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Introducing Direct Debit for Customer Convenience

by David Griffiths, Finance Director, GreenThumb

GreenThumb was the very first lawn care company to operate in the UK, and now with almost 25 years’ experience, and almost 500,000 customers, it continues to be the pioneer of lawn treatment across the British Isles. GreenThumb has over 200 franchises nationwide, carrying out over two million lawn treatments each year. Typically the company has provided lawn treatments to customers every 10 weeks, and also delivers winter treatment services, extending its value proposition and enhancing customer satisfaction.

Convenience in collections

With many customers now requesting our services every 10 weeks year-round, we wanted to find a way of spreading the costs throughout the course of a year.

Our customers have traditionally paid for their services using cash or cheques, which is inconvenient and many customers are understandably uncomfortable about leaving cash or cheques for our franchisees where they could be lost or stolen. Furthermore, with many customers now requesting our services every 10 weeks year-round, we wanted to find a way of spreading the costs throughout the course of a year. Consequently, we sought to introduce a more convenient means of payment that also better supports our own collection and working capital objectives, including making prompt and transparent payments to franchisees.

Introducing Direct Debit Limited

In the past, we tried to introduce a direct debit scheme, but this was unsuccessful as we lacked the technical infrastructure and an appropriate partner. However, in early 2010, we revisited this decision and piloted a new direct debit scheme with the support of Direct Debit Limited. We chose Direct Debit Limited based on the recommendation of our cash management bank, who had received positive feedback about the company from other customers. Furthermore, as a family-owned business whose success has been based on recommendations and sound customer relationships, we were attracted to Direct Debit Limited’s business culture promoting long-term business relationships.