E-Mandate System Guide: Benefits, Process & Subscriptions (Updated 2022)

What is e-Mandate Service: e-Mandate Meaning

e-Mandate is a payment service initiated by RBI and the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). It provides the underlying infrastructure for businesses to collect recurring payments in India.

So, essentially, e-mandate means that a customer has given permission to a business to collect recurring payments from their bank account.

And, close on the heels of UPI, e-Mandate/e-NACH is the latest step jump. 

Recurring payments are intrinsic to many businesses – new and old. But, India has lacked a convenient way to process them due to restrictions on two-factor authentication (2FA).

Latest Update: On June 8, 2022, RBI announced that the limit on card e-mandate is raised to Rs 15,000 from Rs 5,000 per transaction. This means that a customer will not need to enter a OTP on recurring payments up to Rs 15,000.

What Are Recurring Payments?

Recurring payments or subscriptions are automatic payments. A customer authorises a service provider to debit a fixed or variable amount from their bank account at regular intervals. 

Recurring payments can find use in various business models.

  • Over-the-top (OTT) Media Services: Online streaming services have revolutionised the way we watch videos and listen to music. Companies like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Spotify etc. are heavily dependent on subscriptions that need to be renewed at fixed intervals. Newsletters and magazines also require a monthly or annually recurring fee
  • SaaS: SaaS businesses are heavily dependent on charging a recurring payment every month which can scale up with use.
  • Financial Services: Loan repayments, investments, and insurance premiums are best paid in recurring intervals.
  • Utility: Telephone bills, electricity bills, cable bills, gym membership etc. come under utilities, which like we already know, are recurring in nature.
  • Retail & e-commerce: Delivery of groceries and ready-made meals. 

Electronic Clearing Service (ECS) Mandate

Prior to the emergence of e-Mandate, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) introduced ECS or Electronic Clearing Service. This process involves submitting a physical form i.e. a mandate to your bank or a company. 

But, this solution isn’t a very efficient one. 

ECS Mandate Process

Systematic Investment Planning (SIP) is one of the most common and preferred ways of investing in mutual funds.

Through ECS, each step involves a prolonged process.

ecs-mutual-fund-mandate-form
  1. Fill your SIP instruction and the mandate form (Add details such as bank account details, scheme name, SIP amount, debit intervals etc.).
  1. Once you submit these forms to your fund house, they will be couriered to your bank.
  1. The bank then verifies your signature, and if accepted, register the ECS debit instructions in their systems. 

This entire process of SIP registration through ECS took anywhere between 25-30 days. And, had more drawbacks:

  • If you want to register a second SIP, You have to go through the entire process again
  • In certain cases, banks would verify your mandate but wouldn’t confirm or deny it to the fund house. This results in the fund house assuming the mandate is registered.
  • When the fund house made your first instalment, there was a possibility of it being rejected if the bank had rejected your mandate earlier
  • If your account has insufficient funds for a particular instalment, banks can levy a charge

This inefficient and prolonged process limited the adoption of ECS.

Looking for a recurring payment platform for your business?
Automate your recurring payment with Cashfree Subscriptions.
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Looking for a recurring payment platform for your business?
Automate your recurring payment with Cashfree Subscriptions.
Contact Us

e-Mandate/e-Nach

NPCI introduced e-Mandate services to reduce processing time, make recurring payments more streamlined and efficient.

With e-Mandate / NACH mandate, one can easily authorize recurring payments by using their Netbanking or Debit card credentials.

e-Mandate Registration Process

The first question that comes up here is this. what is e-Mandate registration?

In simple terms, its a process that allows business to enroll customers for a service/product wherein the customer pays timely fee.

But, how does e Mandate work?

Well, here’s how.

Systematic Investment Planning through e-Mandate is an entirely digital process. In addition, confirmation of the mandate does not take more than a couple of days.

  1. You log into the fund house’s website and fills in the e Mandate form details. (destination bank, account number, debit intervals, etc.)
  1. The fund house checks if the destination bank (customer’s bank), is registered by the NPCI for mandate creation.
  1. The customer is redirected to the NPCI’s page and then to the destination bank’s authentication website.
  1. Customer authenticates the mandate by using Netbanking credentials.
  1. Bank verifies the account number entered on the fund house’s website with the Netbanking credentials.
  1. The bank displays the mandate filled by the customer and provides an option between accepting and rejecting.
  1. Once accepted, you’re redirected to the NPCI’s website and then back to the fund house’s website. Here the status of mandate approval will be shown.
  1. The mandate is confirmed at the end of the day.

