DebiCheck and everything around this new payment platform has been a source of much conversation and debate. We sat down with Vaughn Hechter, Head of Customer Services for NuPay to find out exactly what DebiCheck is, why it has been introduced and why your business can’t afford not to be DebiCheck ready. 

What is DebiCheck? 

Vaughn begins our discussion by providing a short explanation of what DebiCheck is: “DebiCheck is a new payment platform that has been created to combat fraud in regard to consumer accounts. To give an example of the current fraud predicament facing the market, think of call centres that are charging the so called ‘R99,00 transaction’ that has been making headlines for some time now.”  

Vaughn Hechter, Head of Customer Services for NuPay

He goes on to say that: “In DebiCheck, a platform has been created where all consumers have to approve or authenticate a transaction before it can be processed against their account. There are a number of ways available for consumers to authenticate these transactions, including swiping a card and entering a PIN on a terminal (which is the easiest and least disruptive method, while also being the most secure), or responding to a request from the bank to authenticate the transaction via the relevant bank’s app, internet banking, ATM, USSD or in a branch of the bank.”

Why is DebiCheck here?

Hechter explains that the need for the DebiCheck payment platform was identified when the Payments Association of South Africa (PASA) launched an investigation into disputes that showed that there was substantial debit order abuse, especially in the following two forms:

1. Rogue businesses that were randomly debiting accounts with fraudulent transactions, and

2. Consumers disputing transactions processed against their accounts, with the aim to manage their cash flow, despite the debits being legitimate.

By introducing DebiCheck into the market, role players hope to eradicate debit order abuse within the payment system.

Why is it so important to get on board and use the DebiCheck system?

During our discussion on what DebiCheck is and why it is being introduced, we also asked Vaughn why it is so important for merchants to start using this system. He starts off by using the following analogy: “Imagine you are told that all motor vehicles are being discontinued and you will only be able to travel if you can fly an airplane. The problem is – you have never flown an airplane before… There is no way that you can simply grab your bag the next morning and set-off to fly your airplane – you have to learn to fly first.”

The reality is that AEDO and NAEDO will be discontinued on the 1st of May 2021. To use the airplane analogy – merchants will have to fly this new airplane called DebiCheck from the 2nd of May 2021, whether they are ready for it or not. 

Hechter reiterates that it is critically important for businesses to start using the DebiCheck platform immediately in order to iron out any questions and concerns they might have, and most importantly – understand the difference between EDO and DebiCheck before the cut-off date. 

He concludes our discussion by saying that it’s understandable for business owners to be nervous and even a little sceptical of this change. However, the long-term benefits for both merchant and consumer far outweigh the teething problems.