Why childcare providers are taking advantage of technology to jump-start parent engagement

A huge challenge for childcare providers is trying to engage with parents who are always busy.

From regular updates to permission slips, parents want to hear from those looking after their children as much as possible.

Sending kids off to school tends to get easier with time, but for families of nursery age children, this process can be particularly hard.

Because of this, more and more childcare providers are using technology to their advantage to keep parents in the loop and engaged in their nursery child’s lives.

Letting parents feel involved – even when they’re not there

With everyone’s lives getting busier and busier, families often spend more time apart than ever before. In fact, many children with working parents spend more time with their childcare providers than they do with their parents in their own home.

Unfortunately, little ones can’t tell their parents all about their day, as much as their parents might want them to. So, it’s up to childcare providers to keep parents connected and invite families to get an insight into what their children are doing and learning.

Involving parents in their children’s education and care – even from afar – can really help parents feel connected to their children even if they can’t physically be there all the time.

An easy way to achieve this is to use mobile technology. Sending updates – whether that’s spontaneous pictures and videos, weekly newsletters, or monthly round-ups – to parents’ phones offers a convenient and quick way to build some interaction and connection.

Helping parents feel organised and informed

Mobile notifications

Aside from the sweet connection that a quick, mobile-based update can give to a parent, mobiles can be incredibly useful when childcare providers need access to fast and reliable information.

If staff need to communicate quickly and effectively with parents about important things like dietary requirements, allergies, or medication, it’s much better to do so over mobile.

The alternative is spending ages filling out and signing forms, or waiting until the parent picks the child up to raise the issue. Simply using a mobile saves you (and the parent!) time and stress when important information is needed.

Online enrolments and online payments

Parents are incredibly busy. From work to looking after children – and even just getting everyone out of the door on time – there’s not a lot of spare time to spare. Saving parents just a little time is so useful.

Most parents don’t have the time or the energy to check their child’s enrolment status or make a long-winded payment.

Moving childcare admin to an (often mobile) online portal that parents can access is an excellent way to make sure parents are always up to date with basic information like enrolment times, field trips and activities, facility closures, and even important changes to policies.

Online portals can also allow busy parents to pay for their childcare on the spot, instead of having to set aside time to go through a long payment process. In fact, many childcare providers are cutting this step out altogether, and are using Direct Debit to collect regular fixed payments from parents without even having to worry about it.

Parents can still check all information online, but it allows parents and childcare providers alike to take some of the stress and effort of keeping on top of payments and use it to improve a child’s care. This convenience increases the chances of more parents paying on time, and that can take a lot of pressure off your business – and busy parents.

Keeping parents at the forefront of all communications will build a stronger relationship between your business and your clients. Allowing them to feel connected to their little ones and to easily communicate with you using easy, mobile-based systems will often make pretty much every aspect of your childcare business run just that little bit more smoothly.

Now, send that photo of the macaroni masterpiece over to that child’s parents!

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How to start a swim school

Where there are children, there is always demand for swimming lessons. Swimming is an important skill for all children, as it gives them confidence, a love for physical activity, and a sense of safety around water. Not only this, but swimming is a fun social activity, around which swim schools can foster a great community of children and parents.

If you’re thinking of setting up your own swim school, we’ve put together some tips to help you turn your passion for the pool into a thriving business.

Make sure you know your stuff

Having knowledge and a passion for something makes for a successful business. This just as true when you set up a swim school. Not only do you need to be good with children (as they make up most of your customer base), but you need to know your stuff about swimming in order to give specific advice to your students. It might help if you’re already certified as an instructor as you wouldn’t need to hire any other staff immediately, thus keeping your initial costs low.

Plan as much as you can

Putting the legwork in at the planning stage can save you a lot of time and stress later down the line. Although nobody can plan for every eventuality, trying to think out as much information and as many scenarios as possible can make all the difference. Some useful considerations are:

  • What will my swim school cost to set up?
  • How long it will take to break even?
  • How long will it take to turn a profit?
  • Who is my target market and how will I reach out to them?
  • What should I name my swim school?
  • Will I be offering group only swim lessons, or will I also do private lessons?

Get your money in order

Create a profit and loss book template before you officially open for business as this will make it easier to keep track of your money when you start your school.

Also work out what payment methods you want your customers to use. Many swim schools use Direct Debit as the most convenient and cost-effective payment system.

