With updates now being released in a weekly cycle by a majority of the banks it’s important you reflect this in the data you use.
Are you verifying payment details at the point of entry?
The latest research has found that only a minority of businesses are currently verifying details at the point of entry. With failed direct debits estimated to cost £50 each time and over four hours for the finance team to fix, failed payments can start to eat into a considerable amount of the overall profit. But perhaps even more important than the cost involved is the company’s reputation that is on the line when a company gets it wrong. The potential of losing a customer is increased, after all telling someone their payment has bounced is enough to make anyone run out the door in shame – and never look back.
With payment validation in place, BACS, credit and debit card details are all verified from the point of entry, enabling you to keep on top of expenses, avoid bank charges, prevent fraud and help to banish payment embarrassment for good!