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Protected Payments – building trust through secure payments

It’s not uncommon to hear stories about payment issues with trade work in the UK. Whether they come from a disappointed homeowner or a tradesperson waiting to get paid, no matter their cause, the risk of a disagreement when it comes to settling costs seems unfortunately high. In fact, a recent survey suggests that £30bn is currently owed to UK tradespeople in unpaid invoices, while a second study saw 75% of homeowners struggling to trust tradespeople.

couple paying online

We know that there are thousands of great tradespeople in the UK – 94% of the ratings left for tradespeople on our platform last year were for 4 or 5 stars! But, it’s no surprise that there can be a bit of apprehension when it comes to paying for home improvement work, whether you’re a homeowner or a tradesperson.

What is Protected Payments and how can it help?

We’ve teamed up with Shieldpay to offer Protected Payments to our customers. It’s a great new way to pay and get paid for work, bringing security and control to transactions.

As a homeowner using Protected Payments, you pay the agreed price for the job into a secure digital “vault”, where it’s held by Shieldpay. It’ll stay there while the work’s being done and only be released to the tradesperson’s bank account after the work’s complete and you’ve both confirmed you’re happy.

tradesperson greeting homeowner

Who is Shieldpay?

When choosing our partner for Protected Payments we opted for Shieldpay, because security and trust are at the heart of their service. They’re authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – your money is held in a ring-fenced account provided by Barclays Bank in the UK.

The extra benefit for customers is that should things not go to plan and the homeowner doesn’t want to release the money, Shieldpay is on hand to help with any disagreements. They have a legally trained dispute resolutions team to help arrive at a fair outcome.

How Protected Payments works

  • Both the homeowner and tradesperson register their own accounts with Shieldpay and are verified. The checks don’t affect your credit rating, they just check you are who you say you are to protect you both.
  • Money’s held in a secure vault. Homeowners pay a small fee of 2% of the total cost of the work for Shieldpay’s service and peace of mind.
  • View your money at any time while work’s being done (you just can’t touch it!).
  • Money’s only released when the work’s complete and both parties are happy.
  • No exchanging of cash between homeowner and tradesperson (it’s a less risky way of paying for work).
  • Disputes are handled by a 3rd party (Shieldpay).

paying online

Start protecting your payments

Once you’ve got your own free account with Shieldpay, you can use Protected Payments. You can set up an account at any time, even after work’s begun, but we recommend getting it sorted ahead of time so you can take advantage of it being held securely while the work’s being done. It’s an optional service for both the homeowner and tradesperson, so it works best if you both agree to use it and the vault’s funded before the job starts.

Are you a homeowner wanting to find out more, or set up an account? Head here.

12 Comments

  1. Hi, sounds positive and I am sure worthwhile. However, while it reassures the client, it does not satisfy the contractor 100% what happens when as required the contractor does the job correctly, quality & cost wise but it is actually the client that does not conform,,,, ie, does not pay ?

    1. Thanks Dave. The idea is that as the account balance is visible to both the homeowner and tradesperson while the work’s being done, it gives the tradesperson the peace of mind that the customer has the money to pay them when the job has been finished, as they agreed. If the homeowner isn’t happy at the end of the job, Shieldpay get involved and their legally trained team help mediate to a fair outcome. This way, it’s fair for both the homeowner and tradesperson. You can find more details about what happens in that scenario here: https://www.ratedpeople.com/c/tradespeople/help#dispute

  2. My gas boiler was serviced by Paul (Stanley Plumbing & Heating). Paul was very thorough with the service and his charge was competitive. I will be using him again next time and would not hesitate to recommend him.

  3. This is a fantastic idea and will put confidence in both party’s. I hope this strategy works and stops cowboys for good.
    Combat property maintenance has no worries with this method of payments. We encourage it because we stride for a 5 star rating on every job we undertake. There’s no room for error. And we thank you rated people 😁 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  4. Having found myself inadvertently on the wrong side of a Cowboy Outfit which resulted in myself being totally ignored by said Boss of the Outfit, I had to to get their account frozen before they even would talk to me let alone come back and finish the job as agreed. If this system works it will make life a lot easier for both Trades folk AND Customers.

    1. Hi Mohan, can you please contact our team by emailing [email protected]? If you can email from the same email you used to post the job, and give details of the tradesperson, that will allow the team to help you quicker.

  5. I’ve already paid him, I didn’t realise you could do this, I’m so upset about the so called work he did, not sure the cement he put down is even going to last, as the Mixture he put down is so Sunday when it rains are a big puddles in this post but shed on it it’s just so on even.😭 I asked if he would rectify it but he did not reply back to me.😡

    1. Hi Lorraine, I’m very sorry to hear you’ve been having problems with a tradesperson. You mentioned Trust a trader in your other comment so I’m not sure if you found the tradesperson there rather than through Rated People? If so, I’d definitely contact Trust a trader’s team for help if you haven’t already done so. I hope things get sorted soon.

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