Gocardless is an online payment specialist providing a great way for businesses to manage recurring and one-off direct debit transactions.The essential premise is that taking money from customers via direct debit reduces the need for the costly processing fees associated with card payments.

Currently, more than 75,000 companies use it globally to faciliate customer payments via more than 2300 banks.

But is it the best way to take direct debits?

In this review, I will take an in-depth look at all the GoCardless plans. I’ll also examine the key features and associated fees and give you my verdict. 

GoCardless Review

GoCardless Review: My Verdict in 30 Seconds

Overall, GoCardless is amongst the best solutions available for managing direct debits. It’s an excellent option for businesses that invoice for services or have regular payment models and ongoing customer relationships.

With no monthly fees or long-term contracts, Go Cardless offers domestic fees of 1-1.4%, plus 20p per transaction and VAT.  This makes it cheaper than regular payment processers which may charge up to 3% per card transaction, plus various hidden fees.

Key features of Go Cardless include support for international payments, integration with over 350 software partners and advanced security measures, such as Verified Mandates and Protect+.

However, despite its strengths, GoCardless has limitations. Its focus on Direct Debit may not align with businesses that want to accept card payments in other forms. GoCardless also holds your money for 2 working days before sending it to your bank. 

They also have no dedicated mobile app which could make managing payments on-the-go inconvenient. 

GoCardless is designed for small, frequent transactions, but a limit of £5000 per transaction makes it unsuitable for high-value transactions. Businesses that receive more than 15 chargebacks a month will also be charged £5 per additional chargeback. 

There is some support for international transactions, but this is limited to certain countries and 8 currencies. It won’t work if you’re in a higher risk category, however, for which you’ll need to use a specialist like Total Processing.

Company Background

Founded in 2011, GoCardless was established by Hiroki Takeuchi, Tom Blomfield, and Matt Robinson. Initially, GoCardless aimed to simplify the direct debit process for small and medium-sized enterprises, a sector often underserved by traditional payment methods. Over time, it has expanded its services to cater to larger businesses and diversified its offerings now processing $20 billion annually.

GoCardless operates predominantly in the UK but has expanded its reach to other European countries, the United States, and Australia. Its platform integrates with various accounting and billing software, enhancing its appeal to a broad range of businesses.

The company has experienced significant growth with a current value is £1.7 billion, after they raised around £180 million in their Series G of venture funding led by Permira.

Pros & Cons of GoCardless


  • Direct Debits Save You Money over Card Processing: Gocardless claims credit card transaction fees can be over 3x more expensive   You also won’t pay any transaction fees for your first 90 days. 
  • Very simple interface and user experience
  • Supports International Payments: Collect customer payments in over 30 countries and  8 currencies. 
  • Easily Integrated with Other Services: GoCardless can be connected with over 350 software partners, including Xero, Tide, WooCommerce and Chargebee.
  • Advanced Security Measures
  • Customer Support: You can contact the customer service team by e-mail, phone or by submitting a support ticket online. 


  • Limited Payment Methods: GoCardless’s focus on Direct Debit may not be suitable for businesses that require a more comprehensive range of payment options.
  • International Transaction Fees: A higher processing fee ranges from 2% to 2.4% plus 20p per transaction and VAT.
  • Transaction Processing Time: Direct Debit transactions take longer to clear, and you will receive your payment in 2 working days, which could be a drawback for businesses requiring immediate access to funds.
  • Dependence: Reliance on banking infrastructure and internet connectivity exposes GoCardless to occasional delays or issues, which could impact payment processing.
  • Complexity: Connecting GoCardless with software partners or using the API may require technical expertise
  • No GoCardless Mobile App: There’s no dedicated GoCardless app, but you can integrate and access your account with software partners who do. 

GoCardless Features

GoCardless offers 3 basic payment processing plans, each giving you access to different features.

Payment with Direct Debit
Payment by Instant Bank Pay
International Payments
Payment Plans
Direct Debit Mandate Creation
Partner & API Integrations
Failed Payments Management through Success+
Verified Mandates
Branded Sign-up Form
Hosted payment pages
Pre-built Payment Pages

GoCardless Standard Plan

The GoCardless Standard Plan includes everything you need to start taking online payments. 