Direct Debit is an automated payment system, which takes the hassle out of collecting payments from parents or customers. Swim school fees are taken directly from the customer’s bank account, meaning that you can rely on fewer late payments. You can decide when you want to collect your money, whether that’s weekly, monthly, or quarterly.

Do your paperwork

There’s a fair amount of set up involved in starting your own business, a big chunk of which is administrative paperwork. Setting up a swim school is no mean task, so it’s important to make sure that you’ve made all necessary preparations in order to make your business a success.

Some things that you might want to investigate include:

  • Whether you want to form a Limited Company or a Public Limited Company
  • Registering for taxes/permits/licenses
  • Getting business insurance
  • Ensuring that all certifications are up to date

Find a niche

Most parents want their children to be taught how to swim, meaning that there are lots of swim schools already established in the market. It’s important to consider what is going to set you apart from other swim schools. Following whatever it is about swimming that you have a passion for is usually a good place to start – your genuine interest and enthusiasm for something might translate into a great business idea.

Build a brand

“Your personal brand is a promise to your clients… a promise of quality, consistency, competency, and reliability.”

— Jason Hartman, “Become the Brand of Choice”

A strong brand will attract customers. As your swim school will likely be working with children, you need to create a sense of trustworthiness and friendliness through your branding.

You should try to be as genuine as possible when considering your branding, as your passion for your company will likely give an unaffected trustworthiness to the brand. If your branding conveys some authority, authenticity, and friendliness, you will attract a lot of new clients.

Find a pool

Finding a pool where you can hold your lessons can prove difficult, as most public pools already have their own in-house swim school. However, many school pools are unused at weekends or in the evenings. You may be able to negotiate a rental agreement with a local school that will give you the facilities with which to grow your business.

Set prices

You can position yourself wherever you like in the market, as your prices entirely depend on your class sizes, pool rental fees, and how unique your proposition is. However, in order to avoid pricing yourself out of the market, you could do some competitor research to get a feel for average rates. Ultimately, the decision of pricing structures should be decided by you, considering your running costs.

Promote, market and retain

Once you’ve set up your fantastic swim school, you need to promote and market it. The easiest and most cost-effective way of doing this is to establish a trusted online presence.

Setting up a search engine-friendly website and social media channels will boost your credibility – and allow potential swimmers to find you.

“Because 97 percent of consumers go online to search for local businesses before making a purchasing decision, if you don’t have a website, consumers searching for information about your industry will likely end up choosing a competitor.”

— GoDaddy

Don’t forget traditional media, though. Flyers, business cards, and print advertisement are all excellent ways to reach potential customers directly.

In terms of retaining clients, special events such as swim parties will keep young swimmers coming back, whilst reward schemes or special offers will encourage those paying for your services to book repeat lessons.

Now go out there and make a splash!

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online membership conversions
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Gym marketing 101: top tips for improving your strategy

With fitness and overall wellness becoming increasingly trendy, there seems to be more people than ever before signing up for a gym membership. In fact, the UK fitness industry is booming at an estimated market value of £4.5 billion.

There’s no denying the fact that the fitness market is a little crowded. There are so many gyms for potential customers to choose from that standing out from your competition can be a real challenge. Here are some easy tips that could help you market your gym more effectively, which may increase acquisition and retention.

 

Finesse your website

This one may seem obvious, but many smaller gyms often overlook the importance of a slick website.

Most consumers now make decisions based on what they find online. You could have the best gym in the world, but it would still struggle to attract and maintain members if it had a poor online presence.

Having a website where people can browse the classes you offer, compare membership packages, view the equipment on offer, or simply scope out what the gym looks like will do wonders for attracting new members. Having a great website gives your gym a sense of authority and trustworthiness that will help incentivise people to sign up for a membership.

Furthermore, having somewhere that current members can book classes smoothly will make going to your gym regularly easier for them, thus boosting retention rates.

 

Pump up your online content

Use social media to your advantage. Since people like to engage with brands on social media, this is an excellent vehicle to deliver you gym’s personality and authority to potential and existing members.

Try featuring real-life members on your social media channels to give your posts some more relatable authority or using video content (including teasers of popular classes) to engage customers.

Gym owners also would benefit from running a blog, which provides a wealth of information to members and positions your brand as one that is knowledgeable, trustworthy, and helpful. A blog may also improve your search engine ranking and so provide more traffic (and more potential members) to your website.

