Frequently asked Questions
We are confident that you will find the platform intuitive and not need help but if so, please consult the library of questions and answers below. We have grouped the most common questions into logical topics. If you still need help, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please choose from a topic below
- About us
- How it works
- Signing up
- Direct debits
- Bank transfers
- Security & privacy
- Restrictions & limits
- Countries & currencies
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What problem are you solving and how is Customate different from other payment platforms?
Customate is the only payment platform that has been specifically designed for industries that struggle with challenges of:
1) paying high merchant fees to credit card companies;
2) getting paid on time;
3) reconciling payments from their multiple customers; and
4) organisations looking for security around their customers credentials and funding sources to remove fraud, chargebacks and errors.
It is a stand-alone platform and does not require you to be locked into a specific bank or merchant account or long-term contracts. It has been carefully designed to stay out of the way as much as possible, while still giving you full control over your payments and your customer relationships.
How do you solve these problems?
Provide your customers multiple pay in options – Direct debit, bank transfers or card payments. Provide security around payments in the form of verification of your customers and their banking details. Remove manual processes and automate the flow of money without reconciliation challenges by creating unique bank accounts for each one of your customers.
How does it work?
Once your Customate account is set up and your customers have also created an account with funding sources, our automatic payment system will then process each transaction on the dates specified. When a payment has been made, you can be notified of which customers have/haven’t paid and the funds will be transferred directly from their account to your digital wallet.
What is Customate?
Customate is a easy to use portal that helps your customers pay you easily, helps you keep track of your incoming customer payments and helps you get your money when you want it.
What are the benefits for my business?
1) Provide your customers with a unique digital wallet with multiple pay in options – Direct debit, bank transfers, card payments.
2) Provide security around payments in the form of verification of your customers and their banking details.
3) Remove manual processes and automate the flow of money without reconciliation challenges by creating unique customer wallets with unique bank accounts for each one of your customers.
4) give you certainty of payment by having your customers pre-fund an escrow wallet before you provide the service.
5) Establish funding schedules and invite your customers to accept / edit and select their own funding source from DD, bank transfer or card.
What are the benefits for my customers?
1) Your customers get their own unique digital wallet with unique bank accounts.
2) Better experience for your customers because they get more funding options than just a card.
3) There is less administration for them by setting up recurring schedules that can be automatically funded from direct debit, bank transfer or card.
4) Your customers are fully protected by the Direct Debit Guarantee. This entitles them to a full and immediate refund of any payments taken from their account in error.
5) your customers can pre-fund an escrow wallet and draw from that escrow wallet as they use your goods and services without the need to make individual payments.
Why would a customer use Direct Debit to pay instead of card, cash or cheque?
- A Direct Debit puts your customer in control and they can cancel anytime.
- The amount or payment date can be amended at any time (not possible with all other methods).
- There is no need for customers to visit their bank to set up a Direct Debit – it can all be done on our online platform in minutes.
- Never forget or miss a payment.
- Easy to set up and extremely secure payment method.
- Ideal for recurring payments.
Why would a business use Direct Debit to collect payments instead of credit card, cash or cheque?
- You can set multiple collection dates throughout the month.
- Direct Debit is the most cost-efficient payment method available, generally it will be cheaper than a card transaction.
- You can receive reports of non-payers and the reasons for non-payment.
- You can receive notifications if direct debits have been cancelled.
- Should a customer change account details, their information can easily be updated. Cards have relatively short expiration dates, which mean that the business will have to continually update their customer’s details
- You can resubmit a Direct Debit if the payment collection fails.
- Corporates prefer to receive payments via direct debit due to the removal of administration and improved internal control purposes.
Is it safe for my customers?
Yes. Your customers are fully protected by the Direct Debit Guarantee. This entitles them to a full and immediate refund of any payments taken from their account in error.
What is the Direct Debit Guarantee?
The Direct Debit Guarantee offers protection to customers funding the wallet by Direct Debit in the rare event that there is an error in a payment. If a customer receives a refund they are not entitled to, they must pay it back at the organisation’s request. Dispute resolution takes place outside of the Direct Debit scheme.
