Recurring Card Payments - RCP

Recurring Card Payments puts the operator in control

Subscriptions have become everyday with almost 90% of British people subscribing to at least one

Operators now have a choice with GladstonePay to other both traditional Direct Debit or Recurring Card Payments (via continuous payment authority) for their membership collections. Recurring card payments often referred to as a continuous payment authority. RCP (or CPA) is an authorisation provided by the customer that permits the operator to take payments from them by either debit or credit card, just think Netflix, Amazon Prime and Transport for London for automatic Oyster top-ups.

These payments will remain in force until the customer cancels the arrangement. They can be set up online, in centre or over the phone. To give the operator a Continuous Payment Authority on a card account, the customer provides their debit or credit card details (rather than their bank details, which would normally be used to set up a Direct Debit).

RCP is a common way to take recurring payments from customers. They provide businesses with regular sales opportunities and predictable cash flow. Payments are charged automatically and customers receive their orders without any extra activities.  They  are particularly good for:

  • Universities with overseas students, where Direct Debit is not suitable or banking account lie outside the UK
  • Transactions which need immediate clearing or next-day payment such as gym memberships

Great News of Operators Credit cards

If a member later decides to cancel their subscription unlike Direct Debit where the membership just stops, all is not lost with RCP.  As the member calls into the centre to cancel their payment, it gives the membership team a final chance to reconnect, perhaps intervene with an offer of a downgraded or off-peak membership to retain the customer putting the operator in control. 

Reasons why RCP can be a better choice than Direct Debits

  • The 'Wallet' functionality allows members to register multiple cards, ideal for families with teenagers or simply choosing which account to make a payment from at any one time.
  • A direct debit system requires a BACS connection to the bank to initiate each payment run.  Recurring card payments uses your internet connection.
  • Failed or returned direct debits cost your customers money.  Banks impose punitive charges if there are insufficient funds available in your customers' accounts.  Recurring card payment requests are simply declined if the card holder has insufficient funds.  Neither the card holder or your business incur any charges.
  • Card holders typically have more than one card.  If a recurring card payment request fails, card holders can be asked to use an alternative card.  This process is fully automated. 
  • Bank account holders can reclaim funds paid by direct debit for the life of the mandate.  If someone pays for 5 years they can simply ask their bank to return all of the money they have paid. This liability is limited to 120 days using recurring card payments. 
  • A Recurring card payments can be set up easily electronically, DD paperwork can be a challenge.
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