Start-up wants to take the hassle out of card payments

Co-founded by Hiroki Takeuchi, Tom Blomfield and Matt Robinson, GoCardless is aiming to be the Bit.ly of payments. The London based company launched in January 2011 and was bootstrapped before being accepted into the Y-Combinator programme. The team then had a first seed round at the end of the year raising $1.5m in funding. They launched their BETA (first version) in September and the business has grown 50% every month since then.

Paylinks lets you accept a payment from customers for only a 1% charge, and a maximum charge of £2, all without you having to buy a card reader or set up a merchant account.

"We make it really cheap and easy for merchants to collect money from their customers," says Robinson. "Currently, businesses have to pay a 3-4% charge to accept a card and it can take ages to get set up with a merchant account. With GoCardless you can create an account in 60 seconds and start collecting money."

Putting this into perspective, Robinson adds, "If you're a small business and your company collects £1,000, then you would usually pay £30 in charges. At GoCardless we never charge more than £2 and only 1% for anything under that."

Paylinks by GoCardless can do this because it creates a shortened, tweet friendly link that uses information of the customer's bank, rather than their card details. As the payment comes in link form, it cuts out the need for a business to have a card reader or merchant account.

You can embed the link into your website making it instantly e-commerce, or you can send the link to customers and even friends who owe you money.

"One of our customers is a window cleaner who has to collect payments of maximum £20 from his customers. We set him up with GoCardless and now he just sends the link round to his clients and collects his money that way. It's easier for him to do that than go round knocking on doors."

So hopefully with less door knocking and money chasing to do, small businesses will be able to concentrate on finding new customers instead of waiting for their old ones to pay them.

For more information about GoCardless click here.

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