Direct Debit flies ahead for UK subscriptions

September 22, 2016

By Samantha North
Subscription services have really taken off in the UK in the last few years. With so many of us feeling increasingly squeezed for time, we take enthusiastic advantage of having our essentials delivered to our door, whenever we want them. Thanks to the internet age, busy people can now subscribe to all manner of products and services, from the traditional magazine and newspaper subscriptions to more random, slightly quirkier items such as underwear, makeup, or even bacon!

With all these subscriptions (and rashers of bacon) flying about, how do people usually pay for them? We at GoCardless were in a curious mood recently. So we decided to gather some opinions from across the country about how people prefer to pay for their favourite subscriptions. What we found out not only surprised us, but also encouraged us.

We commissioned YouGov to conduct a survey for us, exploring the UK’s favourite subscription payment methods. We wanted to know how comfortable people were with using different payment methods to pay for their digital or physical subscriptions. This could be any product or service for which they pay a regular monthly fee. Here’s what YouGov found out.

Out of the sample of 2,044 UK adults surveyed, Direct Debit emerged as the most popular payment method, which people felt most comfortable using. Direct Debit has been around for a long time and is considered old-fashioned by some. But nevertheless it’s also seen as reliable and well-trusted. In fact, it’s the UK’s favourite payment method and its usage continues to grow.

Direct Debit enjoys a strong reputation throughout the UK, especially because customers are protected by the reliable Direct Debit guarantee. On top of this, Direct Debit is also very simple to set up and involves no effort after the initial set-up – money is just taken automatically from your account on the specified day. Unlike credit and debit cards, there is no need to update your details.

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And read Zuora’s guide – The Three Most Important Global Payment Methods for Subscription Businesses