Do I need a Service User Number (SUN) or permission from my bank?
No. We provide you with everything you need to sign up online and start taking payments. Neither you or your customers will need to talk to your bank.
What kind of payments are Direct Debits best for?
They are particularly good for regular payments (e.g. subscriptions or regular donations), Customers with an ongoing relationship (e.g. account customers), Invoicing for services (e.g. accountancy, tax advice, etc.). Direct Debits are less suitable for transactions which need an instant clearing (e.g. e-commerce), High-value, one-off payments and transactions likely to experience chargebacks where payment is taken upfront and there is a likelihood of a dispute of the service at a later stage (e.g. hotel stay)
What are the payment timings for Direct Debit?
Unlike card payments, Direct Debits don’t clear instantly. Instead, it takes up to 7 days to set up each new payer, and to collect from payers who you currently have a Direct Debit relationship with. Once Customate has collected payment from your customer we credit your wallet.
Can I collect one-off payments using Direct Debit?
Yes, although Direct Debit is most well-known for recurring payments, it can also be used to collect one-off payments.
What is Bacs and what is SEPA Direct Debit?
Bacs Direct Debit allows you to collect GBP-denominated payments from a bank account in the United Kingdom. SEPA Direct Debit allows you to collect Euro-denominated payments from a bank account in the single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). We do not support SEPA Direct Debit at this time. (coming soon).
What is the pricing?
We charge a simple fixed % fee based on the movement of monies out of the wallet. This means corporates can generally offer our service free to their customers. Pricing starts at a standard percentage fee, however for customers with larger monthly or annual volumes we offer discounted fees. Our fees will typically be lower than standard bank rates. Visit our Pricing page for further information or contact us to discuss higher volume pricing (over 100 transactions per month).
Are there any commitments and do I need to agree to a contract with minimum volumes and period?
No, there are no commitments. You simply pay as you go and if you or your customer don’t use the platform, there is no fee.
Verification of your customers to comply with KYC obligations, AML requirements and security of funds ownership.
We provide a simple online interface for you and your customers to register on our platform. The information we ask is checked against external databases to validate the credentials supplied. This provides peace of mind that your customers are who they say they are, they are the legal owners of the bank accounts they are using to fund your services and any adverse credit findings, PEP and sanction screenings are taken into account.
Scheduling payments one time or recurring and invite your customers to accept.
We provide an easy to use scheduler that lets you establish a contract with your chosen collection periods (e.g. one-time or recurring weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually). You can complete it and invite your customers to accept it or vice versa. Your customer can choose multiple funding sources to fund it (direct debit, bank transfer or card). Both parties can view the terms real time and upload supporting documents. This enables you to quickly identify and track problem payers to prevent future failed transactions.
We create a unique bank account on our platform for each of your customers.
This enables them to transfer funds from their own bank account to this wallet ensuring there is no reconciliation challenge and they can get credited immediately. Your customers can view the balance in this wallet real time and this can provide you comfort that the wallet has cleared funds before you provide your services to them.
Notifications, security and convenience.
Our platform does not require the installation of any software and employs the latest multifactor authentication tools to safeguard your login details. Registered members can control the notification settings they receive to ensure they are informed of any activity on their accounts real time.
Is it safe for my business and my customers?
Yes. We thoroughly verify members before we allow them to register on our platform. We control access by multi-factor authentication. Our financial data server is separated from our application server by multiple firewalls. All client-server communication is 256-bit SSL encrypted. Access to the Direct Debit system is provided by NatWest, who have approved our systems. Payments made to the wallet via Direct Debit are fully protected by the Direct Debit Guarantee which entitles them to a full and immediate refund of any payments taken from their account in error. For payments made by card they will be entitled to the usual protections offered by the scheme operators (Visa, Mastercard). Our data management programme is built to GDPR standards and applies privacy best practices to help protect and respect personal data.
How do I access the features?
