Fintech startup Direct Debit recently launched E-Mandate, a valid electronic agreement that allows customers to sign and authorise debit orders and recurring payment transactions online from any web-enabled device.
Jaco van Wyk, co-founder of Direct Debit says, “E-Mandate is a business-to-business fintech solution that allows customers to sign an electronic debit order mandate with a mouse, stylus or their finger, thereby giving debit order authority to the business. Previously, the sign-up process came to a grinding halt as the business had to wait to receive paper or voice authorisations. Customers are now able to sign up easily and quickly. The electronic signature gives instant debit order, card not present or recurring credit card authority.”
E-Mandate has received approval from the Payments Association of South Africa (PASA) and its sponsoring financial institution Mercantile Bank.
Van Wyk says, “Since we recently began offering electronic debit orders, the take up has been from businesses that want to go from offline to online sales or from once-off product sales to subscriptions. Our biggest response has been from businesses offering insurance products such as funeral cover and life insurance, non-profit organisations wanting to automate online and face-to-face donations as well as from IT companies. E-Mandate is useful for any business that wants to create an annuity or recurring income stream.”
In the past, a customer could sign documents electronically but the challenge came when authority for banking level transactions was required. Van Wyk says, “We had to work hard to get our solution approved by PASA. Thanks to the groundwork we have done, PASA now makes provision for customer authorisations using voice, paper and electronic means. Our E-Mandate agreement is the first of its kind in South Africa. It’s quick and simple for businesses to offer this to their customers.”
E-Mandate is a gold member of AlphaCode, a club for fintech entrepreneurs. Chipo Mushwana, Head of Ecosystem Development and Strategy at AlphaCode says, “The E-mandate solution is ideal for monetising any startup business or adding value to enterprise business. The solution allows both individuals and businesses to save on costs and lengthy waiting periods associated with the signing of paper based debit order mandates. We are excited by this offering because it is the true essence of fintech: making financial services easier, affordable and more accessible.”
After completing and signing the E-Mandate form, both the business and the customer receive a copy of the agreement that is stored in the cloud for seven years, as set out by PASA. Every E-Mandate can be customised to meet a business’s branding requirements.
E-Mandate integrates with Direct Debit’s offering as well as with SnapBill, an online billing system that allows businesses to process sales online. Direct Debit offers debit order facilities to process bank account and credit card debit orders. Together, E-Mandate, Direct Debit and SnapBill offer a comprehensive payment system called GetCashflow, a solution for businesses needing an integrated billing system from invoices through to payments. Integration with accounting and other platforms is available.
E-Mandate costs between R399 and R999 per month depending on the size and requirements of the business.