SmartDebit Payment Solutions Review
Millions of businesses in the UK operate using cheques and direct debit, where consumers sign up to subscriptions, pay rent and bills, or pay loans and leases through direct debit deposits.
If you’re looking for a direct debit service or chequing for your business, SmartDebit payment solutions is the largest direct debit provider in the UK.
The company was founded in 1998, and now processes more than £1.4 billion in transactions for clients each year.
With that said
Let’s take a look under the hood, and see what they can do for your business.
While SmartDebit is the largest direct debit provider in the UK, it might not be right for you. It’s important to review your options, check costs for your business, and determine if SmartDebit makes the most sense for your specific needs. The following review covers everything you need to know about SmartDebit Payment Solutions.
- Setup costs are £200-£250
- Monthly fees are £30-£35
- Direct Debit, Cheques, and online payment gateway services
- 20-29p transaction fee for direct debit
- SEPA direct debit
- Training available
SmartDebit Payment Solutions has a lot to offer for any business that uses direct debit. Keep reading to learn more about their rates and prices.
SmartDebit Payment Solutions Pricing
SmartDebit offers a simple pricing structure based on your account. However, additional services like SEPA direct debit are quoted based on seller volume and existing services. You also receive custom quotes based on transaction volume. The following rates are based on 3,000+ transactions per month.
|Account||Setup Fee||Monthly Fee||Transaction Fee||File Submission|
|Online Card Processing||Free||£19||1.75+9p||–|
SEPA Direct Debit is available from 1.5% per transaction, with no monthly fee and no setup fee but transaction costs reduce based on a larger transaction volume. Unfortunately, you will have to request a custom quote for any service based on your business size, potential transaction volume, and other details because all rates are custom based on your needs. You can expect an increased setup and monthly fee with more transactions, but a lower transaction fee.
What Services Does SmartDebit Payment Solutions Offer?
SmartDebit specialises in direct debit and cheque processing and imaging, but offer a variety of options inside each of these services. The company also offers online card processing for e-commerce businesses through Realex Payments.
Bureau Direct Debit
If your company earns an annual revenue in excess of £1 million, you can apply to BACS directly for a SUN (Service User Number). This enables you to directly debit consumers from your own bank account using bureau direct debit.
SmartDebit’s bureau service starts from £30 per month, with a £199 setup fee, and a 20p transaction fee. The service gives you full control over the process, offers full automation to automatically submit files to SmartDebit, and includes full BACS compliance.
- Automated submission to speed up transactions
- Online portal with customer data, BACS reports, and individual payments
- Full submission history
- Company branding on all forms, paperwork, and banks
- API Token-based data transfer for additional security
- Mandatory Bacs notifications (set-up and collection confirmations, etc.)
- Real-time validation to prevent fraud
- Full training available
Managed Direct Debit
Managed direct debit services are the only option available for most businesses with an annual income below £1 million. The service is available for any organization accepting micro-businesses as well as enterprise. SmartDebit does not have a minimum transaction number, making them ideal for entrepreneurs, new businesses, and start-ups.
Through managed direct debit, SmartDebit handles the entire process of file submission and debiting, using a SUN set up in your name.
- Fully managed BACS submission with personal SUN
- Individual client accounts
- Online sign-up, paper and paperless direct debit solutions available
- Personalized and branded bank statements and paperwork
- Online portal with full submission history, customer data, and BACS reports
- Bank account validation
- Token-based security
- Full training available
SmartDebit’s managed debit service costs £250 to set up, plus a £35 monthly fee, and a 29p transaction fee.
SEPA Direct Debit
Businesses who accept international payments from around Europe need SEPA to do so. SmartDebit’s SEPA service starts from 1.5% per transaction, and supports direct debit and card payments from 34 countries, available in French, German, English, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, and other languages.
With no setup fee and no monthly fee, SmartDebit’s SEPA direct debit is cost effective, and available for micro as well as large businesses.
This solution is only necessary if you accept payments outside of the UK.
Cheque Processing & Imaging
SmartDebit offers high-volume cheque processing and imaging with bespoke rates based on transaction volume. Through the service, SmartDebit collects and processes cheques in your name, typically clearing funds within 24 hours.
This includes both traditional cheque processing, custom courier pickup, and new electronic cheque imaging for faster processing. SmartDebit also offers certainty of funds or check validity after 48 hours with electronic cheque imaging.
Merchant Account Services
SmartDebit offers merchant account services for e-commerce through Realex Payments. The service includes a payment gateway with customizable checkout page, and accepts all major credit cards, PayPal, and dynamic currency conversion.
