In 2011, the founders of GoCardless, Hiroki Takeuchi, Tom Blomfield and Matt Robinson, noticed that small businesses were having problems managing cash flow, largely due to late-paying clients. GoCardless saw an opportunity to solve this problem with an automated payment solution that would allow business owners to get paid on time, every time via Direct Debit.
GoCardless used technology to simplify the previously complicated Direct Debit system, providing easy online setup, customer and payments management, a simple fee structure and integrations into major accounting and billing software packages. In addition, the GoCardless API is a core feature of the company’s offering, allowing businesses to integrate the technology into their own applications.
“Many of the traditional Direct Debit providers in the UK can be inflexible, slow, clunky and difficult to use,” explains Nicola Anderson, VP Marketing at London-based GoCardless.
GoCardless currently serves more than 20,000 businesses across Europe, with further international expansion planned in coming years. In 2015, GoCardless expanded to take payments across the Eurozone (via SEPA), so that businesses can easily collect payments across Europe. This represents another step closer to the GoCardless vision of creating a new global payments network.
Reflecting in the wake of the Brexit vote, Nicola is hopeful that, given the importance of the financial services sector to the UK, an agreement will be reached with the EU so that companies such as GoCardless can still passport into Europe. Although this is the outcome that GoCardless will be lobbying for, the company is also looking at possible ways to continue serving its customers in case that does not happen. One such alternative could see GoCardless becoming a regulated entity in another EU member state. GoCardless remains committed to expansion in Europe, and sees this outcome as an opportunity to turn further towards European markets.
Another central part of GoCardless’ success has been down to its hugely talented workforce and its trusting, collaborative and open culture.
GoCardless is excited about continuing to expand both domestically and internationally over the next few years. Their vision is to make payments one less barrier to doing business, with anyone, anywhere in the world.