GoCardless launches US debit payments solution and opens San Francisco office

GoCardless, the London fintech that aims to become the one-stop shop globally for businesses that want to let customers pay via recurring bank payments, has launched a U.S. debit solution.

The company has also opened an office across the pond in San Francisco’s financial district, headed up by Andrew Gilboy, general manager, North America, who was previously the company’s chief revenue officer.

Specifically, GoCardless’ new U.S. product supports debit payments on the ACH (Automated Clearing House) network. This means that businesses can use the GoCardless platform to offer U.S. consumers the option to pay by recurring bank payments, as an alternative to a credit card, for example. Likewise, companies can use GoCardless for debit payments for B2B transactions, such as relating to SaaS subscriptions, invoices or installments.

It is the B2B use case where GoCardless thinks there is the biggest opportunity for recurring payments, since, unlike in the U.K., for example, the biggest competitor would be writing cheques. That’s costly and slow by 2019 standards and doesn’t provide anything like the visibility that direct debits and ACH affords.

“By using the ACH debit network on the GoCardless platform, merchants can pull payments directly from their customers’ bank accounts, at a lower cost than credit cards and without the overhead and burden of cash and cheques,” says the U.K.-headquartered company.

GoCardless adds that businesses using the GoCardless ACH debit solution gain increased visibility over payment flow via a “fully automated” collection system. This includes things like due dates, and whether or not a payment was successful or failed and why.

The addition of ACH debit means that GoCardless’ global debit network now covers more than 30 countries accessible through a single API and platform.

Meanwhile, the 2011-founded company is no stranger to the West coast of America. In its formative years, the U.K. startup went through Silicon Valley accelerator Y Combinator, where it initially struggled to find product-market fit before successfully pivoting to recurring payments.

If you happen to bump into GoCardless CEO Hiroki Takeuchi, ask him about the time he and his co-founders stayed up all night working the phones in a bid to win the startup’s first U.K. customers, lest they have nothing to show at YC Demo Day.

Now backed by the likes of Google Ventures, Salesforce and Accel, amongst others, the company has come a long way since then.