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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can’t I just go to my bank to set up a Direct Debit facility?
  2. How does First Capital Cashflow differ from other service providers?
  3. How much do First Capital Cashflow’s services cost?
  4. What name appears on my customer’s bank statement?
  5. How quickly can I start debiting?
  6. How can Direct Debit collections improve my cash flow?
  7. How do I get confirmation reports and notification of any unpaid or cancelled Direct Debits?
  8. Help: Emergency Bacs processing
  9. Why is First Capital Cashflow better than the other options I am considering?
  10. How can I sign my payers up?
  11. What is the maximum amount I can collect?
  12. Who can use Direct Debit?

1.Can’t I just go to my bank to set up a Direct Debit facility?

In order to process Direct Debits or Direct Credits, a Service User Number (SUN) must be obtained from a sponsoring bank. However, not every business is able to obtain a SUN due to the UK banks’ stringent issuing criteria.

As a Bacs Approved Bureau, First Capital Cashflow can provide a fully branded solution with the necessary sponsorship into the Bacs scheme regardless of your ability to obtain bank sponsorship.

Typically your business will be unable to obtain a SUN from a sponsoring bank if you:

• Have been trading less than 3 years
• Have a turnover of less than £1 million
• Do not have an established relationship with your bank

Even if your business already obtains or has the ability to obtain its own SUN, managing Bacs processing in-house can be very resource consuming. The downsides of managing in-house include:

• Staff training requirements
• Capital investment in expensive Bacs approved software that is not provided by the bank
• Bacs approved software licensing fees and upgrade fees
• Lack of support from the bank with regards to integration and training
• Comprehensive contingency plan (Bacs requirement)

2.How does First Capital Cashflow differ from other service providers?

• Established since 2001 – the first cloud based system on the market
• Executive experience from both banking and technology
• Market-leading IT security and contingency measures which exceed the security standards expected of a Bacs Approved Bureau
• Highly flexible systems to provide simple or bespoke solutions
• Experience across a range of sectors from SMEs through to the public sector, large corporations, and everything in between
• Clear service-level agreements
• Services underwritten with comprehensive Professional Indemnity (PI) cover
• Data back-up both on and offsite

3.How much do First Capital Cashflow’s services cost?

First Capital Cashflow recognises that each client’s service requirements differ. Volume and value of transactions, technical requirements, and administrative demand all differ from client to client.

We take all of this into consideration when determining our fee structures and as such have no ‘off the shelf’ fee structure.

4.What name appears on my customer’s bank statement?

We recognise branding helps to maintain a professional relationship between you and your customers, that is why all First Capital Cashflow’s solutions are fully branded with your own branding. Your business branding is present from the time the customer sets up a Direct Debit, to when the name appears on their bank statement.

5.How quickly can I start debiting?

We can have you set up and debiting your customers within 7 to 10 days.

6.How can Direct Debit collections improve my cash flow?

Direct Debit collections are a key tool in improving cash flow. Many businesses still offer generous open account terms and rely on the skills of their credit control team and the routine cooperation of their customers to ensure that payments comply to terms. Using Direct Debit takes away all this uncertainty and can help many businesses reduce their outstanding debtor days and often their staff costs. (It is worth noting that average debtor days in the UK are 75, two and a half months!)

Irrespective of whether you are collecting subscriptions, donations or regular commercial invoices, using First Capital Cashflow’s services will remove routine and costly processes such as the paper-based administration associated with invoices and standing orders, as well as daily banking.

7.How do I get confirmation reports and notification of any unpaid or cancelled Direct Debits?

A whole range of reports are accessible 24/7 via your very own Client Administration Portal. The Portal is highly flexible, enabling your business to access the exact information required at the exact moment you need it.

8.Help: Emergency Bacs processing

We are experts in Bacs emergency processing. Regardless of the problem your business or organisation faces in processing Direct Debits or Direct Credits, we have a rapid and proven process for you to link your Service User Number to our Bureau. From here we will process on your behalf to ensure your transactional obligations are fulfilled.

9.Why is First Capital Cashflow better than the other options I am considering?

  • Our easy- to-use web-based portal and powerful API make First Capital Cashflow a powerful platform for everyone from innovative start-ups to multi-national corporates
  • Improved operational efficiency -First Capital Cashflow will manage the entire collection process, from payer registration to reconciliation, leaving you to do what you do best
  • Ease of deployment and use -No software installation required.
  • Full user training provided as standard
  • Support – Designated UK-based client services team with industry leading response times and online support ticket system.

10.How can I sign my payers up?

First Capital Cashflow offer easy payer sign up via your website, paper mandate or over the telephone for both variable and fixed payment profiles.

11. What is the maximum amount I can collect?

There are no limits on how many transactions you can process. First Capital Cashflow will look to accommodate your values.

12. Who can use Direct Debit?

It’s suited for Business to Business and Business to Customer collections of either fixed or varying recurring amounts.

Direct Debit Glossary

We have put together a comprehensive Direct Debit glossary, which covers all the industry acronyms, so that you can understand all the terminology associated with Bacs processing. To read this, click here.