GoCardless: taking payments through the invoice payment portal

GoCardless is an online payment service that can integrate with your FreeAgent account to allow you to take online payments from your customers. Once you’ve set up the integration between FreeAgent and GoCardless, your customer can pay you via FreeAgent’s invoice payment portal (they could also authorise you to take payment automatically by setting up a Direct Debit mandate with GoCardless). Here’s how taking payment through the invoice portal works.

Enabling GoCardless payment on a new invoice

Once you’ve set up the GoCardless integration, you'll see the option to accept online payments using GoCardless when you create an invoice in FreeAgent. Under Online payment options select the ‘GoCardless through invoice payment portal’ checkbox and then complete the rest of the invoice details as normal.

When preparing to email the invoice to your customer, include the following tag in the body of the email: [online_payment_link].

invoice due email with tag

When your customer receives the invoice email and follows the link, they’ll be taken to the invoice itself, which will include the option to pay via one-off Direct Debit (along with any other online payment option you may have enabled in FreeAgent).

unpaid invoice screen

As soon as your customer has made a payment using GoCardless, your invoice will show a payment status of ‘Payment Processing’ while FreeAgent waits for GoCardless to confirm receipt of the payment. Once the payment is transferred into your bank account you’ll see a ‘Payment Complete’ status.

payment complete screen

In the event that the payment fails you will see a ‘Payment Failed’ status. In this instance your customer hasn’t been charged and you need to get back in touch to ask them to attempt another payment.

As soon as a payment is made by your customer, you should receive a confirmation email from GoCardless. Payments made with GoCardless can take about a week to appear in your account. While payments are pending or being processed, FreeAgent will stop sending late payment reminders.

Reconciling invoice payment

It's important to note that, unlike taking payments with a Direct Debit mandate, when you take payments with GoCardless through the invoice payment portal, these payments will not be auto-reconciled against the invoice. You will need to mark the invoice as paid and explain the GoCardless charge manually.

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