FOUR PAWS is a global animal welfare charity which works across Europe, Australia and the USA campaigning for animals to be treated with respect, empathy and understanding. Accepting regular donations from individuals and organisations by Direct Debit is an integral part of its fundraising, ensuring regular income to help fund its many campaigns and actions to help protect vulnerable animals.


A necessary switch

FOUR PAWS UK were previously collecting Direct Debit donations with another Direct Debit bureau. Presented with the need to move their Direct Debit processing over to a new provider in a short timeframe of six weeks, the team at FOUR PAWS UK acted upon a recommendation and reached out to SmartDebit.

Martin Dale, Head of Fundraising, explains

We had experienced the benefits of collecting regular donations by Direct Debit and wanted those to continue. We don’t have a huge resource in our background operations and so needed to find a solution to continue collecting donations which was as time efficient and low cost as possible.

The team were very keen to avoid any potential negative impact on the charity’s donations. Any errors or issues during the migration of donations collected by Direct Debit would affect their cashflow and potentially lead to decreased donor numbers should donors encounter any interruptions, errors or instances of poor service which could lead them to cancelling their Direct Debit Instruction.

Switching to SmartDebit

Recognising the speed required, the initial call with SmartDebit covered all of the main information needed for FOUR PAWS UK to assess the SmartDebit service offering and even included a full system demo to help team members feel assured that the switch to using the SmartDebit Pulse® portal for administration purposes was going to be easy to handle. The call also outlined all the steps needed to migrate payers to having their donations collected by SmartDebit.

Martin comments “Our initial contact with SmartDebit gave us full assurance that the switch could be completed as we wished. We knew the timelines that our previous supplier was working to, and SmartDebit were committed to getting everything completed and migrated on time whilst ensuring that a consistent level of donor care was delivered and there was no interruption to the service”.

As SmartDebit offers concessions to charities registered in England and Wales, FOUR PAWS could enjoy a 5% discount on listed fees, as well as saving on VAT.


Guaranteeing a regular donation stream for years to come

Despite the tight timeframes involved, SmartDebit successfully completed a bulk change for FOUR PAWS UK so their donors were informed of the change to their Direct Debit, in accordance with Bacs scheme rules, and by whom this would be collected, as there was a small amendment to how this would appear on their bank statements. Collections were processed by SmartDebit on time with no failed or missed payments, ensuring a continuity of donation income.

Our experience with SmartDebit was, and continues to be, fantastic. I would not hesitate to recommend SmartDebit to other charities looking for an easy switch to a company who go above and beyond to deliver a high-quality service.