Autoserve are an independent vehicle management company with a 40-year legacy. In 2008 they needed to find a payment provider who could support them through a period of significant growth.
Partnering for success
Identifying contract hire for their maintenance contracts and assessing the most significant efficiency gains, Autoserve decided to introduce Direct Debit to their systems. With most potential customers paying for leased vehicles via Direct Debit already, they knew they wanted to ensure consistency for the payer. This would also help to establish a strong relationship with their customers, as Direct Debit is seen as the most trusted way to pay for recurring services compared to recurring card payments.
Without a Service User Number or the ability to obtain one, they took the decision to identify a Direct Debit partner who could provide sponsorship from day one and would be able to assist their complex business needs during their scale-up.
Improved costs and reduced administration
After initial conversations, our Sales and Customer service team made it “super easy to set everything up”. Along with setting up recurring payment processes, SmartDebit helped ensure that Autoserve were well informed about the meaning of Direct Debit terms and the mechanics of Bacs. After all, it was 2008 many manual processes were required at that time before much of the digital transformation we have now. Providing clear information to customers has always been a fundamental part of the onboarding process, as this helps to ensure every customer can make decisions that optimise their payment flow. Changes to the Bacs scheme range in complexity and a strong relationship with the right supplier meant Autoserve were protected and primed for success.
Initially, Autoserve used fixed payments when collecting from their customers. However, they quickly realised that this would have to transition to variable amounts. Thankfully our customer service team were once again on hand to help with the change and ensured that it didn’t provide any disruption to day-to-day business.
By establishing Direct Debit as the primary payment method for their business, Autoserve have benefitted from streamlining their flow, allowing them to not only leverage time but also to save on costs. By using pull payments, they removed the need to chase late payments, reducing staff administration and increasing available cash flow.
Efficiencies in these processes have meant that their workforce could remain lean, focusing on growing the business and minimising stressful and time-consuming administration.
Growing from a handful of transactions to 10,000+, a strong relationship has been established by both parties.
When asked about their journey with SmartDebit, Autoserve stated that they had received “fantastic service” throughout. “Whenever we have a question about anything, SmartDebit just deal with it there and then” said Kate Pickering, Finance Director at the company.
LiveChat has been particularly useful, but Kate remarked, “the ability to speak with a human being when needed is what defines SmartDebit’s focus on providing outstanding support”. Benefitting from regular updates to Pulse, Autoserve have seen the reduction in funds transfer times improve their cash flow further and this is just one of the recent updates making customers lives easier.
We would thoroughly recommend SmartDebit to other businesses, as the benefits to streamlining payment processes by outsourcing has led to fewer headaches in-house from dealing with the systems.