Partnership set to revolutionise Direct Debit payments for membership organisations

DateApril 2019

Silverbear, the UK’s membership CRM specialist, and Clear Direct Debit, a BACS approved bureau and training provider, have joined forces in a move that is expected to radically transform the way Direct Debits are collected by membership, not-for-profit and fundraising-led organisations.

Currently, organisations that collect payments from members using manual or semi-manual methods may be exposed to human error, data security issues and overly dependent on only a handful of individuals to process payments.

Legacy Direct Debit systems require manual files to be stored locally and are often held on laptops or emailed internally, which can lead to bank details being taken offsite and exposed to risk.

The partnership will enable customers of Silverbear’s flagship product, ‘Silverbear Membership’, which include Royal College of Nursing, Royal Academy of Dance and Royal Horticultural Society, to collect payments from members using a fully automated and secure cloud-based platform without manual intervention.

The strategic venture follows the recent acquisition of both companies by ClearCourse Partnership LLP, a business formed of innovative technology companies that provide membership software to groups, organisations and small businesses.

Gavin Lawrence, Managing Director of Clear Direct Debit, comments: “Payment processing in many organisations is still largely based on the manual movement of local data, such as exporting and importing files containing sensitive information, the consequences of which can be significant. We’ve seen one non-profit organisation collect a hundred times the subscription fee of thousands of its members by mistake simply because of a file formatting issue. Whilst errors of this magnitude aren’t common, other smaller mistakes are. Our partnership with Silverbear will help make organisations become more resilient and help them address data security issues in a more robust and meaningful way.”

General Data Protection Regulation, PSD2 (the revised Payment Service Directive) and ever-changing Direct Debit rules pose challenges for all organisations that process payments. Those failing to address them risk breaking the law and leaving their customers open to data breaches.

Carl Grieves, Chief Executive at Silverbear, adds: “Whether it’s unsecured data, file formatting issues or human error, Direct Debit mistakes can prove costly at an economic and reputational level. Through our partnership with Clear Direct Debit, and as a direct result of the synergies presented following both companies’ acquisition by ClearCourse Partnership, we’ve created a secure Direct Debit automation service that can be managed through a fully integrated approach with the click of a button. This is a huge step forward for Silverbear’s growing customer base and we’re proud to be pioneering this new approach.”

Silverbear and Clear Direct Debit will officially unveil the latest addition to the Silverbear Membership platform at Membership Excellence 2019, the UK’s largest membership-focused national conference for membership organisations and associations, which takes place at Novotel London West on Thursday 2 May.

For more information on Silverbear and Clear Direct Debit visit and respectively. For more information on ClearCourse Partnership LLP visit

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