How South Africa’s new debit order system works

The South African Reserve Bank implemented its DebiCheck payment system this week to tighten measures against debit order fraud and abuse.

The change means that all new and renegotiated early debit orders must be processed through the DebiCheck System. This will add another layer of protection for consumers, limiting the opportunities for debit order fraud.

John Anderson, head of Schemes and Industry Payments at Standard Bank, said that DebiCheck is a secure debit order payment system that allows customers to electronically verify and approve their debit order details.

“A DebiCheck debit order is one that you confirm, electronically on a once-off basis, at the start of your contract, or if amendments are made on your existing contract.

“Its purpose is for you to confirm the details of the debit order with your bank before it is processed to your bank account.”

Anderson said that the DebiCheck process works as follows:

  • Upon setting up a new debit order with a service provider Standard Bank will send customers an SMS to approve the new DebiCheck mandate.
  • If the details of the contract are correct (e.g date, amount, and frequency of the debit order), the customer can electronically confirm the debit order mandate supplied.
  • Only if the customer confirms the details, will the debit order be processed via the DebiCheck system against their account.
  • If the customer rejects the DebiCheck mandate, the debit order will not go through as a DebiCheck.
  • Should the customer’s confirmed details differ from the debit order collection request, the bank will not process the collection.

To receive the DebiCheck SMS notification, Anderson said that Standard Bank must have the customer’s latest cellphone number on their system.

“Confirming your debit order electronically ensures that you are in control of and aware of debit orders being processed to your bank account.

“Additionally, it provides the company that you are dealing with, with the comfort of knowing that you have acknowledged and are aware of these debit orders.

“Finally, it also allows Standard Bank to record the debit order information and to check the information before we process the debit order to your account.

“All of this adds much-needed layers of protection to the debit order process,” he said Anderson.


Read: South Africa’s new debit order system in full effect from May

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How South Africa’s new debit order system works