Integrating GoCardless for online bank donations
In this article
GoCardless is a secure online payment service, which ChurchSuite uses to handle bank payments for online donations processed through Donate. Opening an account with GoCardless is free, with no monthly subscription or minimum spend. GoCardless deduct a small transaction fee from each transaction processed and you receive the 'net of fees' amount. You will only need a GoCardless Standard account (no monthly fee), not the Plus or Pro paid account. While many Direct Debit payment providers impose a transaction limit of £800 per giver per month. GoCardless offers a standard limit of £5,000 per transaction, which can be lifted with some simple checks.
Please note that the GoCardless service is not available in all countries. Check their website for the latest list of supported countries. Note also that it is still possible to accept both recurring and one-off card donations through Stripe - a debit card donation is the same as a direct debit/ACH payment, with the donation paid from the same bank account.
One-off and recurring Direct Debit donations accepted through ChurchSuite Donate are subject to a 2% transaction fee + 20p + VAT per transaction. The transaction fee consists of two parts - a 1% + 20p + VAT transaction fee to GoCardless (capped at a maximum of £4 + VAT) and a 1% application fee (inclusive of VAT) to ChurchSuite (capped at £2). For transactions of £2,000 or more, GoCardless charges an additional 0.1% + VAT fee on the portion of the transaction above the £2,000 threshold.
Example 1 – £10 donation - Transaction fee (1% + 20p = 30p) + ChurchSuite application fee (1% = 10p) = 40p
Example 2 – £1,000 donation - Transaction fee capped at £4 + ChurchSuite application fee capped at £2 = £6
Example 3 – £5,000 donation - Transaction fee capped at £4 + ChurchSuite application fee capped at £2 + High value transaction fee applied to portion above £2,000 threshold (0.1% x £3,000 = £3) = £9
For more information about GoCardless click here.
In addition to the UK-based BACS direct debit system, ChurchSuite has also implemented the SEPA Direct Debit system used across the Eurozone. The payment provider for this is also GoCardless. For more information on countries and availability, click here.
VAT applies to the GoCardless transaction fee element in the examples above. The ChurchSuite application fee is inclusive of VAT.
Fees are correct as of 1st September 2022.
Completing the GoCardless Integration
Click on the Administrator menu in the top right-hand corner of ChurchSuite - you will need to be an Administrator to see this menu option. Click into the Integrations section and then on the GoCardless integration in the list.
Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the Integration. Note that you'll need some basic information about your organisation to open an account with GoCardless. Click Add account to open the GoCardless 'account opening' form.
Follow the on-screen instructions to Sign Up for a new account (or enter your login details to Sign in to an existing account if you have one) and, when prompted, be sure to click to agree to "Connect your GoCardless account to ChurchSuite".
During the GoCardless account-opening process (when signing up), you'll be required to specify your organisation's legal status. Full details of supported non-profit/charity statuses and instructions for opening an account for each status can be found here.
Once the online account-opening form is completed, you'll be returned to the GoCardless Integration page in ChurchSuite, with the progress bar showing 100% complete. The integration is complete and you're ready to begin receiving Direct Debit donations using Donate. Note that GoCardless will carry out their security and verification processes before payouts to your bank account will begin - log in to your GoCardless account for updates on the account verification progress.
Finally, note the option to Add another account, which will enable you to integrate other GoCardless accounts for different bank accounts, which you can then assign to particular Giving module funds - ideal if you want online donations for your "Building Project Fund" to go into a different bank account to your regular giving. See later in this article for further information about adding additional accounts.
Need multiple signatures?
For further information, see the GoCardless support page on multi-signatory mandates.
Changing your GoCardless payout bank account
To update your payout bank account details, log into your GoCardless account. From the account dashboard, navigate to Settings > Company info > Edit account details > Connect your bank account > Update, and follow the on-screen instructions - if requested, be sure to select the GoCardless Standard (free) account.
Note: The process will take you through the verification of the new bank account details provided. Once finished, verification with your bank may take several working days to be completed, during which time you can continue to receive direct debit donations through Donate, but your GoCardless payouts to your bank account will be frozen. Payouts will automatically resume to your new bank account once GoCardless has completed its checks.
Adding fund-specific bank accounts
Churches and charitable organisations often collect donations in support of different causes using different Funds in the Giving module (i.e., disaster relief, international outreach, mission, regular giving, etc). Where donations to a particular fund need to be paid out into a different bank account, those additional accounts can be added to the GoCardless integration. Once added, you can then link your fund to the appropriate account. Here's how...
Head into the GoCardless integration (in the Administrator > Integrations section) and click Add another account. You'll now be directed to the GoCardless Connect your GoCardless account page. Note that you will need to open a new GoCardless account (with different login details) for each bank account you wish to accept direct debit payments into. Follow the on-screen instructions to sign up and complete the online account-opening process.
Make sure you select to create a new account by clicking Sign Up (at the bottom of the page), rather than signing in to your existing account!
At the end of the process, you will be returned to the ChurchSuite GoCardless Integration page. Here, in the Completed Integrations section you'll see your Default account, to which donations for all funds are assigned by default. You'll also see your newly-added account, to which you can now assign specific Funds. Click to Edit - this option is only available where there is more than one account listed.
Use the drop-down list to select the Giving module Fund(s) to be linked to this GoCardless account integration, and then click Save to apply the changes.
Now, new one-off and recurring direct debit pledges to the selected Funds will be paid out to the bank account associated with the newly-added GoCardless account. Important - any existing pledges for the selected fund/s will continue to be paid out to the default bank account - the changes made above will not affect existing subscription pledges or donations that are currently processing.
You can safely navigate away from the GoCardless integration page when you are finished.