Localink, the direct debit service designed to help newsagents struggling to finance their paper rounds, is generating “many thousands” of direct debit collections each month.

The number of newsagents on board had “increased steadily” since the scheme launched a year ago, according to Localink MD Stefan Wojciechowski.

Newsagents were also having “far fewer” negative conversations with customers over unpaid bills, he claimed.

“We are learning more and more about Localink as it continues to provide improved liquidity for newsagents while delivering a more professional service for consumers,” he said.

Wojciechowski added that he was developing a solution to link Localink collections with EPoS systems. Regional publisher Archant has also been backing the scheme by encouraging newsagents to offer customers a direct debit option.

Localink was set up last year after research found newsagents were having to personally finance paper rounds because their customers took five to six weeks to pay for their bills when wholesalers demanded weekly payments.