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Introduction to Direct Debit Mandates

Chris Hooper
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Last editedApr 20231 min read

Direct Debit - also known as ACH Debit or bank debit - requires a mandate to be set up. This guide explains what they are, what they look like, and how you can set one up.

What is a Direct Debit mandate?

To collect Direct Debit payments - also known as ACH payments - you need to set up a mandate. This is an authorization from your customer to collect future payments from them when they are due. It is also known as a Direct Debit instruction.

What a Direct Debit mandate looks like

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How to collect Direct Debit payments with GoCardless


Create your free GoCardless account, access your user-friendly payments dashboard & connect your accounting software (if you use one).


Easily set up & schedule Direct Debit payments via payment pages on your website checkout or secure payment links.


From now on you'll get paid on time, every time, as GoCardless automatically collects payment on the scheduled date. Simple.

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How can I set up a Direct Debit mandate?

Step 1 - Prepare a mandate form and give it to your customer

To set up a Direct Debit mandate, your customer will need to complete a mandate form. The three most common ways to do so are by:

  • Paper - A paper Direct Debit Instruction form can be completed by your customer and returned to you.

  • Telephone - Your customer's details can be collected over the phone, using a bank-approved script.

  • Online - An electronic mandate form can be completed by your customer.

Step 2 - Customers complete, sign, and return the mandate

Once your customer completes the form, they must return it to you - via the means above - so that you have a record of it.

GoCardless makes it easy for you to set up a mandate with:

  • Your own branded payment page - This payment page is a securely hosted online form which you can brand.

  • A link which you can share via email, or from your website - You can send the link to the payment page to your customers via email, or embed it into your own website. Customers can then complete the form online in seconds.

Step 3 - Submit the completed mandate to the bank

The mandate will become active once consent is provided.

GoCardless submits any mandates on your behalf. You just need to tell us when you want to collect by. To find out about how this differs for banks and bureaus, check out our 60 second guide to accessing the DD scheme.

Over 85,000 businesses use GoCardless to get paid on time. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

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Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

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