Enabling Bacs (UK Direct Debit) in Fundraise Up

Enabling Bacs allows donors to connect directly to their UK bank accounts online and approve immediate bank-to-bank direct debit transfers.

This article will walk you through the needed steps to enable Bacs in Fundraise Up, including the steps in Stripe to ensure that transactions are processed and handled appropriately. Additionally, it will explain the donor experience when giving via Bacs on your public donation checkout.

Enabling and Configuring Bacs in Stripe

  1. Enabling Bacs in Stripe
    1. Go to your Stripe dashboard
    2. Click the "Settings" icon on the top right of the screen
    3. Scroll down and click "Payment Methods"
    4. Locate Bacs Direct Debit and click "Turn on"
  2. Configuring Bacs in Stripe

Once you've enabled Bacs Direct Debit in your Stripe account, you need to make some additional changes to make it work cleanly with Fundraise Up. For each Bacs donation, Stripe will a series of emails to assist with account verification and payment confirmation. These emails are unnecessary, as Fundraise Up sends the same information with the added benefit of customization and a consolidated email log on the donation record. Additionally, "Stripe" will be shown by default on your donor's bank statements and within the Fundraise Up checkout, so you'll want to update this too. This is referred to as a custom "SUN," or service under name.

In order to disable the redundant emails that Stripe sends, and to define a custom SUN (service user number), you must upgrade your Bacs Direct Debit payment method. This is a £50 GBP monthly cost.

Here is how to upgrade your Bacs Direct Debit payment method in order to disable Stripe emails and to create a custom SUN:

    1. Go to "Payment Methods" in the Stripe account's settings
    2. Locate and click "Bacs Direct Debit"
    3. Click "Configure" like shown below
    4. Then, select the upgrade option.
    5. Next, you'll be asked to provide a "Business Display Name." This is also known as the service under name or "SUN." This name will be displayed 3-5 business days after the first live Bacs payment. Any payments processed during this period will show "Stripe" on the donor's bank statement.
    6. Now that you've updated your Business Display Name, it's now time to disable Stripe's redundant Bacs emails. Do this step only after the previous step is completed.

      Stripe will allow you to disable the redundant emails only after you're able to prove that the emails you're replacing them with are in compliance with Bacs regulations. To prove compliance and have Stripe disable their Bacs debit emails, you must do the following:
      1. Make a test donation via Bacs (using Stripe's test numbers)
      2. Take a screenshot of the resulting "Bank mandate" email, including the section below the fold which shows the bank mandate details and Direct Debit guarantee text.
      3. Then, contact Stripe Support by clicking here and sending the message below with the screenshot you took in the previous step.

        "My connected platform, Fundraise Up, sends the Bacs agreement mandate and guarantee for me, so I want to disable it on my Stripe account. Please see the attached image for verification that the Bacs agreement email being sent by Fundraise Up is compliant."

      4. Once Stripe confirms compliance, they will add a toggle to your Stripe's email settings that will allow you to toggle OFF Bacs mandate and debit initiation emails.

Failure to disable the Stripe Bacs email set will result in the donor receiving two sets of emails that will contain differing content.

Enabling Bacs in Fundraise Up

If your Fundraise Up account is connected to a UK Stripe account, the Payment Options screen will provide options for the enabling of Bacs. You can enable Bacs by following these steps:

  • Go to the Fundraise Up dashboard
  • Click your name in the top right, and choose Settings from the dropdown menu
  • Click Payment Options in the left hand menu
  • Click Enable for Bacs (UK Direct Debit)
  • Confirm that you've done the following, as instructed on the setup screen and as covered above:
    • disabled Stripe's default Bacs emails,
    • enabled Bacs within Stripe,
    • and set your Statement Descriptor on the Account page of Settings.
  • Click the Enable Bacs button to start allowing donors with UK bank accounts to donate directly from those bank accounts using your Fundraise Up forms!

Review how your donors will pay with Bacs

When a donor gets to the Payment Options screen of checkout, as long as their donation is a recurring donation of 2 GBP or higher (which most donations will be, as the default Campaign minimum amount for one-time and recurring donations is 5 GBP), they'll be provided a Direct Debit button with the Bacs logo.

Screen Shot 2022-01-24 at 10.01.59 AM

If they click the Direct Debit button, they'll be taken to a screen where they can provide their sort code, account number, account holder name, and confirmation of understanding of how the flow is managed.

Screen Shot 2022-01-24 at 10.02.12 AM

Regardless of whether the Campaign they are donating through has Mailing Address, enabled, their mailing address will be required during checkout, as a complete address is required information in order to confirm their Bacs details.

Once the donor has completed all required steps of checkout, they will be presented a payment confirmation screen, showing their Direct Debit details and an explanation of the Guarantee.

Screen Shot 2022-01-24 at 10.03.08 AM

This experience is mirrored in Virtual Terminal; for donations made in GBP and for which Mailing Address has been provided, you can select Bank Account as the payment method and provide the donor's Sort Code and Account Number to instantiate their payment via Bacs.

Payment processor fees on Bacs donations are 1%, starting at 20p and capped at £2.00

Customize Confirmation and Verification Emails

When donors make Bacs donations, they'll by default receive some of the Email Templates you can manage and customize from your Fundraise Up account, centrally from the Email Templates screen of Settings, and on a per-Campaign basis using the controls in each Campaign's Emails tab. 

Donors giving via Bacs will first receive their "Donation in progress" email showing the details of the bank payment mandate they approved while donating.

For Bacs donors, the "Donation in progress" email template specifically includes legal text (sourced from Stripe) below their agreement, outlining what the donor is entitled to with regards to their Bacs payment. To see this text, go to the Email Templates page of Settings, click "Donation in progress" in the left hand menu, and click the Preview button.

Donors will only receive the applicable "Receipt" email templates once their Donation is marked successful in Fundraise Up.

Stripe only knows if a Bacs donation installment succeeds if they don't receive a fail notice from the bank; they don't receive a success notice. So, Stripe can only mark a Bacs donation as successful once the possible window for it failing has elapsed. Once that window is passed without a fail, Stripe marks it successful and then lets Fundraise Up know to mark it successful, which can also take a little time.

As such, for new Donations and first Donations of Recurring Plans, receiving the applicable "Receipt" email can take up to eight business days, as the initial charge can only be run two days after authorization, and then a six business day gap where the donation can either succeed or fail.

For subsequent installments of Recurring Plans, receiving the "Recurring installment receipt" email can take up to five business days, shorter because the initial authorization was already done.

If, at any point in time, the donor has the bank remove their Direct Debit permission associated with a Recurring Plan, Stripe will receive notification within a few days, notify Fundraise Up, and the plan will then be marked as failed (as the associated payment method has been revoked). At that time, the donor will receive the "Plan failed" email if it is enabled, notifying them that their recurring donation can no longer be processed and that they can reactivate their donation by providing new payment information if desired.