Direct Debit (Fire&Forget)

Continuous Authority Drawdown

The Direct Debit Continuous Authority Service enables you to automatically collect regular payments from any valid Direct Debit Instruction on your MasterCard Payment Gateway Services account, without needing to design a system to submit the individual drawdown requests to the DPG.

 Creating a Direct Debit Continuous Authority Account

For each DDI which requires regular payments to be taken, a Direct Debit Continuous Authority account is set up on the DPG. This account contains the details of the frequency and value of regular payments. You may also configure each account with a different amount to be used for the first and/or last payment, and these payments can be taken on specific dates.

Collecting Payments

Each working day the DPG will look at each of your Direct Debit Continuous Authority accounts to see if any payments are due. For each payment which is found, a drawdown will be generated. You will receive an email notifying you of all drawdowns generated on that particular day. The DPG will then settle the drawdowns.

Merchant Requirements

Before you can go live with this service, you will need the following:

  • a MasterCard Payment Gateway Services Account configured for this service

  • existing DDIs set up on this account with the Direct Debit Service

  • the ability to send XML transactions to the DPG

  • an email address for the DPG to send drawdown notifications to

Transaction Processing Models

There are many different ways in which the Direct Debit Continuous Authority Service can be implemented. Each account can be set up to create drawdowns in one of these frequencies:

  • Weekly - payments will be taken on a particular day of the week

  • Monthly - payments taken on a particular day of the month

  • Quarterly - payments taken on a particular day every three months

  • Annually - payments will be taken on a particular day each year

Using these, the regular payments will be taken from your customer's account. If a particular payment date falls on a non-business day, the payment will be taken on the next available date. For example: if monthly payments are taken on the 31st of the month, the payment which was due in February would be taken on the next business day, nominally 1-Mar.

As well as the frequency of payments, the number of regular payments to be taken from the account can be specified:

  • An undefined number of payments - the customer will have regular payments deducted until further notice

  • set number of payments - a pre-defined number of payments will be taken from the account

When specifying a set number of payments, the initial and/or final payments can also be set for a different date and value to the regular payments if required.

All of these account types can be cancelled before completion if required.

Creating an Account

Any DDI which is valid on your MasterCard Payment Gateway Services account can be easily accessed using a Continuous Authority Account - of any flavour. All account types are set up using the transaction type drawdown.

Situations in which this could be implemented include:

  • Subscription Services

  • Utility payments, such as Council Tax, mobile phones or electricity

  • Charity donations

Transaction Type




Creates a Direct Debit Continuous Authority account

Used to perform regular payments from an existing DDI

Cancelling an Account

Accounts can be cancelled before completion without also cancelling the underlying DDI. Situations in which this could be implemented include:

  • The values or timings of the payment need to change - for example, increasing the price in line with inflation. The old account can be cancelled and a new account can be created against the existing DDI, without requiring a new DDI to be issued to your customer

  • Payments from the account need to be halted or suspended, but re-instated at a later date on the same DDI

Transaction Type




Cancels the Continuous Authority Account

Prevents any future payments from being taken from the account

If the underlying DDI is cancelled or revoked, the account will be automatically cancelled.

Performing Transactions

The account setups and cancellations each require specific information to be provided. In addition to those listed, each requires a client and password - these are security details which identify your account.

Creating a Continuous Authority Drawdown Account

There are several options available when setting up a continuous authority account. The most basic account set up is the unspecified number of drawdowns account. To set this type of account up, a particular set of data is required. This set of data is required for all types of account, with extra information being added to it to create the other account types.

The following sections introduce the data required for the most basic type, then move on to the extra information required when setting up accounts utilising the additional features.

Unspecified Number of Drawdowns

To set up an account to bill indefinitely, the following information is required:

  • the date of the first regular drawdown

  • the frequency of drawdowns, one of:

    • weekly

    • monthly

    • quarterly

    • annually

  • the transaction method - drawdown

  • the value of the regular drawdowns

  • the MasterCard Payment Gateway Services Reference of the DDI you wish to set the recurring drawdowns against

  • the merchant reference number - to allow you to distinguish the account on the Reporting System

Specified Number of Drawdowns

If the total number of drawdowns to be taken is known in advance, this can be pre-configured into the account. When setting this type of account up, the information required is exactly the same as that required for an unspecified number of payments, though a single extra piece of information is required:

  • the total number of regular payments

Initial Payment

To set an initial payment to be different from the regular payments, these fields should also be provided:

  • the value of the initial payment

  • the date of the initial payment

Final Payment

Using the specified number of payments account type, it is also possible to set the final payment to be of a different amount to the regular payments. The additional information required for this is:

  • the value of the final payment

  • the date of the final payment

Please note: This option is only available if the total number of regular payments has been specified

Drawdown Flagging

By default, all payments taken from the continuous authority account are flagged as normal payments. If you require the first and last payments to be flagged differently, this can be achieved using the transaction codes. Details of transaction codes are available within the Direct Debit Service.

Cancelling Accounts

To cancel an account, only two additional pieces of information - besides theclient and password - are required:

  • the transaction method - cancel

  • the MasterCard Payment Gateway Services reference number of the account

Response Codes

There are two basic Response types for all transactions.

  • Accepted

  • Errors

Examples of both response types available in the Developers Guide.


An Accepted response indicates the account has been successfully set up and will be used to generate drawdowns.

When the drawdowns are generated by the DPG, their details will be mailed to an email address of your choosing, in an attachment of standard CSV format to allow you to automatically update your own systems.

If the underlying DDI is cancelled, the DPG will automatically cancel the account. Details of these cancellations will also be emailed to your choosen address in CSV format.

Further details about the format of the CSV file are available in the Developers Guide, available here.


A complete list of Response Codes for this service is available here. TheSupport Centre also contains extensive examples for most error codes. Illustrations are given to demonstrate how they would appear in both Reporting and an XML Response. Suggestions are also given to help you prevent them from occurring.


The Direct Debit Continuous Authority Accounts are detailed in the DD. Cont. Auth section of the MasterCard Payment Gateway Services Reporting system. There are five main pages:

The setups and drawdowns are shown in the Direct Debit section of Reporting.

The Support Centre contains full hints and tips to help you get the most out of MasterCard Payment Gateway Services Reporting.