Simply login on the website, there is nothing to download and install. Our online portal allows you and your customers to register and we will then perform the verification checks on those details. If successful we will assign you and your customers a unique digital wallet that contains 2 unique bank account numbers (IBANs).
How is a wallet unique to me and my customers?
Each registered customer is assigned a wallet that contains unique set of IBANs (sterling and Euro). These are unique to the registered member. All payments in to the wallet are made to those unique IBANs. Similarly, all payments out of the wallet come from those unique IBANs. In this way there is no co-mingling of individual members money and no reconciliation issues.
What types of payments can I collect from my customers?
Your customers can fund their wallet via numerous methods (Direct Debit, bank transfer, card or have other members transfer funds from their digital wallet). Transfers are then made from your customers digital wallet to your digital wallet and you can transfer money out of your digital wallet to your own bank account when you like. This allows you to collect one-off amounts, fixed or variable amounts on a recurring basis via the scheduler, from your customers.
How does the payment process work?
Using our online tool, either you or your customer can create a contract. This allows you to schedule the amounts and payment dates – either one time or recurring. Once both parties have accepted the contract, our platform does the rest. If they don’t have money in their wallet, we will fund the payers wallet from their nominated funding source (e.g. direct debit, card) on the nominated time scales per the contract. We then credit your wallet and reduce your customers wallet instantly on the agreed dates.
How does my customer authorise a payment and can this be amended or cancelled?
Money will only leave a wallet if the owner of the wallet has agreed to the contract and there are funds in the wallet to support the payment. The owner of the wallet can cancel a scheduled payment at any time and both parties to an existing contract can amend the details, but for any amendments to take effect, the payer must accept any amendments.
How long does it take to move money from my customers wallet to my wallet?
That can occur instantly. However it may take time for your customer to fund their wallet initially depending on the funding source (direct debit and card payment generally takes 7 days, bank transfer is generally same day). Once funds are in a wallet, members can move money instantly to other members wallets and the scheduler will automatically manage any payments that have been scheduled previously.
How will I be able to withdraw funds from my Customate wallet?
You can withdraw funds from your wallet to your nominated bank account. This is all managed online by accessing your account.
How can money get into the wallet?
Money is transferred in via bank transfer, direct debit, card or transfer from another members wallet.
What is needed to sign up?
During the online registration process, you will need to input details to help us verify the identity of the company or organisation that is seeking to register along with personal details of the ultimate beneficial owners of the organisation. This occurs real time during the sign-up process and typically no documents are needed to be uploaded, provided we can verify you.
What operating systems does the Customate portal support?
Customate supports the following specific OS versions: Windows: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, Mac: Mac OS 10.10 (Yosemite), Mac OS 10.11 (El Capitan), macOS 10.12 (Sierra), Linux: Ubuntu 14.04+, Debian 9+, Fedora 23+, openSUSE 13.2+. We do NOT currently support: Mac OS 10.9 (Mavericks) and earlier versions, Windows 2000, XP, Server 2003, Server 2008
What specific browsers does Customate portal work on?
We support only the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Safari (on MacOS) and Edge. We also support the latest mobile Chrome and Safari.
Do I need to load any software on my PC?
No. Our platform is web based so all you need is an internet connection and your login credentials. Our multi-factor authentication is going to require you to receive SMS codes to a mobile phone and/ or email in order to perform certain transactions.
Can I sign up if I’m not a registered company?
Customate is available to charities and registered companies.
How do I know the bank details of my wallet if I want to fund it?
We will provide you with the account details to use once you successfully register. For a GBP payment from a UK bank, you will get your own UK account number (8 digits) and sort code (6 digits) and for a Euro payment you will be assigned a unique IBAN. These details are accessible on the portal within your account.
I have transferred money out of my wallet but it has not been received by the external counterpart.
Transfers to UK bank accounts should arrive on the same working day they have been sent as we process via bacs. Transfers to Euro bank accounts are done via SEPA and may take up to several days. Please log in to your Customate account for verification of transaction status. It is also a good practice to communicate with your client.
