Although e-Mandate and eNACH are often used interchangeably, they are actually two distinct processes that use payment automation and digital frameworks to make recurring payments easier. While e-NACH is governed by NPCI, e-Mandates are controlled by individual banks.

Let’s begin by understanding e-Mandate and how it can benefit your business.

What is e-Mandate Meaning?

e-Mandate is a convenient and secure way for businesses to collect recurring payments from their customers. While it allows businesses to collect recurring payments on time and eliminate the need for manual processing, it also saves customers the hassle of remembering to make payments thereby avoiding any late payment fees.

In simple terms, an e-mandate is an electronic version of a mandate, which is a standing instruction given to the bank where a customer holds their account to debit a fixed amount to another bank account automatically. Through e-Mandate customers can register, edit, and delete mandates entirely online. 

NPCI1 introduced e-Mandate services to reduce processing time and make recurring payments more streamlined and efficient.

Therefore, with the e-Mandate/NACH mandate, one can easily authorise recurring payments by using their Netbanking or Debit card credentials.

Meaning of Recurring Payments

To understand the e-mandate’s meaning, it is necessary to understand recurring payments.

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

Today recurring payments find use in various business models, for example:

  • Digital Lending Industry: NBFCs and digital lenders can automate loan recollection by creating an e-mandate for an amount of up to 50 lakhs. This reduces loan defaults and ensures that the borrowers are paying the EMIs on time.
  • Investments and Wealth Management: Investment platforms can provide a seamless customer experience for investors by automating their SIP payments and ensuring uninterrupted investments for the customers. 
  • Insurance providers: Insurance premiums are usually collected on a recurring basis on a monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or yearly basis. Automate the payments by creating e-mandates with Cashfree Subscriptions.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS): SaaS businesses are heavily dependent on charging a recurring payment every month which can scale up with ease.
  • Utility: Telephone bills, electricity bills, cable bills, gym membership etc. come under utilities, and are recurring in nature.
  • Rentals: Housing rentals, office rentals, co-working and co-living spaces, and other renting facilities usually work on a recurring payment model.

e-Mandate Registration: How Does e-Mandate Work?

The e-mandate registration process is when customers sign up to make recurring payments via e-Mandate or eNACH. Whether the customers purchase an insurance policy or invest in a SIP, they can choose to pay premiums or instalments through e-Mandate at the very beginning.

In simple terms, it’s a process that allows businesses to enrol customers for a service/product wherein the customer pays a timely fee.

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

  1. Log into the fund house’s website and then fill in the e-Mandate form details (destination bank, account number, debit intervals, etc.)
  2. The fund house checks if the destination bank (customer’s bank), is registered by the NPCI for mandate creation
  3. The customer is redirected to the NPCI’s page and then to the destination bank’s authentication website
  4. The customer authenticates the mandate by using Netbanking credentials
  5. The bank then verifies the account number entered on the fund house’s website with the Netbanking credentials
  6. The bank displays the mandate filled by the customer and provides an option between accepting and rejecting
  7. 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
  8. The mandate is confirmed at the end of the day

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

Electronic Clearing Service (ECS) Mandate

Prior to the emergence of the e-Mandate/eNACH Mandate, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) introduced ECS or Electronic Clearing Service. It is important to understand what ECS means to understand the e-mandate’s meaning. This was to facilitate bulk transfers from one bank to another.

However, 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. Unlike e-mandate which is an online process, ECS is an offline process where physical copies are filed and checked manually.

e-Mandate Advantage Over ECS mandate

The reason the e-mandate/eNACH is getting preferred over the ECS mandate is:

  • 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. Hence, only a 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

Related Post: How To Choose a Payment Gateway in India

Benefits Of e-Mandate/eNACH For Merchants And Customers


Customer Retention

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

Therefore, 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

There is a drastic reduction in the cost related to invoicing as well as in keeping up with customers and chasing late payments from them.

E-mandate meaning is an electronic mandate. Hence, accounting is easier when the whole process is paperless and digital.


Your customer’s data is safe, as your payment solutions provider will strictly manage PCI compliance. So, it will also build the trust of your 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 to their needs.

Hence, with a variety of options, inclusions and easy termination, it provides an optimal user experience to customers. 


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

RELATED READ: What is Subscription Management? Definition, Types & Features

Cashfree Subscriptions

Cashfree Subscriptions powers you to enable recurring payment schedules, 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, and then, 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. This will also work across multiple banks
  1. Debiting of accounts registered prior to the release of e-Mandate still happens over file transfers. And, the process hasn’t changed

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

We will help businesses accept subscriptions/mandates from their customers, and therefore, 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-

  1. Standing Instructions (SI) on Credit and Debit Cards: Enable repeat purchases and subscriptions by setting up recurring payments on customers’ credit/debit cards.
  2. eNach or e Mandate: With same-day mandate creation for up to 50 lakhs, create a smooth payment experience for your customers who make periodic payments for your product/service.
  3. Physical Nach or Physical Mandate: For customers with no digital access, set up recurring payments with just their bank account details and physical signature
  4. UPI Autopay: Ideal for payments up to 15000, it takes as little as 11 seconds to complete your customer onboarding for recurring payments using UPI AutoPay. Currently, Cashfree supports 20+ UPI apps for UPI AutoPay.

Cashfree Subscriptions Features

We have powerful features that your business can leverage-

  • No need for coding- Create subscription plans from the dashboard and add users via link. One can share these links over WhatsApp, SMS and emails
  • 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 helps you extract data 
  • Multi-user support on Cashfree Payments dashboard

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Types of Subscription Models that 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 the number of units consumed. 
  3. Hybrid Model: In this model, the customer may need to pay a fixed price and then a further fee on the basis of consumption. For instance, 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 your business needs.

What is the e-Mandate’s meaning in Mutual Funds?

E-Mandate meaning 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 eNACH/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 learn more about our payment gateway charges.

How to Cancel an e-Mandate?

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

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

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

What is a Physical Mandate/Physical Nach? How does it work?

A Physical mandate is a manually completed mandate form that requires only the customer’s physical signature and bank account details for authorisation. Simply put, the customer authorises the bank or NBFC to debit the required amount from the account periodically. Supported by 1000+ banks, physical mandates are a popular alternative to e-mandates for organisations with more technologically challenged customers. 

Cashfree lets you create Physical Mandates with 3 simple steps:

  1. Create a subscription for your customer with all the subscription and mandate details
  2. Upload the Physical Nach registration forms with the customer’s bank account details, and signature and create an authorisation request for your customer
  3. Once the customer authorises it, submit the forms to the banks and on validation, set up the recurring payments

Where are Physical Mandates used? 

Physical Nach or Physical Mandates are used in the following scenarios:

  • The recurring bill amount exceeds 50 lakh rupees
  • The customers do not have access to net banking or digital banking services

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