Say Hello to Instant Direct Debit

Say Hello to Instant Direct Debit

NPP Australia—the organisation building Australia’s game-changing payments infrastructure—has renamed the next major enhancement coming down the payments pipeline.

Known previously by its ‘Mandated Payments Service’ [MPS] working title, it’s now called ‘PayTo‘.

“PayTo describes the service’s functionality while accommodating a large range of use-cases such as recurring or subscription type payments, ecommerce and in-app payments, as well as third party payment services such as corporate payroll,” said NPP Australia’s Head of Engagement, Katrina Stuart.

That’s great. But what on earth is it?

Apart from being a much snappier name than Mandated Payments Service, PayTo is—effectively—instant direct debit.

“When it switches on, PayTo will support always-on, customer-authorised, merchant-initiated, instant direct debit. And that’s a game-changer,” says Ian Lennie, Zepto Founder & Solutions Architect. “Whether you’re a payments geek, a business owner or Joe consumer, PayTo is something to get excited about,” adds Lennie.

Our resident payments nerds—it’s hard to comprehend just how into payments they are—are frothing at PayTo’s potential. They point out, too, that the real-time nature of PayTo payments is just the start of a long list of brilliant benefits baked into the service.

Chris Jewell—CEO of Zepto—says, “The global payments landscape is evolving at a rapid pace. PayTo is a significant development as we move towards a more complete real time payments and acceptance framework. Combined with a consumer consent model and complemented by developing open banking capabilities, PayTo will cornerstone the payment value proposition for merchants well into the future.”


The obvious benefit is that settled, direct debited funds will land in merchant accounts in two seconds, not two (or three) days. So, no more waiting up to 72-hours for confirmation that a direct debit has been successful or—infuriatingly—unsuccessful.

Other merchant benefits include:

  • With real-time account validation, balance verification, and notifications at various stages of payment, PayTo removes the uncertainty around receiving payments from customer bank accounts.
  • Merchants can see when a PayTo payment agreement is paused, changed or cancelled.
  • PayTo’s accuracy means fewer dishonours and disputes.

With PayTo, merchants can say adios to delayed and constricted cash flow of dishonoured debits.


Critically, PayTo gives customers an alternative to card payments, and much more control over payments from their bank account.

If you’re a business owner, you might not immediately think that’s a good thing. But consider this:

  • Better customer experience means happier customers.
  • Happier customers stick around and spend more.
  • Fewer disputes, dishonours, charge-backs and failed payments mean less customer churn, and more reliable cash flow.

Customer benefits of PayTo include:

  • Flexibility of using PayTo for recurring subscriptions or bills, or one-off payments.
  • Convenient online and in-app visibility of all PayTo payments authorised from their bank accounts.
  • More control over suspending, cancelling or amending PayTo payments.
  • Easy portability of PayTo agreements between accounts and banks.

If you buy or sell, subscribe or make payments to just about anything, it’s time to get to know PayTo. Not just because PayTo will make direct debit payments lightning fast, but also because it’ll smooth out the experience for everyone in the payment flow—the payers, the merchants, and even the bank or payments service providers enabling those payments.

In 2018, Zepto flipped the traditional direct debit model on its head with electronic mandates, faster settlement, no dishonours, and lower fees—in effect, giving direct debit the capabilities that merchants expect in 2021. And as a PayTo launch partner, our system architecture is built to support the PayTo framework and deliver a developer-first experience.

Zepto CTO, Trevor Wistaff makes an important final point: “Every Zepto direct debit merchant customer will benefit from seamless porting to PayTo as soon as it’s available. There will be no development work required at their end. Join us now.”

Zepto will be ready with a first-in-market offering that puts our merchant partners in the box seat the moment PayTo switches on in mid-2022.

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