How do I change the bank accounts that I use to fund my wallet or to receive payment to from my wallet?
You control the funding sources and pay-out sources. Our system does however ensure that these are valid accounts and that you are the owner / authorised to operate the funding account.
My customer has told me has funded my wallet but I cannot see it, what should I do?
Any transfers between wallets are automatic and visible real time, provided there are available funds in the paying wallet. We will reject a transfer of there are not sufficient available funds. If the amount is not shown in the wallet you should contact your customer first.
How long does it take for money to arrive in the wallet?
Bank transfers are typically same day, Card payments 7 day delay and direct debits take roughly 7 working days.
How long does it take to move money from one wallet to another wallet?
That can be done instantly provided funds are available on the paying wallet.
How do I know if my wallet has received funds?
Our online dashboard gives you real-time info on the status of your wallet and all your transactions, allowing you to check the status of a payment at any time.
How long does it take to move money from my wallet to my bank account?
We transfer amounts daily provided you have cleared funds in your wallet. Funds would typically arrive on the same or next working day.
How and when does Customate take its fees?
Our fees are collected automatically from any transfers out of a wallet and you can see the detailed breakdown within the portal.
Do you support recurring payments?
Yes, the scheduler is ideal for this as it automates the collection of the money from your customers nominated funding source to fund their wallet and automates the payment from their wallet to your wallet on the dates agreed to in the scheduler. This is particularly useful for rental payments, subscriptions, professional memberships etc – just set and forget.
What is the Scheduler?
Your account has a simple to use scheduler that allows you or your customers to propose a payment plan between each other. Either party can establish dates (one time or recurring) and amounts and even upload a contract (e.g. rent agreement as supporting documentation). (e.g. rent agreement). Your customer can select their nominated funding source to fund the payments (e.g. direct debit from their own bank or, card or just use surplus funds on the wallet). Both parties must agree to the scheduler before it takes effect.
Can I set payments to start and end on a particular date?
Yes – you can easily customise the day, date, frequency and duration of payments in the scheduler.
Can either party delete or amend details in an agreed schedule?
Yes. You have full access to the scheduler and the parties that established a schedule can choose to delete or amend any of the inputs at any time. Note that the paying party can delete a payment schedule, but for any changes to an existing payment schedule to take effect, both parties need to agree to the change online.
Can I fill in the payment schedule on my customer’s behalf?
You can complete the scheduler and propose it to them, but your customer needs to select the funding source they are going to pay from and accept the terms of the scheduler, before it takes effect. Your customer will need to through the direct signup process for their nominated funding sources (direct debit, card, bank transfer).
Can I change a payment or payment plan once it has been created?
Yes, provided your payment hasn’t been submitted to the banks yet, you can easily cancel or amend an existing payment. All this can be done from within your account in seconds.
Are there any limits on the amount I can collect?
There are no limits on how many transactions you can make. There is, however, a limit on the maximum amount that can be collected in a single transaction. These are: UK £50,000 GBP (with a minimum transaction amount of £10) Eurozone €50,000 EUR. (with a minimum transaction amount of €10). We may be able to increase these limits with additional verification checks.
Will you ever place limits on my account?
There are certain situations where it may be necessary to place restrictions on your account: Where we believe that there may be a breach in the security of your account details; Where we suspect the unauthorised or fraudulent use of your account; Where we are required to by law. If we ever do have to do this, rest assured we will notify you as soon as possible and make sure that there is always someone you can talk to to help resolve the situation as quickly as possible.
Where does my business and my customers need to be based?
Businesses can sign up to collect payments through GoCustomate if they are based in any of the following European countries: Germany, Netherlands, Republic of Ireland, United Kingdom.
What currencies do you accept payments in?
We accept only GBP and Euro at this time.
What currencies can I make payments out of my wallet?
You may use your GBP wallet to make GBP payments and your Euro wallet to make Euro payments. At this time we do not allow currency conversions, i.e. we will not convert your GBP to EURO to allow you to pay Euro if you don’t have sufficient Euros in your Euro wallet.