 

Make yourself visible to searchers

Did you know that Google receives a whopping 1.5 million queries a month for the phrase “gyms near me?” Not only does this number indicate the sheer volume of potential fitness fanatics trawling the web, but it also shows the brand habits of the searchers. People are looking for local, rather than a preferred brand.

Gyms can capitalise on this by investing some time in a Google My Business page. This gets your gym featured on a “local snippet” (a pane which highlights the Google My Business pages which match the search.) More eyes on your business, more potential members who now know you exist.

 

Streamline your payment process

When you’ve put all the effort into signing someone up to a gym membership, the last thing you want is to lose them over an outdated and difficult payment system.

Online recurring billing is the best payment process for both you and your members. It gives your members an easy way to pay their membership every month whilst ensuring that you are consistently paid on time with little hassle.

82% of gym membership payments are made with Direct Debit. Direct Debits are quick to set up and require little maintenance, allowing members to pay automatically and reducing bounce payments.

You can also integrate FastDD into your website which allows for online membership registration. This creates a 24-hour sales opportunity, making signing up far more convenient for members and cutting down on incomplete applications. When people don’t have to come into the gym to sign up, they are far more likely to buy a membership.

 

Kick start your referral programme

Referral marketing is one of the simplest, lowest cost, and most effective ways for a gym to find new members whilst keeping current members happy.

Your members probably have a friend or family member who would love your gym. Simple word of mouth about how great your gym is from your current members will do great things for your marketing, but adding an incentive will push this even further. You could offer a free month of membership for a referral, for example.

It’s also true that members are more likely to stay at your gym if more people they know attend the same gym.

 

Cutting through the competition is the biggest challenge faced by gyms when it comes to membership acquisition and retention, but hopefully, these simple tips will help you connect with your members – existing and new.

 

What’s the difference between cash flow and profit?

Cash flow and profit are crucial metrics for keeping track of your income. But the two are not synonymous. One is intended to help drive careful business decisions whilst the other is rooted in sales and targets.

Getting profit and cash flow confused can have catastrophic and irreversible consequences so it’s important to get it right.

 

What is the difference?

Cash flow: cash flow measures the movement of expenses. It’s calculated at the point at which money exits or enters the business. Money must have changed hands for it to count towards cash flow.
Profit: also referred to as net income, profit is the difference between income and spend in a given period. It is calculated at the point at which a sale or expenditure is agreed, and money does not have to have changed hands for it to count.

 

What are cash flow and profit used to measure?

Cash flow gives an up to the minute, accurate account of how much money is in your business. It only takes into account money that has been paid. You might have recently brought in a £800,000 project, which is great for profitability, but that’s no good if the supplier isn’t paying up and your business is sitting in the red. So, if a sale has been agreed and a contract signed, but no money has been transferred, it will not count towards cash flow. Cash flow reports can be used to navigate a business’s way through peak expense periods and determine when it’s safe to make investments.

Profit, on the other hand, is used to establish if the value of sales coming in is enough to sustainably drive the business forward. A profitability report would take into account the aforementioned sale because it is money that will eventually be transferred. Most businesses will set a profit target based on reports from the previous year.

 

Not all transactions count towards profitability

Here’s the thing – cash flow and profit do not have to follow the same trend lines. As we saw a moment ago with the £800,000 supplier scenario, a business can still be profitable whilst having inadequate cash flow and vice versa.

This is largely because money outside of sales-driven income, such as loans or transactions from your personal bank account, does not count towards profitability. Likewise, cash flow does not take into account any income that hasn’t yet been paid.

Here’s an example of how businesses can have a positive cash flow but poor profitability:

Derek takes out a £25,000 business loan in order to build new studios in his boutique gym. The loan has positive implications for cash flow, showing an additional 25k in the pot. But it won’t make any difference to profit as it doesn’t count towards direct income. In fact, sales have actually taken a dip and income is down on the last year. Cash flow is high, whilst profitability is struggling.

 

Being sensible with cash flow and profitability

It sounds counter-productive, but increased sales can be detrimental to cash flow. You’ve got to spend money to make money, as the idiom suitably suggests. So, in order to boost sales, you must be sure that you have the resources in place to support this. And in order to do this, you must study your cash flow report carefully.

Due to their precarious nature, profit reports should not be used to make critical purchasing decisions. In worst case scenarios, poor cash flow can lead to bankruptcy. Your profit margins may look good, but it doesn’t mean that your cash flow is following suit – particularly if you’re waiting for a chunk of money to come into your bank account.