You’ll be able to collect recurring and one-off payments from customers by Direct Debit or have them confirmed in real time with Instant Bank Pay. You can also accept payment in 8 currencies from over 30 countries, perfect for international businesses.  

Payment plans will help you create packages or even individual schedules, and you can set up Direct Debit mandates online, over the phone, or by post. Partial or full refunds can be made through the GoCardless dashboard or API.

You can have up to 15 chargebacks per month without penalty, after which you will be charged a chargeback fee. There are no transaction limits. However, the minimum amount you can receive per transaction is £1, and the maximum is £5,000.

You can connect your account with over 350 software partners, including Xero, Tide, QuickBooks, WoodCommerce and Chargebee. You will also have access to the API for a more customised experience. 

GoCardless hosts payment pages, and you can use pre-built templates to start taking payments quickly. You’ll also be able to brand your customer sign-up form with your business’s logo and brand colours. 

If you wish to upgrade your account, you can have your business name on your customer’s bank statements for an additional fee of £50 per month.  

GoCardless Advanced Plan

In addition to everything included in the Standard Plan, the GoCardless Advanced Plan gives you access to Success+.

Used by 20,000 businesses, Success+ helps you recover and reduce failed payments. On average, 70% of failed payments are recovered, helping to improve your cash flow and customer experience. By using Success+, you can identify and automatically retry failed payments and monitor your failure and recovery rates through the GoCardless dashboard.

You’ll also be able to use Verified Mandates to check a new customer’s details and reduce fraud seamlessly. 

For convenient account management, you can use Bank Account Data to see your customer’s bank details and transaction history. You can access this feature for free for 50 connections per month or upgrade to a pay-as-you-go plan for £100 per month plus 25p per connection. 

To build a more comprehensive plan, you can add your business name to your customer’s bank statements for £50 per month or create a bespoke customer experience, including a custom payment page for £150 per month. 

GoCardless Pro Plan

The Pro Plan is the most comprehensive online payment package offered by GoCardless and includes everything in the advanced plan plus access to its more advanced features, such as Protect+.

Protect+ is GoCardless’s end-to-end fraud protection, allowing you to identify, challenge and monitor fraudulent customers, including unfair chargebacks. Using machine learning to adapt to your business, you can adjust your settings to balance customer experience with risk management and automate customer verification. 

Custom GoCardless Plans

Businesses with high transaction volumes or more complex circumstances can contact the GoCardless support team to create a bespoke payment package to meet their needs.

What Percentage Does GoCardless Take?

GoCardless charge 1% for a direct debit from a domestic customer, +20p, + VAT.

Transaction fees vary depending on your GoCardless plan and where the payment is made. 

Fees apply to all submitted transactions, including unsuccessful payments. 

GoCardless Fees & Charges

You won’t pay any transaction fees for all plans for the first 90 days. 

Whilst UK transactions fees are capped between £4 and £5.60, this doesn’t apply to international transactions. 

UK transactions under £20001% + 20p + VAT1.25% + 20p + VAT1.4% + 20p + VAT
UK transactions over £20001.3% + 20p + VAT1.55% + 20p + VAT1.7% + 20p + VAT
UK Fee Cap£4£5£5.60
International2% + 20p + VAT2.25% + 20p + VAT2.4% + 20p + VAT

In addition to transaction fees, you may be charged additional fees for other services, such as add-ons. 

The table below shows the different charges you may experience:

Activity or FeatureCost
Business name on customers’ bank statement£50
Bespoke checkout and notifications (for Advanced & Pro plans)£150
Additional Bank Account Data (for Advanced & Pro Plans) £100 per month + 25p connection

What are GoCardless Transaction Limits?

GoCardless accounts don’t have a transaction limit. However, there is a limit on the minimum and maximum balance per single transaction.

The table below shows these balances depending on the currency in which you receive the balance.


GoCardless International Payments

GoCardless powers their currency conversion through Wise, allowing you to collect and pay out in over 30 countries worldwide and receive payments at Wise’s fairest real exchange rate in GBP, USD, EUR, SEK, DKK, CAD, AUD, and NZD. 

