Troubleshooting errors on the Direct Debit mandate form

Occasionally a customer might run into trouble creating their direct debit mandate

If your organisation processes direct debit payments via GoCardless or London & Zurich, then your customers will need to set up a mandate as part of any payment process.

The direct debit (BACS) form that your customers complete includes the industry standard requirements. Here's a look at what may be going wrong:

Information is entered incorrectly

A common mistake is that your customers are entering incorrect information relating to their bank account. As a general guide, we advise customers who encounter problems to find the bank account associated with the bank account, or find a bank statement for the account.

Account Holder Name longer than 18 characters

The bank account holder name is restricted to 18 characters; this restriction is enforced by BACS, and includes the spaces between characters.

To avoid possible issues with verifying the bank account name, your customers should aim enter the name exactly as it appears on the the bank card or statement, or at least a version of their name that is 18 characters or less.

Example: Banks often shorten long names to fit within the 18 character limit. For example, Christopher Warburton is 20 characters long, and may therefore the bank card issues the bank under the name "C Warburton".

In this example, if "Christopher Warburton" is entered, it will fail verification and your customer will need to enter "C Warburton" to pass the verification.

In the event that changing an ampersand (&) to the word "and" breaches the limit, the system will trim the extra characters and you'll be able to proceed.

Invalid characters

Your customer should avoid entering invalid special characters into the form; for example, "£"$ +...

If the customer has a joint account with an ampersand (&) in the account name, they'll need to replace this with the word "and".


If a contact is having issues entering their postcode, they should check they are using the standard postcode convention: all capitals and a space between the two sections of the postcode.  For example, bn11aa may be rejected, but BN1 1AA will be accepted. 


If electronic Direct Debits are not supported by your customer's bank

Error: Your bank account does not support electronic direct debits. Please use alternative bank account details, or contact your bank regarding for advice on electronic direct debits.

This error means that you customers bank account does not allow digital signups via a webform and instead requires Direct Debit signups to be submitted to their bank using paper or e-documents only; this will be a limitation of the bank account type.

In this situation, your customer will need to provide different bank account details.


Note: The payment provider is responsible for verifying the bank account once the details are submitted through the webform.

For additional assistance, we suggest reaching out to the London & Zurich support team directly via email at