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GoCardless launches Variable Recurring Payments as start-up Pillar chooses its offering to make credit scoring borderless and inclusive

July 27, 2022

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GoCardless, a global leader in direct bank payment solutions, has launched its Variable Recurring Payments offering, enabling developers and financial service providers to prepare for VRPs as the CMA deadline for ‘sweeping’ approaches.

This means GoCardless’ ‘Instant Bank Pay’ feature will now support one-off and recurring transactions through open banking. Developer docs are live and a sandbox will be unveiled in the coming weeks for merchants to test their VRP readiness as banks begin to introduce the new technology to the public.

The news comes as Pillar, the new fintech platform breaking down credit borders, becomes the latest early adopter to choose GoCardless to power its payments for a new and more inclusive era of credit across the globe.

Pillar, which raised a pre-seed round of £13 million ($16.9 million) led by Global Founders Capital and Backed VC earlier this year, will use the GoCardless platform for Direct Debit and VRP. With its expansive bank payment network covering over 30 countries and eight currencies, GoCardless was the natural choice for Pillar, a start-up with global ambitions.

Pillar is developing a new global financial platform which will provide immigrants with access to credit products when moving to a new country. By offering VRPs as a key part of its payment functionality, Pillar will provide customers greater control over their finances through the ability to set payment parameters and make and cancel recurring payments instantly.  

Customers will also enjoy a more seamless payment experience: VRPs enable them to authenticate recurring payments with a single click, eliminating the need to re-authenticate or re-authorise every transaction.

Duncan Barrigan, Chief Product Officer and Chief Growth Officer, at GoCardless, said: “We’re delighted to launch Instant Bank Pay for recurring payments, giving merchants a head start on VRPs as banks begin their rollout. We’ve now had hundreds of conversations with businesses across the country and what stands out again and again is their enthusiasm for VRPs -- especially that moment when they realise how this new technology can unlock their future growth plans. We’re proud to power the payments for these innovative companies so they can get on with what they do best: shaking up the status quo.

“A great example is Pillar, with its mission to break down credit borders and unlock access to financial products around the world. By tapping into our unique combination of Direct Debit and VRP, Pillar can customise its payment strategy and take advantage of all the benefits of direct bank payments, from lower fees to greater reliability.”

Ashutosh Bhatt, CEO of Pillar, said: "We have big plans and global ambitions as we transform the way people gain access to credit. Our vision requires a partner that is at the forefront of payments around the world, and that’s why we’re delighted to team up with GoCardless. We’re especially excited about their introduction of VRPs, the first genuine real-time payment mechanism which will give our customers more clarity and control over their payments. Given GoCardless’ reputation as a leader in this space, working together was a no-brainer.”

GoCardless has been active in the VRP space since 2019, when it took the first live transaction through a sandbox developed by the OBIE. In June, GoCardless was chosen by NatWest Group to provide VRPs as a new payment option for businesses and consumers, in addition to launching a ‘non-sweeping’ VRP pilot with NatWest and Charity Right. The launch of recurring payments for Instant Bank Pay means GoCardless will enable multiple companies in the financial sector, such as Pillar and Nude, to use VRPs to provide instant, account-to-account payments.

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