You can accept payment in 8 different currencies:

  • Australian Dollar (AUD)
  • Canadian Dollar (CAD)
  • Danish Krone (DKK)
  • Euro (EUR)
  • British Pound Sterling (GBP)
  • New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
  • Swedish Krona (SEK)
  • United States Dollar (USD)

Your customers must be based in:

  • UK
  • Eurozone
  • Sweden
  • Denmark
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • USA
  • Canada

International payments work the same as domestic payments and can be collected with or without FX.

With FXWithout FX
DescriptionPayments converted & paid out in home currencyPayments paid out in currency received
Payout Time After Receipt4 – 6 working days2 working days
Bank Account RequirementDo not need a separate account per currencyNeed separate account per currency
Charity Eligibility

GoCardless Eligibility

You can open a GoCardless account if you are at least 18 years old and your business is based in one of the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America

The type of business eligible for a GoCardless account varies depending on where you are based.

For UK customers, the following types of businesses can open an account:

  • Individuals and sole traders
  • Registered companies
  • Charities and non-profits.

Ineligible Businesses

Businesses involved in the following activities and industries cannot open a GoCardless account:

  • Operating in a licenced industry without a licence. 
  • Illegal or harmful activities including fraud, counterfeit goods, misrepresentation and shell companies.
  • Financial services, including payday loans, debt recovery services, unregulated financial advice, currency conversion services and investment schemes.
  • Gaming, gambling and betting
  • Cryptocurrency and stored value services such as e-wallets and timeshares
  • High-risk items and substances such as narcotics, chemicals, prescription medication, alcohol, supplements, jewels, and weapons.
  • Certain types of marketing activity, such as multi-level marketing schemes, unsolicited marketing click farms and telemarketing
  • Travel businesses such as travel agents, tour operators and aviation.

How To Open a GoCardless Account

  1. Visit the GoCardless website and click “Sign up” in the navigation bar.
  2. Select the type of GoCardless plan you wish to take out. 
  3. Provide information about yourself and your business, including your business type and industry. If you’re a company or charity, you must provide all directors’ or trustees’ names, home addresses, and dates of birth.  
  4. Identification may be requested to confirm the information provided, including a valid photo driving licence, passport, bank statement, HMRC letter or filing from Companies House.
  5. Customise your payments area by adding your logo and brand colours
  6. Connect a bank account in the name of your business, which can receive credit transfers in the same currency your customers pay, or in the same currency you wish to receive funds if you accept international payments. 
  7. Enter billing details for any add-on features you have selected.
  8. GoCardless will verify the information you have provided. This usually takes 1-3 working days. They will contact you by e-mail if they need further information. Identification may be requested to confirm the information provided, including a valid photo driving licence, valid passport, bank statement, HMRC letter or filing from Companies House.
  9. Check the verification page to see the status of your application. 

How GoCardless Works

To collect payment from your customer online:

  1. Request authorisation to take a Direct Debit payment using the online tool accessed through the dashboard or API
  2. GoCardless will e-mail your customer a link to their secure payment authorisation page. 
  3. Your customer should click the link and enter their details at the checkout. You cannot complete it on your customer’s behalf.
  4. When authorisation has been received, you must wait 3 days before adding your customer to a payment plan. 
  5. GoCardless will notify your customer when a new payment is made. 
  6. Your money will be sent to your linked bank account 2 working days after it has been received from your customer. 

GoCardless User Experience

You can choose to access your GoCardless account in three ways:

  • GoCardless Dashboard: The quickest and most user-friendly option that requires the least technical knowledge
  • 3rd Party Integration: Connects with existing software for convenient management
  • Custom API Integration: A bespoke solution that caters to your individual needs. NB: Payments can be made directly via the API only when authorisation is in place. 

There is currently no GoCardless app. 

The table below shows the browsers supported by the GoCardless Dashboard.

Google ChromeApple Safari
Mozilla FirefoxGoogle Chrome
Apple Safari
Microsoft Edge

To avoid issues using the Dashboard, you should use the most up-to-date version of your chosen browser. 

GoCardless Security Measures

GoCardless uses several security features to protect information and money, including:

  • Holding ISO27001 certification since 2016
  • Systems approved by major banks to access the Direct Debit system
  • A global data risk management program with GDPR compliance
  • Money held in secure, separate client accounts with reputable banks such as Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays Bank, BNP Paribas, Danske Bank, JP Morgan, RBC, CFSB or ASB. 
  • Direct Debit Guarantee, allowing eligible payers an instant refund if transactions are wrongly taken out of their account
  • Advanced client-server 256-SSL encryption. 
  • A bug Bounty Programme encouraging customers to report bugs and vulnerabilities. 
  • Fraud prevention programmes to predict and prevent potential incidents before they occur. 
  • Use verified Mandates to authenticate a customer’s accounts before setting up a Direct Debit. 

