Updated: Nov 25
Fintech unicorn GoCardless welcomes you to "the new era of payments" with its brand-new look. To learn more about the company's recent rebranding campaign, we chatted with Nicola Hamilton, Senior Brand & Communications Director at GoCardless.
GoCardless is one of the UK's leading direct bank payments fintechs. In February this year, the company reached unicorn status after its Series G funding round of USD 312 million. Currently, GoCardless serves over 75,000 business customers including market leaders like DocuSign, Klarna and TripAdvisor globally and processes more than $30bn in transactions annually.
Following its recent fundraise, GoCardless has set out to establish "a new era of payments" with a fully transformed brand identity. A fresh and bolder look, a new logo, and less jargony and product-heavy messaging are among the key features of the new GoCardless brand. To find out more about the changes and the rebranding campaign, we chatted with Nicola Hamilton, Senior Brand & Communications Director at GoCardless.
Read Nicola's complete Q&A below.
What’s the new GoCardless brand all about?
Collecting payments is a frustrating and time-consuming process for many businesses.
Chasing late or failed payments. Paying expensive card fees. And having those awkward
conversations about money. Getting paid shouldn’t be that hard. We want to free our
customers from the frustrations and complexities of outdated payment methods and
shine a light on faster, cheaper, and more secure ways to get paid. That’s what our new
brand is all about.
So what’s changed? Our brand is going to be much bolder. Less product-focused, less
jargon and a stronger stance on the issues that we feel strongly about - like high card
fees and late payments.
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What was the new brand creative process like?
It was a combination of both. We decided to decouple the positioning and creative
processes and worked with a different agency on each. We worked with PluPerfect, a
specialist brand agency based in New York on the positioning and with Ragged Edge, a
London-based design agency on the creative interpretation. Once we had the
overarching mood and creative ideas, our internal brand design team took over and
worked on the implementation of the new visual identity. It was definitely a team effort;
drawing external expertise from our agency partners and combining that with the
knowledge and skills of our internal teams to breathe GoCardless magic into the new
Have you faced any challenges during the process?
If yes, what were they and how did you tackle them?
We’d previously done cosmetic refreshes of the visual identity, but nothing as
far-reaching as this rebrand project. When we launched we wanted our customers, and
our employees, to experience the new brand at every single touch point - websites,
social media, our communications, our tone of voice, and within the product itself. We
also used the opportunity to overhaul our design systems and retire legacy systems.
Given the scope of the project, we set it up as a company-wide OKR to ensure it was
properly prioritized and resourced to deliver on schedule.
Because of the scale of the project we separated it into distinct areas with designated
owners for each. Tight project management and open communication channels were
essential to make sure we were all aware of any challenges that could potentially slow us
down, and worked together to overcome them.
What was the motivation for the rebranding? Why now?
At GoCardless, we’ve always believed that bank-to-bank payments are a better way for
businesses to collect payments than cards, cheques, and cash. For the past decade,
we’ve helped businesses collect recurring payments like subscriptions, instalments, and
invoice payments, via direct debit.
The rise of open banking* marked a shift for GoCardless. It means that we can now offer
one-off instant bank payments using faster payment rails, alongside the direct debit
bank schemes that we use for recurring payments. Open banking is accelerating the
development of new payment methods and has opened up new opportunities for us and
our customers. We’ve widened the range of direct bank payments that we can offer, and
the use cases that we can serve. With the combination of new innovation through open
banking and a bold ambition to become the world’s bank payment network we felt it was
the right time to revitalize our brand.
*Open banking enables regulated providers of financial services to access your banking data (with your consent). For example,
to make a payment directly from your bank account, apps can now connect you with your online banking app so that you can
authorize the payment.
We noticed the launch video on social. What other activities have you planned as part of the activation campaign?
We were very excited to share the brand video as it encapsulates the overall mood and
direction of the new brand. And it’s very different from anything that you see in the
payments space. We participated in a number of events around the launch, including
Open Banking Expo UK and Money2020 USA where we had a museum of outdated
payment methods on our stand. We also launched a number of targeted marketing
campaigns that were fully reworked in the new brand as well as launched a new fraud
prevention product, Protect+.
What’s next for GoCardless?
We are a company with big ambitions. We want to be the world’s bank payment network
- making bank payments as easy and ubiquitous as card payments are today. You’re
going to see a much bolder approach from GoCardless in the future as we champion
bank payments and open banking.
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