Instead, use profitability to steer your sales staff and to showcase your success to investors. And use your cash flow to navigate your financial peaks and troughs.

 

Direct Debit collections for nurseries – the ultimate guide

Last year, UK small business faced a whopping annual bill of £6.7 billion because of late payments. But it was nurseries who particularly felt the pinch. Then and now, an unprecedented number of nurseries are being forced to shut their doors, faced with unsustainable cashflow insecurities.

The challenge? Difficulties in getting parents to cough up what they owe has led to a culture of surrender. Funding cuts and free nursery entitlement are the focus of busy nursery owners. They simply haven’t got the time to chase non-payments and rely on the goodwill of parents. It’s a system that only compounds their cashflow issues even further.


Direct Debit for nurseries

Direct Debits are the solution, certainly to late payments, but also to many other challenges faced by nurseries including time on administration and dropping customer numbers.

An automated payment system, Direct Debits do not require regular initiation from parents or service providers. Money is collected on a monthly, weekly or quarterly basis. Money comes directly from the customer’s bank account, so the issue of late payments is reduced significantly

Most nursery owners are aware of Direct Debits, but it’s something they stray away for fear of rejection from the banks. Whilst this is a very real problem when going it alone, it’s not without resolve. There are Direct Debit bureaus and revenue management services that can manage the process for nurseries using their SUN.

With that in mind, what are some of the other benefits of Direct Debit for nurseries?


Benefits of Direct Debit for nurseries

Direct Debits help maintain a happy relationship with parents

Chasing payments can drive a wedge between nurseries and their customers that can’t be repaired. This has the potential to ripple outwards in the form of bad word of mouth or poor reviews. Direct Debits nip this in the bud before it’s even had a chance to take place. With the number of late payments reduced, the need for credit control is also reduced.


It makes life easier for parents

There are several reasons for this. Firstly, they don’t have to make a mental note to pay up every month. Secondly, payments are spread over an extended period of time. The ability to pay in smaller chunks more frequently is often more manageable.

It’s basically admin free!

As we said, payments are automated. The only thing left to do is double-check that a regular flow of payments is coming in when it’s supposed to. Nurseries that go through a revenue management company don’t even have to do that and they can be sure of a very high payment collection rate.

It helps to bring on new customers

Customers can sign up through a website or app in an incredibly short space of time. No arduous forms, no conversations with the bank. This level of ease is hugely appealing to busy parents who want to reduce their own admin time. Plus, it makes for a great marketing opportunity. Nurseries can link to their joining portal in online marketing and draw people in that way.

It’s much cheaper than standing orders and card payments

Businesses will typically be charged a fee for every transaction that isn’t cash-based. Direct Debit is much cheaper than other payment methods in this respect. So it doesn’t just save you time and energy, it actually saves you money too.

 

DFC works with educational bodies and childcare facilities to manage their Direct Debit process and increase customer growth. Head to our childcare page for more information.

 

 

What is Direct Debit reversal?

A Direct Debit reversal takes place when a customer disputes a payment and the money is returned back into their account. Unlike an ‘insufficient funds’ or ‘account closed’ bounceback, a Direct Debit reversal can only take place after a transaction has already occurred.

The Direct Debit Guarantee

The Direct Debit guarantee is a set of rules put in place to protect customers from incorrect or fraudulent payments.

Under the rules of the Direct Debit guarantee, a customer is entitled to a full and immediate refund (aka. a Direct Debit reversal) if a payment doesn’t marry up with the terms laid out in the advanced notice (i.e. a payment notice issued up to 10 days before a payment is taken).

This will take place if:

  • A service provider taking more money than specified
  • A payment being taken out on the wrong date

How to make an indemnity claim

In reality, only 0.2% of all Direct Debit payments are refunded. It remains the safest and easiest method of making ongoing payments.

If you have noticed some anomalies with your Direct Debit payments, however, then an indemnity claim should be raised with your bank. They are the ones who will make the final decision – not your service provider. To make an indemnity claim, you must be able to show that there has been an error in the payment process.

Once the decision has been finalised, the bank will notify your service provider and the money will be refunded back into your account within 14 days. The bank will generally accept the word of you, the payer, as gospel. As such, service providers have the ability to appeal an indemnity claim within 14 working days of an indemnity claim being settled.

