LHS has used standing orders (with barclayscrape to handle automatic reconciliation) for the last 10 years. There has been some code written to replace this with GoCardless, but that project hasn’t been finished yet.
I would strongly recommend against using standing orders for any new system, for the following reasons:
- (Most) banks don’t have an API and barclayscrape is a hack which I do not plan to maintain indefinitely. (Although Monzo has just announced business accounts with an API.)
- People have difficulty understanding how to set up standing orders - at LHS there are frequent cases where people neglect to include their reference number and payments have to be manually reconciled. Also, logging into your bank is usually harder than setting up a direct debit.
- Having lots of membership payments in your bank account makes bookkeeping complex and most accounting software is not designed to easily handle this.
- Giving your bank details out increases your likelihood of suffering from direct debit fraud (never put them on a public web page).
- GoCardless is not expensive, and it’s trivial to get set up with pay links even if you don’t yet have a membership system.