This guide is specifically for partners who integrate GoCardless into their software. For an overview of Instant Bank Pay for merchants, see here. And for an overview of what open banking means for GoCardless partners, see here.
What are the main differences between Direct Debit and Instant Bank Pay?
|Direct Debit||Instant Bank Pay|
|Confirmation of payment||Within a day||Within minutes|
|Payout timings||D+2 business days||
D+2 business days
|Risk||Chargebacks and late failures possible||Once the payment is confirmed, it can’t fail or be charged back|
|Payer authorisation||Setup once by the payer, explicit consent not needed per payment||Each payment needs to be individually authorised by the payer|
As a partner do I need to do anything to enable this feature for my users?
Yes. In order to provide your users access to Instant Bank Pay you will need to integrate with our new Billing Requests API. This is currently in Early Access for partners. If you are interested in finding out more about the Early Access programme please complete this form or contact email@example.com.
What is Partner Early Access?
Instant Bank Pay is currently in Early Access for integration partners. Partners joining this programme should be aware that:
- The API is subject to change while feedback is gathered from early users
- Additional features will be added to the partner API over the coming weeks
Therefore some integrators may choose to wait until General Availability before integrating. General Availability is expected within the coming weeks, and registered partners of GoCardless will be contacted when this is ready.
When can I start building?
GoCardless partners can start building in Early Access today. Please complete this form or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. We will notify all registered GoCardless partners when we move to General Availability in the coming weeks, which is expected in early June.
Do I need to stop using the Redirect APIs I use today?
No. Billing Request Flows supersede Redirect Flows in that this API incorporates the full power of GoCardless. Therefore, in the long-run, existing Redirect Flows for Direct Debit only may become obsolete and we may migrate away from these. However we have no concrete plans to do this now, and will engage with partners well in advance of making any meaningful changes to our Direct Debit APIs.
Will the new Instant Bank Pay payments work with the Instalments API and the Subscriptions API?
No, but this is something we could consider in the future if there is demand. Please contact email@example.com to register interest.
Can an Instant Bank Pay payment fail?
While rare, it is possible for a payment to fail after the payer has authorised it (before confirmation). This may happen for instance if the payer bank account has insufficient funds. The failure will be visible usually within 10 seconds of authorisation. If this happens, payers should be put through a new billing request flow.
Will payouts be grouped into a single payout containing many transactions?
Yes. Instant Bank Pay payments will be paid out together with Direct Debit payments. Payouts will be structurally the same as they are today with Direct Debit functionality only.
Which payer banks are supported for Instant Bank Pay?
GoCardless currently supports 95% of the most popular banks amongst its payers, including Barclays, HSBC, NatWest, Lloyds, Santander, and Halifax. We expect this coverage to increase over time.
Are Instant Bank Pay payments collected 24/7?
Yes, although the current average availability of Open Banking APIs reported by banks is 98%. That is, 14 hours of downtime per month. We expect bank availability to increase over time.
What are the minimum and maximum transaction sizes?
During Early Access the minimum payment amount will be £1 and the maximum payment amount will be £25,000. If this is of particular importance to your platform please contact us.
However please note:
- Individual merchants may have lower minimums and/or higher maximums based on their business risk
- Some payer banks may have lower maximums
- Banks also have daily limits for outgoing payments
Do my merchants need to turn this functionality on?
For merchants who use GoCardless via our pay-as-you-go packages there is no need to do anything - we’ll make Instant Bank Pay available automatically. For merchants who have signed a bespoke contract or who have other exceptional terms, they will be able to access this new feature by contacting our Support team.
NB: Only UK-based customers can access this feature at this time.
How much does it cost?
Please see our Instant Bank Pay merchant FAQs.
Will a payer get any notification of payment?
Yes. GoCardless will send the payer an email if the payment is successful, or if it fails after authorisation (see above).
If the payer doesn’t authorise the payment, they won’t receive any notification.
Can I send custom notifications for Instant Bank Pay payments?
Yes, customer notifications can be handled by a partner integration. If you wish to handle notifications on behalf of your merchants, you must consult with our team and gain approval from our Legal and Compliance teams prior to development.
Please note this may be more complex for Instant Bank Pay payments where regulatory requirements cover both Open Banking and Direct Debit rules. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your set up.