SmartDebit’s merchant account services include:
- Virtual Terminal – Accept payments via phone, email, and fax
- Payment Gateway – Accept payments online through web checkout
- Customisable Checkout Pages – Create and integrate checkout pages based on customisable templates
- Online Portal – Access and manage customer data, transaction reports, and users
- Fraud Management – Automated bank verification, automatic re-try in case of failure, configurable anti-fraud security
SmartDebit does not offer in-person sales, PDQ machines, or support for e-commerce platforms like Shopify or Magento. If you use these services, you will need a different merchant account service.
Who are Realex Payments? – Realex Payments is a division of Global Payments Inc., one of the largest global providers of merchant account services, with annual transactions in excess of £26 billion. The company provides merchant account services to over 14,000 clients. A merchant account with SmartDebit is handled through Realex Payments, using Realex software, security, and management.
If your business is still using paper file submission for direct debit, you eventually need to switch to paperless submission. AUDISS, or Automated Direct Debit Instruction Service, is the required standard for all new account. SmartDebit offers supported migration to prevent downtime and to ensure migration success. Rates are quoted based on the size of your business.
All SmartDebit services come with API, enabling you to create custom solutions or integrate direct debit into websites, apps, and other services. This makes it easy to set up subscription and other services in any digital application you offer.
Is SmartDebit Payment Solutions Secure
SmartDebit offers a highly-secure payment solution, with 3-levels of FCA authorisation, ISO 27001:2013 certification, and data security and protection. The company uses state of the art physical and digital security standards to protect data.
Full security solutions include:
- Two data centres to prevent outages
- Physical security at locations
- Firewall, antivirus, antimalware, anti-DDOS protection
- ISO 27001:2013 certification
- Strong internal security
You also benefit solutions including SmartDebit software and signup pages, meaning that you don’t have to personally handle security or Bacs compliance if you have a managed account. Instead, SmartDebit handles all transactions and requests through their own secure servers, keeping your and your customers’ data safe.
Comparing Smart Debit Payment Solutions
If you’re considering using direct debit, there are numerous solutions available throughout the UK. You can also choose to set up a SUN and develop the software yourself if you have the internal resources. The following include some of the most popular direct debit solutions in the UK.
|Company||SmartDebit||SmarterPay||Eazipay||GoCardless||Debit Finance Collections (DFC)|
|Transaction Fee||20p-29p||Custom||40p||20p-£2 (1% per transaction)||Bespoke|
|Monthly Fee||£30-£35||No||No||£0, £50, £250||Bespoke|
All direct debit solutions in the UK offer custom pricing based on transaction volume. This means you will have to request unique quotes based on your business in order to directly compare costs. You should also consider additional features such as security, SEPA, management, support, and other services.
Who Should Use SmartDebit Payment Solutions?
SmartDebit payment solutions are suitable for any business which accepts recurring payments in the same or similar amounts from the same customers. For example, subscription based or membership-based businesses, landlords and investors, rental-based businesses, and any business which operates on extending credit such as for vehicles, property, electronics, or furniture.
SmartDebit offers solutions to any business, ranging from micro transactions of less than 20 direct debits per month to 20,000+. This makes the company ideal for nearly any business in need of direct debit.
The payment solution also offers a number of additional features:
- Online solutions for online signup, account management, and more
- API for custom integration
- Easy to use web portal and interface
- Multiple payment types supported, including one-off, ad-hoc, and monthly
- Automated bank confirmation
- Automatic retry in case of payment failure
- Multiple servers reduce downtime
- Real-time activity and Bacs reports
- Disaster recovery
- Training available where needed
- Managed and Bureau services available
- Award winning customer support, available for free for managed and bureau accounts
SmartDebit also offers card payments for e-commerce. It is one of the only direct debit solutions to offer card payments, which makes the solution ideal for e-commerce companies or organizations with a web shop or one-time payment options that want to accept cards. However, SmartDebit is not the best option if you only need a merchant account solution because the company only offers online payments, and sources solutions through a third-party, which adds additional complexity over a dedicated merchant account solution.
Most businesses can also greatly appreciate the ability to set up a customer facing portal on their own website, allowing customers to login to view their account data, update their subscription, and make changes to the account. This benefits businesses that offer long-term subscription services and payments because it puts the customer in control of their own data.
SmartDebit offers a variety of services, including fully managed and bureau accounts, and support for businesses of all sizes. While the company does charge a monthly fee, its transaction rates are highly competitive, and additional options are often included for free. However, rates can go up with custom services, which are quoted based on transaction volume.
SmartDebit also has a very good reputation, with an average consumer rating of 9 out of 10. Customer service is available over the phone or through an online help desk, or you can choose online guides. SmartDebit also offers full training and refresher courses for businesses owners, which most competitors do not offer.
If you’re considering SmartDebit payment services, they are one of the top options in the UK, and the most used by both start-ups and enterprise business. However, you should still compare your options, consider direct debit versus accepting card payments, and request quotes from individual payment solution providers to determine which company offers the best solutions and the best rates for your business.