2018 SmartDebit Review

2018 SmartDebit Review: UK Features and Fees

Last updated: 22/08/2018

A direct debit is an instruction from an account holder to their bank or building society that allows a third-party to take money from the account holder’s account without getting their express permission every single time. Direct debits are great for recurring payments like subscriptions, memberships and bills.

Founded in 1998, SmartDebit is the UK’s leading direct debit service provider, processing over £2 billion every single year.

In this blog, I put it to the test to see how it stacks up against its competitors.

 

SmartDebit Features

SmartDebit has a wide range of services covering everything from enterprise-scale direct debit management to simple direct debit training.

In this section, I’ve taken its three most popular services — Bureau, Managed and SEPA — and put them to the test.

 

Service #1 — Bureau Service

SmartDebit’s Bureau service is their flagship product. Essentially, it lets you automate a lot of the Direct Debit process and run a more efficient service. The Bureau service is designed specifically for large organisations (over £1m turnover) with their own Service User Number (SUN) from their bank.

Here’s some of what you can expect with the Bureau service.

  • Automated Bacs submission
  • Online customer management portal
  • Fully tracked submission history
  • Fully compliant sign-up form with your own branding
  • Bank account validation run in real-time
  • Excellent API to integrate with other systems
  • Great security with tokenisation

 

Service #2 — Facilities Managed Service

SmartDebit’s Facilities Managed service promises all the good bits of the Bureau service without the turnover requirements.

With the Managed service, you send all your data to SmartDebit and they complete the submission for you.

Here’s some of what you can expect with the Facilities Managed service.

  • Fully managed Bacs submissions
  • Ring-fenced client accounts
  • Supports paper and paperless sign-up
  • Fully tracked submission history
  • Compliant sign-up form with your branding
  • Bank account validation run in real-time
  • Online customer management portal
  • Excellent API to integrate with other systems
  • Great security with tokenisation

 

Service #3 — SEPA Direct Debit

If you plan to collect recurring payments from customers in Europe, SmartDebit’s SEPA service is the option for you.

Here’s some of what you can expect with the SEPA service.

  • Electronic signature support
  • Onboard customers via web, mobile, phone or face-to-face
  • Combine Direct Debit and card payments
  • Support for 34 countries, including the UK, France, Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Italy.

 

SmartDebit Pricing

As with most merchant service products, the pricing depends on your transaction volume.

Helpfully, SmartDebit actually publishes example pricing on its website based on a business processing 3,000 transactions per month.

Here’s how much that business should expect to pay.

Charge Bureau Managed
Set-up fee £199 £250
Monthly fee £30 £35
Transaction fee 20p 29p
File submission Free £5

 

SmartDebit Reviews

There aren’t a lot of reviews out there for SmartDebit but the ones that are out there are overwhelmingly positive. Below is the average rating for SmartDebit on Trustpilot.

With such positive reviews from existing customers, it’s a very good sign for the service.

 

Find Your Next Merchant Services

While SmartDebit is a great merchant service provider, we always recommend merchants review the market and see what’s actually on offer before they decide on a provider.

To see what payment options are available to you, click here to go to our comparison engine.

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