 

A guide to advance notice for Direct Debits

Advance notice is one of the fundamental protections afforded by the Direct Debit guarantee. It ensures that you provide your customer with a notification when:

  • They’ve signed a Direct Debit mandate
  • Payment changes are made to the account
  • Date changes are made

 

Failing to provide advance notice will put you in breach of the Direct Debit scheme. As you can probably guess – this is somewhere you don’t want to be.

On the one, much more lenient, hand, your customer will be entitled to a full and immediate refund. On the other, you’ll find yourself the subject of unpleasant sanctions.

Save yourself a big black mark and get savvy on advance notice.

How advanced is advance notice?

You should be providing your customer or client with 10 days advance notice before a payment is taken from their account. Whilst you can agree a shorter period between you (keep a signed record if you do), 10 days only include working days and does not take weekends or bank holidays into account.

Take note… a single notification is enough for fixed payments.

If you take fixed payments, you can send one notification with details of the payment frequency and amount i.e. £50 on the 1st of every month. But if there are any changes to this, advance notice must be resent according to the above rules.

What to include in advance notice

Advance notice must contain information on the following:

  • Direct Debit reference (a name or information on the service provider)
  • The collection amount
  • The collection date
  • The frequency or schedule of payments
  • Advance notice period
  • Service provider contact details

 

Remember – Take care not to overload your customers with too much information to the point that it is either irrelevant or nonsensical. Be clear, concise and most of all, pertinent.

Do I need to worry if a payment comes out too late or too early?

There will be times when a payment doesn’t come out on the date stipulated in your advance notice. But don’t worry – you have three days grace on or within the specified date.

How to send advance notice

In line with the updated Service User Guide & Rules to the Direct Debit Scheme, it is a prohibited practice to issue advance notice through your website. Effort must be taken to contact the customer directly. Advance notice can be provided in writing, electronically, or orally (oral should only be taken as a last resort as it isn’t recordable or traceable). Formats include letter, invoice, statement and email.

Tip: make sure you are sending advance notice to the CORRECT person. This is the person whose account you will be taking money out of. It’s not necessarily the customer.

What to consider when setting up a payment gateway on your website

A payment gateway is the easiest way to make online sales. But in order to implement a payment gateway, you need to know a little bit about what a payment gateway is and how to find the right one for your business.

At DFC, our payment gateway is purpose-built for Direct Debit transactions, but there are multiple functions a payment gateway can satisfy, from retail sales to the sending of electronic checks – even refunds are possible.

What is a payment gateway?

The term ‘payment gateway’ can seem a bit ambiguous for those who are unfamiliar with it. But the concept is relatively simple. A payment gateway is simply an e-commerce application that authorises and processes financial transactions.

It’s essentially the online equivalent of someone going to the till to pay (hence why you’ll often see the pre-purchase page labelled as your shopping basket).

For example: if a customer wants to buy a bicycle through an online sports store, a payment gateway will enable them to enter their credit card details and purchase the bike without having to move from the comfort of their sofa.

 

The payment gateway process

The process of making an online purchase can take less than a minute. However, to be deemed complete, the transaction must go through four stages

Purchase Verification Approval

Transaction

During this stage, the customer will choose to make a purchase, hit the ‘place order’ button and enter their credit card details and billing info The information is then routed to the customer’s bank account through a secure connection, ready for approval of the transaction The bank approves or denies the transaction. Whatever the outcome, a response will be pushed back to the payment gateway If approved, the transaction will be verified by the merchant’s bank. The payment can take anything up to 21 days to arrive but more often than not, the transaction is instant

 

What do you need to consider when choosing a payment gateway?

Speed

In the age of instant gratification, this is more important than ever. People get bored easily so the process should be as quick as possible. Speed can be dictated in two ways:

  1. Processing speed – the length of time it takes for information to be processed. This should be high even during peak processing times.
  2. Form length – any form outlining personal details, payment information or product information should be concise and simple, whilst getting across necessary information.

 

The payment process should take no more than five minutes from start to finish.


Navigability

Poor user experience will result in your customer pressing the back button. Information must be clear and easy to follow. Consider the following before making a decision – are bugs a regular problem? Does the payment gateway look trustworthy? Can it be white labelled?

 

Security

We’re now well on a roll with GDPR and there’s been no shortage of breaches littering the news. We don’t need to tell you how important it is to offer protection and security for your customer’s personal data – particularly financial.

