• What is DebiCheck?

    Most South Africans agree that debit orders are a convenient way to pay their accounts. However, over the past number of years, debit order abuse has become a major issue in South Africa. Some companies have been processing invalid debit orders to consumer bank accounts without the consumer’s consent, and some consumers have avoided paying their debit orders that are valid by unfairly questioning and reversing these debit orders with their banks.

    As a result, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) asked the Payments Association of South Africa (PASA), whose members include the South African banks, to find a solution. And so, DebiCheck was introduced. A DebiCheck debit order is a new debit order electronically confirmed by the consumer, with their bank or service provider, on a once-off basis, at the start of a new contract that has been signed up with a company. DebiCheck is a new way in which the consumer can control how certain debit order collections are made from their bank account. DebiCheck ensures that consumers are in control of and aware of debit orders being processed to their bank account. Additionally, it provides the company or service provider that consumers are dealing with, with the comfort of knowing that the consumer has acknowledged and is aware of these debit orders. It also allows the consumer’s bank to capture the debit order information by checking the information before the debit order is processed. DebiCheck puts the control back into the consumer’s hands, giving consumers the comfort of knowing that DebiCheck debit orders must be processed within the agreed conditions that have been agreed to.

    With the DebiCheck process, the consumer will confirm the debit order request once, at the start of the contract. This is done to inform the consumer’s bank that permission has been granted for the money to be taken from the consumer’s account. This means that the bank will now know the details of what the consumer has agreed to with the service provider or company and will not allow a DebiCheck debit order to be processed outside the terms that have been agreed to by the consumer.

    Many companies or service providers have chosen to go the DebiCheck route and will continue to do so over time. Therefore, not all new debit orders will be affected at the same time, and not all debit orders will be a DebiCheck debit order. Consumers will need to check with the company or service provider whether their debit order is a DebiCheck debit order.

  • What would be expected from consumers?

    • Consumers must ensure that their bank has their correct mobile phone number. This is since consumers will initially need to approve their debit order on a once-off basis. Should the details of the DebiCheck debit order change over time, such as the payment date or amount, then the consumer may need to approve the debit order once again, if they are happy with the changes. Should the consumer not agree with the changes, then the consumer has the right to decline the DebiCheck debit order request. Should there not be any changes to the DebiCheck debit order, the consumer will not be asked to approve or decline the request.

    • Should the consumer receive a request from their bank to either approve or decline the DebiCheck debit order, the consumer must not ignore the request if they no longer want the debit order to continue. Should this be the case in that the consumer wants to change or terminate the contract, the consumer would need to contact the company or service provider they have taken the contract out with and request that the debit order be changed or cancelled. Unfortunately, the bank will not be able to assist in this regard since the contract is between the company or service provider, and not with the bank.

    • The DebiCheck process has been simplified by the banks to make it easier for the consumer to approve or decline a DebiCheck debit order. Most banks provide a choice of the various channels available to consumers, such as mobile banking, internet banking, ATM or going into the branch.

  • Will my bank send me a link to confirm my DebiCheck debit order or ask me to send my bank details, card PIN or password?

    No, your bank will never send you a link or ask that you provide your card PIN, password or personal details. You must always keep these safe. A request like this may be a form of phishing. If you are worried, please check with your bank.

     

  • Is DebiCheck safe to use?

    The Debicheck system was designed by banks and according to the prescribed industry standards. The system is therefore secure. Your bank will communicate how you can securely and electronically confirm your debit orders. You will therefore need to ensure that your bank has your updated cell phone number and that all your contact details with the bank are up to date.

     

  • Will DebiCheck allow me to cancel my debit order?

    You will be able to suspend your DebiCheck debit order with your bank, which means the debit order will not be processed to your account in future. You should still contact your service provider to confirm that you are cancelling the debit order though. Suspending the debit order with your bank does not cancel the contract that you have. This is something that would have to be done directly with the company.

     

  • Is it a new type of debit order?

    Yes, DebiCheck is a new type of debit order. It is a debit order which you have electronically confirmed the debit order information, with your bank.

     

  • Will it require extra effort and time?

    Yes. It will require you to check the message that your bank sends you to ensure the debit order information is correct and then to confirm the information in the way your bank requires. It may be as simple as pressing confirm on your banking app, typing in a ‘1’ on a USSD string or typing in a code on your cellphone. The way in which you can confirm your DebiCheck debit order will be communicated to you by your bank. It is therefore important that your contact details, especially your cellphone number, is up to date with your bank.

     

  • Why is it important for the bank to have my correct cellphone number?

    Although not the only way, one of the primary means of contacting you to perform a DebiCheck confirmation will likely be through your cellphone. Remember, DebiCheck is all about putting you in control and allowing you to confirm your DebiCheck debit orders directly with your bank. For this to happen, your bank has to know which number to contact you on.

     

  • Will I have to go into the bank branch to do a DebiCheck confirmation?

    Not necessarily. You will be able to go to your branch, but you won’t HAVE to. Your bank will make a number of options available for you to electronically confirm your DebiCheck debit order, for example on your cellphone or internet banking.

  • How will it work?

    DebiCheck allows you to confirm the debit order info with your bank, at the start of the contract, on a once-off basis. To understand the process better please refer back to the video at the start of our DebiCheck website page, or you may access the ‘How DebiCheck works’ link also to be found on our website.

     

  • How much is it going to disturb me during work?

    DebiCheck only requires your confirmation once off, at the start of the contract or when the confirmed information changes afterwards. You won’t need to confirm the details every month. Therefore, it really won’t be a disturbance at all.

     

  • Do I have to confirm my DebiCheck every month?