Depending on your chosen plan, you may also get access to more advanced security features, including Success+ and Protect+. 

GoCardless Advanced and Pro plan customers can use Success+ to manage and reduce payment failures for better cash flow and customer experience. 

Protect+ is available for GoCardless Pro plans and gives customers access to heightening fraud prevention features, including machine learning to identify potential fraudulent customers.

GoCardless Integrations

GoCardless can be integrated with over 350 3rd party partner companies, including

  • Accounting and invoicing software such as Intuit QuickBooks, Tide and Xero. 
  • Charity and nonprofit software such as Crowdfunder, GoDonate and FinDock
  • CRM software such as Sellsy, Salesforce and Asperator
  • E-commerce software such as WooCommerce, 20i Ltd and MyFundBox
  • Health and fitness software such as TeamUp, ClubRight and ClubManager
  • Membership software such as Online Scout Manager, Fonteva and Trillium
  • Subscription billing software such as BillingPlatform, Chargebee and Chargify
  • Utility software such as Commusoft, EnergyLogix and Ensek
  • Other software such as Powercloud, Zapier and Nexudus

For a more bespoke experience, you can access the GoCardless API using a variety of programming languages, including Ruby, PHP, Java, Python and .NET.

Payments can only be made through the API when customer authorisation is in place. 

GoCardless doesn’t allow iFraming of payment pages, but Pro plan customers can use Flow JS, so you don’t have to store bank data on your server. 

GoCardless Customer Support

There’s an extensive Customer Hub to help customers get the most out of their GoCardless account, including easy-to-follow written guides (KnowledgeBase) and video tutorials (University).

If you need more personalised advice, you can contact the GoCardless Support Team by

  • Calling +44 20 8338 9538
  • E-mailing help@gocardless.com
  • Submitting a support ticket on the GoCardless website 

GoCardless Reviews

GoCardless has received mixed reviews, resulting in an overall “average” TrustScore of 3.5 out of 5, with 66% rating it 5 out of 5.

Many users praise the platform for its simplicity and effectiveness in collecting payments. They highlight automatic and cost-effective payment collection features, ease of use, and “efficient” customer support. 

Some users appreciate the integration with accounting software like Xero and the straightforward setup process. They described their experience as “seamless”, “flawless” and “reliable”.

Others express satisfaction with the responsive and helpful customer service team, mentioning specific interactions with supportive agents. Users commend the team for being “patient”, “knowledgeable”, and quick to resolve issues, contributing to a positive experience.

In contrast, some customers expressed dissatisfaction with GoCardless. Common issues include “abrupt” account closures, “poor” communication, unreliability, unexpected plan changes, and “inefficient” customer support. 

Users reported losing money, missing deadlines, and experiencing inconvenience due to GoCardless’s practices. They described their experience as “disappointing”, “frustrating” and “unprofessional”. 

Alternatives to GoCardless Online Payments

Payment ProviderOnline Payment TypeUpfront CostMonthly FeeUK Transaction FeeInternational Transaction Fee
GoCardlessDirect Debit£0£01% – 1.7% + 20p + VAT2% – 2.4% + 20p + VAT
SquareCard£0£01.4% – 2.5% + 25p2.5% + 25p
PayPalCard, Installment£0£01.2% – 2.9% + 30p2.49% – 4.89% + fixed fee
StripeCard, Installment, Apple Pay, Google Pay£0£01.5% – 1.9% + 20p2.5% – 3.25% + 20p + 2% (if currency conversion is required)
AdyenCard, Installment, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, etc.£0£0£0.11 + payment method fee£0.11 + payment method fee

Frequently Asked Questions

Is GoCardless regulated?

Is there a trial period or demo available for testing GoCardless services?

Is there a minimum contract period for using GoCardless?

Can I easily migrate from another payment provider to GoCardless?

How quickly can I start accepting payments with GoCardless after sign-up?