Make sure that the payment processer is level 1 compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Customer data must be secure during bank-to-bank transit and the payment gateway should house fraud detection tools, such as tokenisation.

 

Hosted or non-hosted

  1. Hosted gateways take users to a third-party page
  2. Non-hosted gateways mean your users don’t have to leave your website to make a purchase

A non-hosted gateway should sound like an automatic win, but it means that the buck stops with you. It’s a time-consuming process that requires you to become PCI DSS compliant.

A hosted gateway will usually be hosted by a payment bureau. This reduces the risk of storing and transacting cards or payment information. Because the bureau will already be compliant, it saves you having to make the effort.

 

Integration

Your chosen payment gateway should be able to easily integrate with your CRM platform. If you want to use a hosted gateway, then the integration process can happen without your involvement, as your supplier will be able to handle any communications with your CRM supplier themselves

DFC is a leading Revenue Solutions Management Solutions provider, handling Direct Debits for thousands of happy customers across the UK.

UK small businesses face a bill of £6.7bn in late payment collections

Annual research by Bacs has shown that small businesses in the UK are facing a £6.7bn bill to collect late payments.

This narrows down to a hefty £9,000 worth of costs per business – money that will be used to recover overdue payments. It’s a figure that’s more than doubled since 2017.

Amongst its latest research, Bacs also learned that…

  • The number of SME’s receiving late payments has gone up by 6% over the past year
  • One-third of small to medium-sized businesses receive payments more than two months after the agreed date
  • 43% of SMEs spend roughly £4.4 billion in admin costs alone on chasing late payments

 

The delay in reaching settlement has set a serious train of events in place for businesses, with over a quarter of SME’s forced to pay their own suppliers late as a result. 28% have had to shave their own salaries to keep their business afloat, whilst an even larger number are saying they’re having to dip into their overdrafts to cope.

What are the subsequent impacts of late payments?

Ian Cass, managing director of the Forum of Private Businesses, suggests that the issue of late payments is a national one.

“With billions of pounds tied up in late payments, there is a knock-on effect through the whole UK economy. Small businesses are working to tighter margins and with late payment affecting cashflow it can mean that these businesses can’t invest, can’t grow and in some cases it’s so serious that it can put them out of business entirely.”

Paul Horlock, CEO of Pay.UK, the UK’s leading retail payments authority, suggests that the answer lies in automated payments like Direct Debits, which give the service provider control over payment collections.

The late payment rate for Direct Debits is below 1%, even less if you use a Direct Debit management company to handle collections for you. With transactions coming out at set frequencies, the problem of leaving suppliers to pay manually is eradicated.

Companies with a handle on late payments also cite better invoicing as a solution to this growing problem. It’s not uncommon for organisations to leave crucial information like the billing address or bank details off an invoice.

DFC is a leading Revenue Solutions Management Solutions provider, handling Direct Debits for thousands of happy customers across the UK.

Bacs processing calendar 2019

Bacs have released their processing calendar for 2019, giving organisations the info they need to plan Direct Debit transactions around holiday periods.

The greyed-out boxes show the non-input and non-processing days. On these days, Direct Debits won’t be processed, so you will need to allow more time for Direct Debit transactions or organise your Direct Debits to come out earlier.

On the whole, processing will take place over a three-day cycle but make sure you leave enough time for payment bounces. If you’re not up to speed with Bacs processing cycles, you can find out more here.

Any dates that fall into the blue boxes are bank holidays in Northern Ireland.

Easter and Christmas processing dates

Easter Sunday falls on April 21st, 2019. Direct Debit payments can be submitted up until the 18th April, after which you will have to wait until the 23rd. The latest you can submit a payment to ensure it arrives before the 18th April is the 16th April.

The situation is similar for Christmas 2019 – the earliest a payment can be submitted to reach the payee before Christmas Day is the 20th December.

Bacs lays this out in more detail:

Important processing information

Along with the calendar, Bacs have also released important processing guidelines:

  • Ensure your software reflects Bacs non-processing days
  • You can submit your file up to 30 calendar days in advance of the processing date. If you cannot submit in advance, we recommend early submission on input day (from 07:00 onwards)
  • Ensure all staff involved in processing your Bacs payments have access to a copy of the Bacs 2019 processing calendar

Remember, if you are a DFC customer, then you don’t have to worry about any of the above – calendars or instructions. We’ll handle all the processing for you.