    No, only at the start of your contract. Or, if any of the information you confirmed originally, changes.

     

  • Why do I need to confirm my debit order again if I have already signed a contract with the service provider?

    DebiCheck allows you to confirm the details of your debit order with your bank, which in turn allows your bank to know what you have confirmed. Your bank will therefore be able to verify the debit order information before the debit order is processed to your account.

     

  • Does it mean that if the company does not participate in DebiCheck, I will not be protected?

    No, as a consumer, you are always protected. Irrespective of the type of debit order, there always has to be a mandate in place that you have agreed to.

     

  • Where can I find more information about DebiCheck?

    Your bank as well as the service provider or company that is using DebiCheck for their debit orders will be able to assist you with any questions you may have.

  • Is this another service provided by the bank?

    DebiCheck is a type of debit order and is a bank product, used by companies and consumers.

     

  • Is there a mobile application for DebiCheck?

    No, there is no separate mobile application for DebiCheck.

     

  • Is it similar to RICA and FICA?

    No, this is not similar to RICA or FICA. Although, if your bank does not have your correct cellphone number, it may cause some difficultly. Therefore, please ensure that your details are up to date with your bank. It is in your best interest and will ensure that it is easy to confirm a new DebiCheck debit order.

     

  • Is DebiCheck a third party between me and the bank?

    No DebiCheck is not a separate company / third party. DebiCheck is the name of a new type of debit order that was developed by the South African banks.

     

  • Who made this decision and why?

    There has been a rise in Debit Order fraud. This includes money being taken from consumers’ accounts without permission as well as consumers arguing and reversing debit orders that they rightfully owe.
    For these reasons, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) decided to change the debit order process and during 2013 instructed the Payments Association (PASA) and the banks to address these issues. DebiCheck aims to address both of these issues by introducing consumer confirmation for all DebiCheck debit orders. 

  • What is the difference between DebiCheck debit orders and other debit orders?

    DebiCheck debit orders are debit orders that you will confirm, electronically and on a once off basis at the start of your agreement. Its purpose is for you to confirm the details of the debit order with your bank before money gets withdrawn from it. Other debit orders are not confirmed in this way, although you still need to have the valid contract info in place.

  • What does ‘electronically confirm’ mean?

    To electronically confirm your debit order means that you confirm the details of your debit order on an electronic device such as your cell phone, your bank app, your personal computer or perhaps an ATM. Your bank will let you know which options are available for you to use.

  • Why the need to electronically confirm debit orders?

    It 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. It also allows your bank to capture the debit order info and to check the information before they process from the withdrawal.

  • Why is it important for me as a consumer?

    DebiCheck puts the control in your hands. You will have the comfort of knowing that DebiCheck debit orders must be processed within the agreed conditions that you have confirmed.

  • How is DebiCheck different from what we have now?

    DebiCheck allows you to confirm the debit order info with your bank, at the start of the contract. This means that your bank will now have a record of all DebiCheck debit orders and will be able to verify the info before the debit order is processed to your account. Currently, banks do not have record of your debit orders and therefore cannot verify that the debit order information is correct before they process your debit order.

  • How often will I need to confirm my DebiCheck debit order?

    You will only need to confirm your debit order info at the start of the contract. However, if the debit order info that you confirmed changes, your bank will ask you to confirm the new info.

  • What do I need to do as a consumer?

    For existing debit orders – nothing. For new DebiCheck debit orders, you will need to check and confirm the new debit order info in the way requested by your bank. This could either be in person (face-to-face), using online banking or your banking app or remotely by call centre or a request sent via your mobile phone.

  • What education will I receive as a consumer to ensure I understand the process?

    Your bank as well as the service provider or company that is using DebiCheck for their debit orders will be able to assist you with any questions you may have.

  • Will all my debit orders have mandates?

    All debit orders processed against your bank account must have mandates, but may not necessarily be subject to DebiCheck confirmation. No debit orders can be processed to your bank account without a mandate.

  • How can I ensure all my debit orders are mandated?

    It is important to remember that all debit orders must have mandates. Check your bank statement regularly to ensure you are aware of all debit orders that are being processed to your account. Also make sure that you have given a mandate for each of those debit orders. For DebiCheck debit orders, your bank will now also have an electronic confirmation of you agreeing with the debit order information of each mandate.

  • Can I choose which debit orders must be electronically confirmed using DebiCheck?

    As a consumer, unfortunately not. Companies who use the debit order system choose whether they want to use DebiCheck, or not. If they choose to use DebiCheck, you will receive an electronic request to confirm the debit order information. If not, you just need to ensure you have a signed paper or telephonically approved (voice) recorded mandate.

  • Why can’t I use DebiCheck for ALL debit orders?

    This is definitely a long term goal for the South African Reserve Bank and the Payment Association of South Africa. Unfortunately, due to the number of debit orders and entities involved in these processes, this will have to be done in a phased approach.

  • How do I know that the company that is debiting my bank account is part of the new system?

    Debit orders requiring electronic confirmation with your bank are called DebiCheck debit orders. You can enquire from the company that your debit order is with, whether or not they are part of the DebiCheck system. If you are not required to electronically confirm the debit order information with your bank, at the start of your contract, the company that you are dealing with is not using DebiCheck for this debit order.

  • What bank fees are associated with DebiCheck debit orders?

    For more information on bank fees, please contact your bank directly.

  • What are the telecommunication / cellphone costs associated with DebiCheck?

    Telecommunication / cellphone costs will depend on a number of factors, for example whether you use the USSD option or your banking app to confirm the DebiCheck. It will also depend on your mobile network costs.