Using Your Own Notifications for GoCardless Direct Debits


When you use GoCardless to collect payments for recurring payments the account holder will receive an emailed notification from GoCardless when:

  • The Direct Debit mandate is set up, and
  • Each payment is about to be taken.

These notifications are designed to comply with BACS rules for processing Direct Debits.

You can decide to use your own notifications in place of the standard GoCardless notifications, this allows you to:

  • Have control over the branding and content of the emails and
  • Send notifications less often


When will Donorfy Send Notifications?

Donorfy will send a notification email 

  • For new signups via a Donorfy GoCardless web widget - i.e. for new recurring payment instructions, or 
  • Payment is requested for an existing recurring payment instruction that has not been previously notified by you

Once a notification has been sent further notifications will not be sent unless a change is made to the recurring payment instruction which requires re-notification.

An activity is added to the timeline when a notification is sent, a copy of the notification is linked to the activity.


What happens when a Change to the amount, frequency, start or end date happens? 

If you make a change to the amount, frequency, start or end date of a recurring payment instruction you should send a notification using the 'Send Notification' option from the Manage menu within the Recurring Payment Instruction. 





Setting up your Notification Documents

To set up sending your own notifications you need to:

  1. Create your notification documents in Donorfy
    You find that in your Acknowledgements & Documents settings there are pre-configured documents "New Recurring Payment Instruction Notification" and "Change to Recurring Payment Instruction" feel free to use these as they are or make any amendments as you require.
  2. Make sure you have configured your Email Server Settings in order to send the emails from Donorfy 
  3. Get your notifications approved by Donorfy - submit a support request to do this
  4. When your notifications are approved by the Donorfy Support Team, add the notifications to your GoCardless Connect settings and switch on Send Notifications from Donorfy

These stages are outlined below: 


1. Create your notification documents

The notification documents are set up in the same way as other documents in Donorfy - see this article for more information.

Examples of notifications and further checking information can be found here.

You should set up two notification documents for the two situations described in 'When will Donorfy Send Notifications?' above. 

Donorfy will use the 'New Signups' document when no payments have been collected for the recurring payment instruction otherwise the 'existing recurring payment instruction' notification document will be used.

 Key information to include in your notification documents are:

  • Your new Direct Debit notification must include the heading containing the Confirmation of the setup of your Direct Debit to your organisation's name
  • your organisation's logo - see this article
  • the Direct Debit logo - using this URL when including the image
  • a link to your Direct Debit guarantee
  • your organisation's contact details
  • the amount to be debited each time
  • frequency of collections
  • collection day (on or immediately after)
  • the following placeholders: 

    {CollectionReference2} - Last 2 digits of account number

    {CollectionReference4} - Bank Name

    {CollectionReference5} - Reference

  • The detail of payments being provided by GoCardeless and their Privacy Policy must be included (see Example GoCardless Notifications)



These are some useful placeholders which can be used in the notifications, other placeholders can be found in this document and you can also use {LastPaymentMessage} - if the recurring payment instruction has an end date this placeholder will include the text The last payment will be taken on dd/mm/yyyy, if the  recurring payment instruction does not have an end date then the placeholder will not return any text.


2. Configure your email settings

Make sure you have configured your email server settings in order to send the emails from Donorfy - see this article for more info 


3. Getting your Notifications Approved

To ensure that your notifications are compliant with BACS and GoCardless rules, it is extremely important that your notifications are approved by the Donorfy Team prior to you going live with the notification sending. 

Copy the notification content (including email title) into a Word document and send through to Donorfy Support.

Once approved you are ready to start sending your own notifications and you can switch on your notification settings...


4. Switching on Sending Notifications from Donorfy

Once you have your notifications approved go Settings | Configuration and find your GoCardless settings - choose your notification documents, switch 'Send Notifications from Donorfy' to yes and press Save Changes



Re-sending a New Notification 

If you need to send or resend a notification for a Recurring Payment Instruction, open the RPI on the Constituent Timeline, and then from the Manage menu, choose Send Notification then press Notify.




How do you know when a notification has been sent?

When a new RPI is taken out and the automatic notification is sent it will add this to the status bar on the RPI:

An Activity will also be added to the Constituent Timeline with the Type of Payment Collection Info and will have the detail of what was sent and to which email address - the document is also attached:

As it will have been sent using the email address in your Email Server Settings - a copy of the outgoing email will also be in your email sent items. 


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