The Canadian Direct Debit scheme has strict requirements for sending notifications to customers. For you as a merchant, it’s important to understand exactly what kind of notifications you need to send, and how to handle them. Our guide will walk you through the process, helping you design fully compliant customer notifications that you can send to your customers yourself.
Direct Debit notifications fall into two categories, which can be sent together:
- Direct Debit setup confirmation
- Payment notifications (also known as ‘advance notice’)
Direct Debit Instruction setup confirmation
A Direct Debit setup confirmation tells your customer that their Direct Debit Instruction has been set up correctly. Your customer must receive this within no less than three working days prior to their first payment being charged. You can send the Pre-Authorized Debit agreement setup confirmation by email or post.
To be compliant and provide the best customer experience, a Pre-Authorized Debit agreement confirmation must include the following information:
- The heading “Important: Confirmation of the setup of your Pre-Authorized Debit agreement to [Merchant]”
- Your 'Merchant name' through which the customer's payments will be processed
- The payer's redacted bank details, the name of their bank, the Pre-Authorized Debit reference and the name registered against the authorisation
- The email address and phone number of the merchant
- A link to a copy of the mandate PDF and terms and conditions
The below image shows an example mandate setup confirmation email, which includes all of the above details:
A payment notification tells your customer when they can expect a single payment or stream of regular payments to leave their account. Just like Pre-Authorized Debit setup confirmations, payment notifications are mandatory within the Canadian Direct Debit scheme. You can send them by email or post.
To be compliant, a payment notification must be received by the payer a minimum of 2 business days prior to the payment being charged, and must include the following information:
- The name of the business charging the customer
- Semi-redacted (asterisked) customer (payer) bank account details and name of the customer's bank
- The amount, reference and date of the collection(s)
- How much notice will be given for future payments (if this is the first notification)
- The contact email address and phone number of the merchant
- Link to "Read the Privacy Notice"
The below image shows an example one-off payment notification email, which includes all of the above details:
For subscription payments, where the frequency and amount remain the same, you can send a single payment notification email to cover the entire subscription. Here’s an example:
Customer notifications and GoCardless
GoCardless offers fully compliant emails that can be sent on your behalf. Alternatively, if you want to send your own emails, you can do this using GoCardless Pro with our API. We’ll work with you to make sure your emails comply with Direct Debit scheme rules, and give you final approval on behalf of our sponsor bank.