May 20, 2019

Paper vs paperless DDIs: How to choose the right fit for your business

Digital technologies are driving vast efficiency gains for numerous industries, reducing labour, slashing costs and avoiding human error. Yet there are times when old-fashioned methods work best. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of paper Direct Debit mandates or Direct Debit Instructions (DDIs) versus paperless mandates, to help you choose the right solution for your business.



Customer Interactions

Paper DDIs are well suited to businesses that meet customers face-to-face, as they can be completed on-the-spot directly with the customer. Where customers are signed-up online or over the phone, paperless DDIs tend to be better, preventing customers from the rigmarole of downloading, printing, signing and returning a form.


Customer Demographics

If your organisation has a high proportion of elderly clientele, paper DDIs can be a good choice as these customers may not have access to a computer or the internet. For companies with a younger, more digital-savvy customer-base, paperless DDIs are more convenient.


Storage Space

Paperwork requires storage so if you plan on using paper DDIs this is something to consider. It’s important to store paper DDIs in case an indemnity claim ever arises, and in the case of larger sum indemnity claims in particular, having a compliant paper DDI can serve as firm evidence for a counterclaim.



Paper DDIs are completed with the customer, so there is less chance of capturing information incorrectly. Any failures in setting up authorisation from new payers are communicated via Bacs reports, however by using paperless DDIs and the Automatic Direct Debit Instruction Service (AUDDIS) the risk of transposing details incorrectly is cut since the Instruction is submitted automatically to the payer’s bank or Payment Service Provider (PSP).


Costs and Time

Paper DDIs involve printing, postage and storage which can lengthen set-up time and incur higher costs. Paperless DDIs use electronic processes, making them quicker and cheaper to set-up.


Customer Choice

Paperless DDIs offer more choice and flexibility for customers, as they can sign-up anytime via the internet.



Customers increasingly choose companies with strong sustainability credentials. If this is important to your business, then paperless DDIs are the better choice.


SmartDebit can provide tailored advice for your organisation to ensure your method of payer sign-up is the most effective. Contact us to find out more about our service.

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