The South African Reserve Bank Modernises the National Payment System with the DebiCheck Project

The South African Reserve Bank, as part of the modernisation of the national payment system (NPS), embarked on the Authenticated Collections (AC)/DebiCheck project. This project is a first of its kind that seeks to address the increasing levels of abuse in the debit order payment system, known commercially as the early debit order (EDO) payment system.

From 1 May 2021, all new and renegotiated EDO mandates will be originated in the AC/DebiCheck payment system and not in the current EDO payment system. Early debit orders will only be processed through the AC/DebiCheck payment system, while normal debit orders will still be processed later in the day as per current arrangements.

Before the 1 May 2021, consumers would provide a mandate to a company or user to collect money from their bank account. In the new AC/DebiCheck payment system, consumers will provide authorisation to their bank, by way of an authenticated mandate, to release the funds from their account when a debit order is submitted by a company or user from whom they bought goods or contracted for a service.

The AC/DebiCheck payment system was implemented on 1 August 2018. Owing to the complex nature of the AC/DebiCheck system, a lengthy ramp-up period was required to ensure that all stakeholders in the EDO collections ecosystem had implemented and tested their internal processes and interfaces to the AC/DebiCheck payment system. Companies or users of the system had until 1 November 2019 to fully implement the AC/DebiCheck payment system. Since the implementation date, companies or users have been requested to begin using the system for all EDO collections.

The AC/DebiCheck project is an initiative of the collections industry that ensures the safety and efficiency of the NPS, and the mitigation of rogue and fraudulent behavior in the collections system.