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.
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.
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).
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.
Are you a tradesperson wanting more information, or to set up an account? Head here.
For specific questions on Protected Payments, check out our FAQs.
To watch our video Q&A about the scheme, head here.
View the results of our payment survey, here.