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Checklist for Importing Files | News

Our Data Administration team recently wrote up a list of common errors that are found in client’s Direct Debit files and we thought it would be helpful to share the resulting checklist.

Although some of these items may seem like common sense, they can slow down the import of your Direct Debit file and result in late collections. Before you send us a file or upload it to our FTP server cross check your files with the checklist below:

1. Is the collection date set in the future?

It may sound silly, but we often receive files with the first collection date set in the past. Make sure that the first collection date for new direct debits is set at least 10 working days after you send us your file.

2. Have you altered your import format without letting us know?

If your file format has changed, please let us know before you send us a new file format so that we can amend our stored procedures for your organisation. This will help ensure that we import your data in a timely fashion.

3. Have you included a new collections date in your file?

Collection dates can change, particularly if your organisation has started a new acquisition campaign or are working with a new agency. Please let us know if you have increased or changed your collection dates so that we can update your account. For example, if we normally only process for your organisation on the 1st and 15th of each month and you would like to add the 28th, please let us know in advance so that we don’t miss out on your new collection date.  Please note that increasing the number of collection dates may result in increased Bacs charges, so please choose your collection dates wisely.

4. Does your file include a mixture of new setups, reactivations and amendments?

Please ensure that you do not include new setups, amendments and reactivations in the same file as these 3 groups are handled differently. This can cause delays to the import process and therefore could affect collection dates.  If you have amendments or reactivations for existing direct debits these should be sent over separately in the approved format. Please contact the data admin team who will be happy to provide these for you.

5. Are you using your own collection frequency codes?

Have you included the correct frequency code in your file? Our system uses the following code:
1 = monthly

2 = quarterly

3 = half yearly

4 = annual

If you would like to use your own coding for collection frequency, just let us know and we’ll amend your account.

6. Are your sort codes in the correct format?

Excel often changes the format of sort codes to dates. Please double check that this column is formatted correctly so that the sort code is displayed as a number and not a date! To make this change, format the column to the ‘Number  or General‘ format and save the file in .CSV format.  Sort codes should appear as 12-34-56 or 123456.

7. Don’t worry about including preceding zeroes in account numbers

Excel removes preceding zeroes from numbers so we have programmed our database to automatically add these back on to account details that are too short. Please do not add any characters to the beginning of these numbers as this can cause errors on our system.

8. Your don’t need to password protect files that are uploaded to the Rapidata FTP site

Our FTP site is completely secure so if you are uploading data files to the FTP site there is no need to password protect them.

9. What file format are you sending files in?

Our preferred file format is .csv

If you have any questions about your import file format or need help updating it, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Data Administration Team by emailing data@rapidata.co.uk or calling us on 01293 524066

Posted by Scott Gray on 30/06/2011 within Direct Debit, eDirectDebit
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