Direct Debit

All you need to know about creating, activating and debiting a mandate.

Getting started

Direct debit is a payment method that allows an account holder to grant authorization for a biller or lender to take money from their bank account for services as of when due. Direct debit is similar to debit cards in its ability to debit a customer’s account with prior authorization.

Direct debit helps businesses that require recurring payments on specific dates with fixed amounts, such as insurance premiums, loan repayments, service subscriptions, or variable recurring payments on different dates (e.g., postpaid lines, and electricity usage).

This direct debit API facilitates the process for Service Providers (referred to as Billers) to generate debit mandate instructions on their client's/customers' bank accounts for services rendered or products sold.

These debit mandate instructions are created as digital versions of physical instructions duly signed by the account owners (clients/customers). Once generated, the mandate instructions are automatically sent to the bank where the account is held for review and approval. The approval process requires the bank to contact the account owner to authorize the mandate, which typically takes 24 to 48 hours.

The system automatically assigns a unique mandate code to each initiated mandate. This mandate code is used to initiate a direct debit transaction on the bank account associated with the debit mandate instruction.

This document provides a comprehensive overview and detailed specifications of the Direct Debit APIs, including all the necessary information for seamless integration into your respective applications.

Direct debit process

Direct debit mandates follow a streamlined process that may take at least 2 hours from activation to when they are available for debits. These steps are:

  • Mandate creation

  • Mandate activation

  • Setup for debit

  • Transactions

Mandate creation

The first step is the creation of mandate using the API defined in this collection. As soon as the mandate is created, you should inform the customer of the next steps about how to activate the mandate.

From a best practices point of view, the customer should be informed on your app, by email, and SMS.

Mandate activation

Activation of the mandate is usually done by the transfer of a N50 (or N100 for banks where the minimum transfer amount is N100) to designated bank accounts operated by NIBSS. The customer has 168 hours (7 days) to send this amount if not the mandate is automatically canceled.

Immediately the activation amount is received at either of the banks, the mandate is automatically activated. However, it is not available for debit at this time.

Banks for mandate activation

The following are the authorized banks which customers should use for direct debit mandate activation.

Fidelity Bank

Paystack Titan

Account: 9020025928 Bank: Fidelity Bank Plc. You can transfer from USSD, mobile app or internet banking

Account: 9880218357 Bank: Paystack-Titan You can transfer from your mobile app and internet banking

Setup for debit

There are usually some backend processes done by NIBSS that then processes the accounts for debit and this may take up to 2 hours before completion. If you try to debit the mandate before this time, it would return an error message such as "do not honor".

Authorization

Bearer TokenThis folder is using Bearer Token from collectionAdjutor API Service

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