by Adrian :: 23.07.12

Micropayments: please indulge me in a little experiment costing you 50p

Dear Friends

Please indulge me by reading this and donate 50p – I want you to be the first to experience a game changing service in the UK.

Up until now, taking micro payments online hasn’t been feasible from a cost point of view because of the high merchant fees charged by Visa, Mastercard and American Express to name but a few.

That’s now history with the advent of a very disruptive little UK startup called Go Cardless. It’s been funded by several stellar VCs like Accel Partners and YCombinator so rest assured of its credibility.

The amazing thing about GoCardless is it facilitates the collection of money through the direct debit system in the UK – therefore it does what it says on the tin – It is entirely cardless. You sign up to GoCardless much the same as creating an account with Paypal. When signing up you setup a direct debit authority which GoCardless will use to collect any money you authorise to be sent. You can use your GoCardless account at multiple merchants.

The cost to the merchant is a mere 1% of the transaction with a maximum of £2! The merchant can setup one-off payment requests or recurring payment requests and these requests can only be authorised by you in a secure environment.

Obviously this is a game changer for the UK market as it suddenly makes all sorts of business models feasible.

Let your mind go…. But before you do- Please help me out? Where I see some amazing value is in micro payments for charity. If I follow a link to donate £1 – the charity receives 99p! See what you could do with this?

Now, it’s no secret that we support The Suffolk Foundation – for those of you who don’t know the Charity – it funds grass roots organisations in Suffolk that are in desperate need of help – often too small to have their own charitable status. (read the Hidden Needs survey they commissioned a while ago).

So in the spirit of a fine cause please could each of you donate 50p by following this link setup by The Suffolk Foundation

Please comment on this post when you’ve followed the donation procedure – letting me know how easy it was to setup. If (for any reason) you decided against it, please let me know why.

Thank you for your time, your 50p and for indulging me! You can now call yourself an early adopter – one of the first few to use a truly disruptive technology.


PS – if you are a conservative, doubting Thomas, let me assure it’s totally safe. Gocardless.com is governed by the direct debit guarantee and is registered with the FSA as a small payment provider – the payment partner is the Royal Bank of Scotland. Nothing can leave your bank account without your request and authorisation and is far safer than using your credit or debit card.

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  • http://twitter.com/pumpstbakery Pump Street Bakery

    Sounds like a great idea, could be really useful for small businesses too. 

    The forms are really easy to fill out, no problem there. 

    The only thing that would make me question it is data security. I think people are now generally comfortable with paying by CC online as they feel the system is robust and any problems will be dealt with in a straightforward way with their CC company (whether this is true or not, I don’t know.)

    I questioned that gocardless would have access to my account no, sort code, and address, and that they would store them in an account. I have gone through with it but will keep a check on it and possible delete my account soon. 

    Hope that helps. 

    • http://adrianmelrose.com/ Adrian Melrose

      Thanks Jo. Very helpful and yes your concerns would strike a chord with most of us, I think. What I’m going to do is accumulate everyone’s comments and write an open letter to GoCardless.com to see how they respond to our comments/concerns. I already know that they are superb at customer service and are a great UK startup so I’m sure everything is safe and secure but let’s see. Will tweet you when the open letter is up.

      Thanks for taking the trouble – ultimately gocardless.com could be wonderfully empowering for small business and charity. I’m excited by it!