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Recurring Payments

The payment method of choice for businesses which run a subscription or membership model, such as a gym or an online craft beer supplier, a recurring payment is the act of gaining a customer’s permission to charge their bank account or payment card with a due amount on a set schedule, whether that is daily, weekly, monthly, or any other period of time.
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There are two types of recurring payment, which are variable and fixed.

A variable recurring payment is when the amount charged can change from payment to payment based on usage, such as a credit card bill where the minimum amount required might fluctuate, or a telephone bill when data allowances are breached an additional data has been purchased.

A fixed recurring payment is a pre-agreed fixed sum being charged to the payer’s account, such as a subscription to Netflix or Spotify, or a membership fee to an institution, which will remain the same until both parties agree to a change of payment value

Although there are two types of recurring payment, there are various methods in which this payment can occur, including Standing Order, Direct Debit, and Recurring Card Payment, and there are undoubted benefits to each.

Unlike making a one-off payment for a single transaction, be it by telephone order and processed through a terminal, or in a bricks-and-mortar store via Contactless or Chip & Pin, recurring payments are collected remotely by your payment processor, and after the first permission to commence the payments no more permissions are required. This takes a lot of hassle out of chasing payments and unpaid invoices, not just for you as the merchant as it will save you time and effort, but also for your customer who would prefer to avoid the embarrassment of forgetting to make a payment on an agreed date.

Which kinds of businesses use Recurring Payments?

There are several business and organisations which might use recurring payments to gain funds from clients, customers and service users.


Whether business or community related, many businesses such as health and fitness clubs, online content libraries, sports teams and social groups will all use some form of recurring payment in the form of an annual or monthly membership fee. Members will often receive additional benefits that are exclusive to them as part of the fee, and promote the feeling of inclusivity. Memberships usually work on a fixed recurring payment agreement.

Service Providers

Often agreed under a fixed term contract or monthly retainer, businesses such as digital marketing agencies, PR firms, and SaaS (Software as a Service) providers will secure a recurring payment to ensure bills are covered for work done. In the wider world, insurance providers, care homes and commercial cleaning suppliers are good examples of businesses which will gain fees via recurring payment, usually fixed.


Many online platforms use Subscription models to generate repeat custom through recurring payments. Media content such as TV shows, music, films and books can be consumed at no additional cost beyond the subscription payment. They are also very popular with online businesses that send out monthly or weekly bundles of their products, such as recipes and ingredients, craft beers, and even shaving products. This is often a fixed recurring payment.

Local Government & Utilities

Council Tax and TV License payments are made through fixed recurring payments, and all manner of utilities and services such as water rates, gas and electricity bills and broadband are all paid using variable recurring payments.

Did you know?

At the end of 2020, there were £23.4bn
of late or overdue payments in the UK

How do I take recurring card payments?

Introducing SOTpay+, by Gala Technology. Our award-winning cloud-based merchant management system is designed to make claiming recurring card payments as simple and cost-effective as possible. It does not require any additional expensive hardware to set up, and Gala Technology can support recurring payments via card or Direct Debit. Through using SOTpay+, it is possible that you could save up to 50% of your transaction processing fees, not to mention the time spent chasing unpaid bills that you’ll save. With prices from £9.99 per month*, it is a professional, and PCI-DSS Compliant solution for your business.

*Not including transaction fees

Direct Debits

Collecting payments directly from your customer’s bank account is quick and easy to arrange with Gala Technology’s Direct Debit recurring payment service.

Many providers will collect funds for you, and include additional fees simply for having the collection made in the name of your business. If you choose not to pay those fees then the payments are not collected in your name and the risk of having the payment rejected by the customer or their bank is increased, causing delays to payment, extra work to claim the funds, and ultimately can damage the business relationship.

The service provided by Gala Technology, however, issues you with a fully branded Service User Number (SUN) for BACS payments, or Creditor Scheme Identifier (CSID) for SEPA payments. This means your company will be clearly featured on all of your customer’s bank statements. This is done for you at no additional cost, so not only do you increase trust with your customers but you also save money in the process.

Recurring Card on File Payments

For a business whose payments are variable in both the value of the transaction and the regularity of the payments, for example an automotive merchant that bills clients ad-hoc upon invoicing, or a short term payment plan is required between organisations, then the SOTpay+ gateway from Gala Technology can manage those needs easily.

Their card data remains fully secure with the process of tokenisation, which converts the information into a string of randomly generated numbers (similar to encryption), which means those details are unreadable to employees taking payments, or in the event of a data breach from external sources, therefore protecting your business from unwanted costs to your bank account and business reputation.

The card storage facility with SOTpay enables you to create bespoke recurring payment plans to give both your business and your customer flexibility in the arrangement. You can determine how much, how often and for how long the payment plans should be.

How much does it cost to accept recurring payments?

However you need to take your repeat payments, Gala Technology has a solution which can perfectly compliment your business and its needs. Both our Direct Debit service and the award-winning SOTpay+ gateway services are available from as little as £10 per month each.

Let's Talk
Our team of experts have many years of experience in payment solutions of all kinds, including PCI-DSS compliant card payments, direct debit and Open Banking. To book a free consultation to find out more about how we can help your business to accept smooth and easy payments, simply give us a call on 01709 911661, drop us an email here, or let us know which day is most convenient via the calendar below and we’ll be in touch when it suits you.

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