Having spoken to lots of swim schools about direct debit payment systems, we thought it may be useful to dispel a few of the seemingly common myths about using direct debit to collect payments!
“Direct Debits have to be a set amount each month”
False!! When a parent completes one of the online direct debit account set up forms we send them, they are giving blanket permission to collect money from them. This might be £20 each month, or it might be a whole term / half terms fees at the beginning of each set of lessons – and a different amount each time! Most of our clients collecting money via direct debit do so by collecting the whole block’s money in one go, upfront!
“You have to have over a certain amount of swimmers / be above a turnover threshold to use direct debits”
False!! By using the direct debit facility via SwimSoft Online, it doesn’t matter if you are collecting from 10 swimmers or 1000 swimmers – the system collects what you ask it to!
“If you use SwimSoft Online to collect payments via direct debit, you have to collect in this way from all of your swimmers”
False!! You can collect entirely by direct debit, or you can collect from some parents in this way, and others by cash / cheque / BACS / payments online. You decide!
“When all of the direct debits come through to me, SwimSoft Online will update the swimmers details to reflect that they have paid, as well as the amount and method”
TRUE!! Once you have released the direct debit requests, your work is done! The software knows when the money has been collected, and updates your system accordingly!
“Parents have to complete a direct debit mandate each term”
False!! Once they have completed an online account set up (which takes less than two minutes), there is nothing more for them to do for the duration of the child(ren) swimming with you – including remembering to pay you. It puts YOU in control of when you receive your money. The permission will stay in place until either you or the parent cancels it!
“When I need to charge a parent for a badge / certificate / swimming cap / anything else, the software will add it to my next direct debit – or I can request the payment as an additional direct debit payment”
TRUE!! When you create an order or a credit against a child (which can be done individually, for set groups of children, or en masse) the credit / debit goes against the childs account. When you issue your next direct debit it will include the credit / debit amount automatically.
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