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EG-ACH Direct Debit

Introduction

A Direct Debit is a quick, easy and convenient method of making regular payments (e.g. bills, installments, subscriptions, etc…) without having to visit a bank. Direct Debit is used throughout the world and is acknowledged as one of the most cost effective and efficient methods of processing regular and periodic payments.

What Companies Use the Direct Debit Scheme?

Direct Debits are used for bill collection throughout the world, by insurance, utilities, finance, service suppliers, automobile, and other companies that receive regular and periodic payments. It is generally acknowledged by Originators to be the most cost effective and efficient method of bill collection.

Who is involved

  • The Creditor (Biller or Originator): The Company that provides the goods or services
  • The Creditor Bank: The bank who host the Biller account
  • The Debtor (Customer or Payer): The Bank customer who wishes to pay the bills and whose account is to be debited
  • Mandate Processor: In charge of collecting the Mandates from the banks and converting them to electronic mandates
  • Mandate Portal: The Mandate Portal is the system where Mandates are hosted
  • The Debtor Bank: The Bank holding the Payer’s account, which is to be debited
  • EBC: The operator of the EG-ACH network, who will perform routing, clearing, and dispute resolution

What is a Direct Debit Mandate?

A Direct Debit Mandate is an instruction from a customer to his bank authorizing a specific organization, known as the Originator, to collect varying amounts from his account in settlement of outstanding bills for goods or services provided.

Mandate Types:

Currently there are two types of EG-ACH Direct Debit Mandate. Both Mandate types are standard and governed by the scheme, the form of standard Mandate is approved and published by EBC to all participants as they will be obliged to use EG-ACH Direct Debit standard Mandate form in order use the Direct Debit Service.
The Debtor could sign any type of Mandate form based on his agreement with the Creditor:

  • Irrevocable Mandate
  • Revocable Mandate

In the event of an inconsistency between the Mandate terms and condition stated in the Rulebook, and the Mandate terms and conditions stated in the latest version of the Mandate announced and officially published by EBC, the provisions of the latest terms and conditions stated in the Mandate shall prevail the Mandate terms and condition stated in this Rulebook.

Irrevocable Mandate

The irrevocable Mandate has the following characteristics:

  • All Debit transactions initiated by the Creditor based on the Irrevocable Mandate shall be irrevocable transaction and could not be subject to refund upon Debtor request.
  • Payment frequency as per the underlying payment terms and conditions stated in the signed contract between the Creditor and the Debtor, such contract is not governed by the scheme.
  • Mandate shall not be cancelled without mutual agreement between the Debtor and the Creditor.
  • In the event that the Creditor has misused the Irrevocable Mandate, the Debtor could submit a claim to EBC through the Debtor bank.
  • EBC shall provide dispute service to EG-ACH Participants. Dispute process may be used for resolving Unresolved Issues that arise in respect of the Irrevocable Mandate and relevant Direct Debit transactions between the Debtor/Debtor Bank and the Creditor/Creditor Bank, the following issues shall be subject to dispute:
    • The Debtor decides to dispute Direct Debit transaction due to a breach occurs by the Creditor to the Mandate terms and conditions.
    • The Debtor submits an Irrevocable Mandate cancellation request.
  • Dispute is applicable for the Irrevocable Mandate and relevant Direct Debit transactions only under the terms and conditions stated in the Dispute rules document shared and announced by EBC.

Revocable Mandate

The Revocable Mandate has the following characteristics:

  • All Debit transactions initiated by the Creditor based on the Revocable Mandate shall be subject to refund upon Debtor request.
  • Payment frequency should be defined in the Mandate; the debtor must specify the payment frequency upon signing the Mandate.
  • Mandate could be cancelled upon Debtor request from the Debtor Bank.

How to Become a Registered Biller

The biller submits a request to his bank in order to become his sponsor bank and if the bank accepts to sponsor the biller, the bank will assist the biller to fill the registration form and submit it to EBC then the biller will receive his unique OIN.

How to initiate a Direct Debit Transaction

  1. Become a registered biller
    • Only a biller could initiate a Direct Debit Transaction through the sponsor bank (Creditor Bank)
  2. Collect Mandates
  3. Activate collected mandates through Debtor Bank
  4. Initiate Direct Debit Transaction
  5. Represent uncollected transaction

Direct Debit Mandate Cycle

  • The Creditor invites the Payer to pay his bills by using the automated Direct Debit Scheme.
  • The Debtor agrees to use the scheme, completes and signs a Direct Debit mandate form.
  • Creditor dematerialize the physical Mandate into electronic Mandate on the Centralized Mandate Portal System.
  • The Creditor sends the completed physical Direct Debit Mandate to the Debtor Bank.
  • The Debtor Bank then records the fact that the Debtor has given permission to the Creditor to debit his account subject to the terms of the Mandate he has signed and activate the relevant electronic Mandate

Direct Debit Transcation Cycle

  • The Creditor starts presenting Direct Debits to the customer’s account
  • The Debtor Bank debits the Payer’s account (the account nominated in the mandate), and the Originator’s account is credited
  • Direct Debits can be presented for payment for as long as the Mandate remains validThe Creditors Direct Debit File should contain the following info per collection (name, bank account, UMR, amount of collection and purpose transaction reason)

Is it Safe?

Yes, the scheme is completely safe and is sponsored and governed by EBC. Customers need not be concerned about signing a Mandate allowing bills to be paid directly from their accounts, as the scheme rules guarantee a refund if any incorrect amounts are deducted. In fact, it is safer paying by direct debit than by cash or checks because of the scheme guarantee. Originators are bound by the Direct Debit scheme rules, and consequently may only submit debits to a customer account strictly in accordance with the terms of their contracts with them.

Seeking Refunds

Payers can at any time question the validity of a direct debit applied to their accounts. If a customer wishes to make a claim, he should contact his bank and provide them with the relevant details. He should also complete the Direct Debit claim form, which will be available at the bank. If it is proven that an error has been made by the Originator or the bank, the Payer will receive a full and immediate refund under the terms of the Direct Debit scheme rules.

References

  1. EG-ACH Direct Debit Quick References
  2. EG-ACH Direct Debit Presentation
  3. EG-ACH Direct Debit Window timing
  4. EG-ACH Direct Debit Irrevocable Mandate
  5. EG-ACH Direct Debit Revocable Mandate