That’s the whole flow, without the need for any physical process. 

e-Mandate Advantage Over ECS mandate

  • It activates in a day, unlike 25-30 days for ECS
  • No need to submit a fresh mandate for the second SIP in a particular fund house. only one-time mandate (OTM) is required.
  • Authentication requires just the net banking credentials
  • If there are insufficient funds in the customer’s account the transaction will not be made. Therefore, no charges are levied
  • Low regulatory concerns

Benefits Of e-Mandate/e-NACH For Merchants And Customers

Merchants

Customer retention

With just one-time digital authentication, e-Mandate allows you to auto-debit your customer’s account at the start of every billing cycle.

This process reduces the burden on the customer to authenticate a recurring payment at regular intervals and allows them to enjoy your products and services.

Reduction in administrative costs

drastic reduction in the cost related to invoicing and having to keep up and chase late payments from customers.

Accounting is easier when the whole process is paperless and digital.

Security

Your customer’s data is safe, as the PCI compliance will be strictly managed by your payment solutions provider.

Customers

Undisturbed services

Authenticate your subscription once and enjoy uninterrupted service at any time; No constant payment reminders.

Flexible options

Subscriptions allow a customer to purchase a plan suitable for their needs.

With a variety of options, inclusions and easy termination, it provides an optimal user experience. 

Simplicity

Authentication is a simple process. All you need is your Netbanking credentials, and you’re good to go. 

Cashfree Subscriptions

Companies of all sizes face this question, “Do we buy or build billing solution?”

Cashfree Subscriptions powers you to enable recurring payment schedule, control the billing cycle and get instant alerts on subscription activity. 

All you have to do is link Subscription plans that suit your business model and customers, let Cashfree take care of the rest.

How To Enable E-Mandate with Cashfree Payments API Or Dashboard

  1. The registration process which used to happen physically is moving over to an API based e Mandate, and this will work across multiple banks.
  1. Debiting of accounts registered prior to the release of e-Mandate still happen over file transfers. And, the process hasn’t changed.

Cashfree brings to you an easy set of APIs which take care of both the above points. 

We will help business accept subscriptions/mandates from their customers, and help them get their money on time. 

Businesses don’t have to worry about the above points separately. We provide an integrated subscription service right from customer authorisation to final payment. And, all of this happens over easy to use APIs. 

In fact, businesses can also use our solution without writing any code, by using just the dashboard. 

How does Cashfree Subscriptions work?

Subscription Management works in 3 simple steps.

  1. Create a plan
  2. Add subscribers
  3. Authorize

Subscriptions Payment Modes

List of payment modes supported for recurring payments.

  • Credit and Debit Cards
  • Nach Mandate or e Mandate
  • UPI Autopay

Cashfree Subscriptions Features

We have powerful features which your business can leverage.

  • No need for coding- Create subscription plans from dashboard and add users via link. Links can be shared over Whatsapp, SMS or email
  • Offer trial periods to customers
  • Offer the kind of recurring payment that suits your business. On-time fee, fixed or consumption based subscription models.
  • Webhook support to notify you of any new subscriptions, payments, or cancellations.
  • Advanced analytics that help you extract data 
  • Multi-user support on Cashfree Payments dashboard
Looking for a recurring payment platform for your business?
Automate your recurring payment with Cashfree Subscriptions.
Contact Us
Looking for a recurring payment platform for your business?
Automate your recurring payment with Cashfree Subscriptions.
Contact Us

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the types of subscription models merchants can offer through e-Mandate?

Merchants can choose to offer any of these 3 e Mandate models:

  1. Fixed Model: Here, the customer has to pay a pre-decided fee for the subscription service after a specified period. For instance, a Netflix subscription can cost INR 300 per month.
  2. Pay per Consumption Model: Here, the customer pays on the basis of their consumptions or units. For instance, a  customer’s electricity bill will depend on teh number of units consumed. 
  3. Hybrid Model: In this model, the customer may need to pay a fixed price and then further fee on the basis of consumption. For instance, a a private fitness trainer may charge INR 1000 for 30 sessions. Further, they may charge INR 400 per session.

Cashfree Payments enables you to enable recurring payments for any model that suits yours business needs.

What is e-Mandate in mutual funds?

E Mandate in mutual funds is just a payment method. It allows mutual fund houses and asset management companies to enable recurring payments. 

What are e-Mandate charges?

The NACH e Mandate charges are dependent on 2 variables.

  1. The Price for Mandate Creation
  2. The Price Per Debit

As of now, the price for mandate creation is Rs. 5 with Cashfree Payments. Furthermore, the price per debit is Rs. 5 as well.

Click to know more about our payment gateway charges.

How to cancel e-Mandate?

As a merchant, you can easily head to Cashfree Payments dashboard and cancel a customer’s subscription.

You can also choose to edit that subscription and upgrade or downgrade the plan they have opted for.

If the customer chooses to cancel or edit a subscription status, you will get real-time notifications through webhooks.