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Electronic funds transfer (EFT) are electronic transfer of money from one bank account to another, either within a single financial institution or across multiple institutions, via computer-based systems, without the direct intervention of bank staff.
A bank account is a financial account maintained by a bank for a customer. A bank account can be a deposit account, a credit card account, a current account, or any other type of account offered by a financial institution, and represents the funds that a customer has entrusted to the financial institution and from which the customer can make withdrawals. Alternatively, accounts may be loan accounts in which case the customer owes money to the financial institution.
Financial institutions, otherwise known as banking institutions, are corporations that provide services as intermediaries of financial markets. Broadly speaking, there are three major types of financial institutions:
A computer is a machine that can be instructed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically via computer programming. Modern computers have the ability to follow generalized sets of operations, called programs. These programs enable computers to perform an extremely wide range of tasks. A "complete" computer including the hardware, the operating system, and peripheral equipment required and used for "full" operation can be referred to as a computer system. This term may as well be used for a group of computers that are connected and work together, in particular a computer network or computer cluster.
According to the United States Electronic Fund Transfer Act of 1978 it is a funds transfer initiated through an electronic terminal, telephone, computer (including on-line banking) or magnetic tape for the purpose of ordering, instructing, or authorizing a financial institution to debit or credit a consumer’s account.
The Electronic Fund Transfer Act was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1978 and signed by President Jimmy Carter, to establish the rights and liabilities of consumers as well as the responsibilities of all participants in electronic funds transfer activities.
EFT transactions are known by a number of names across countries and different payment systems. For example, in the United States, they may be referred to as "electronic checks" or "e-checks". In the United Kingdom, the term "bank transfer" and "bank payment" are used, while in several other European countries "giro transfer" is the common term.
A cheque, or check, is a document that orders a bank to pay a specific amount of money from a person's account to the person in whose name the cheque has been issued. The person writing the cheque, known as the drawer, has a transaction banking account where their money is held. The drawer writes the various details including the monetary amount, date, and a payee on the cheque, and signs it, ordering their bank, known as the drawee, to pay that person or company the amount of money stated.
A giro, or giro transfer, is a payment transfer from one bank account to another bank account and initiated by the payer, not the payee. The debit card has a similar model. Giros are primarily a European phenomenon; although electronic payment systems such as the Automated Clearing House exist in the United States and Canada, it is not possible to perform third party transfers with them. In the European Union, there is the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) which allows electronic giro or debit card payment to be executed to any bank in the area.
EFTs include, but are not limited to:
An automated teller machine (ATM) is an electronic telecommunications device that enables customers of financial institutions to perform financial transactions, such as cash withdrawals, deposits, transfer funds, or obtaining account information, at any time and without the need for direct interaction with bank staff.
In banking, a direct deposit is a deposit of money by a payer directly into a payee's bank account. Direct deposits are most commonly made by businesses in the payment of salaries and wages and for the payment of suppliers' accounts, but the facility can be used for payments for any purpose, such as payment of bills, taxes, and other government charges. Direct deposits are most commonly made by means of electronic funds transfers effected using online, mobile, and telephone banking systems but can also be effected by the physical deposit of money into the payee's bank account.
A direct debit or direct withdrawal is a financial transaction in which one person withdraws funds from another person's bank account. Formally, the person who directly draws the funds instructs his or her bank to collect an amount directly from another's bank account designated by the payer and pay those funds into a bank account designated by the payee. Before the payer's banker will allow the transaction to take place, the payer must have advised the bank that he or she has authorized the payee to directly draw the funds. It is also called pre-authorized debit (PAD) or pre-authorized payment (PAP). After the authorities are set up, the direct debit transactions are usually processed electronically.
Digital currency is a type of currency available in digital form. It exhibits properties similar to physical currencies, but can allow for instantaneous transactions and borderless transfer-of-ownership. Examples include virtual currencies and cryptocurrencies and central bank issued money accounted for in a computer database. Like traditional money, these currencies may be used to buy physical goods and services, but may also be restricted to certain communities such as for use inside an online game or social network.
An e-commerce payment system facilitates the acceptance of electronic payment for online transactions. Also known as a sample of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), e-commerce payment systems have become increasingly popular due to the widespread use of the internet-based shopping and banking.
An interbank network, also known as an ATM consortium or ATM network, is a computer network that enables ATM cards issued by a financial institution that is a member of the network to be used to perform ATM transactions through ATMs that belong to another member of the network.
ACH Network is a United States electronic payment network that processes financial transactions for consumers, businesses and federal/state/local governments. ACH processes large volumes of credit and debit transactions in batches. Short for the Automated Clearing House, ACH credit transfers include direct deposit for payroll, Social Security and other benefit payments, tax refunds, and vendor payments. ACH direct debit transfers include consumer payments on insurance premiums, mortgage loans, and other kinds of bills.
A transaction account, also called a checking account, chequing account, current account, demand deposit account, or share draft account at credit unions, is a deposit account held at a bank or other financial institution. It is available to the account owner "on demand" and is available for frequent and immediate access by the account owner or to others as the account owner may direct. Access may be in a variety of ways, such as cash withdrawals, use of debit cards, cheques (checks) and electronic transfer. In economic terms, the funds held in a transaction account are regarded as liquid funds. In accounting terms they are considered as cash.
Cheque clearing or bank clearance is the process of moving cash from the bank on which a cheque is drawn to the bank in which it was deposited, usually accompanied by the movement of the cheque to the paying bank, either in the traditional physical paper form or digitally under a cheque truncation system. This process is called the clearing cycle and normally results in a credit to the account at the bank of deposit, and an equivalent debit to the account at the bank on which it was drawn, with a corresponding adjustment of accounts of the banks themselves. If there are not enough funds in the account when the cheque arrived at the issuing bank, the cheque would be returned as a dishonoured cheque marked as non-sufficient funds.
Real-time gross settlement (RTGS) systems are specialist funds transfer systems where the transfer of money or securities takes place from one bank to any other bank on a "real time" and on a "gross" basis. Settlement in "real time" means a payment transaction is not subjected to any waiting period, with transactions being settled as soon as they are processed. "Gross settlement" means the transaction is settled on one-to-one basis without bundling or netting with any other transaction. "Settlement" means that once processed, payments are final and irrevocable.
Wire transfer, bank transfer or credit transfer is a method of electronic funds transfer from one person or entity to another. A wire transfer can be made from one bank account to another bank account or through a transfer of cash at a cash office.
The Australian financial system consists of the arrangements covering the borrowing and lending of funds and the transfer of ownership of financial claims in Australia, comprising:
In banking and finance, clearing denotes all activities from the time a commitment is made for a transaction until it is settled. This process turns the promise of payment into the actual movement of money from one account to another. Clearing houses were formed to facilitate such transactions among banks.
A Bank State Branch is the name used in Australia for a bank code, which is a branch identifier. The BSB is normally used in association with the account number system used by each financial institution. The structure of the BSB + account number does not permit for account numbers to be transferable between financial institutions. While similar in structure, the New Zealand and Australian systems are only used in domestic transactions and are incompatible with each other. For international transfers, a SWIFT code is used in addition to the BSB and account number.
A payment system is any system used to settle financial transactions through the transfer of monetary value, and includes the institutions, instruments, people, rules, procedures, standards, and technologies that make such an exchange possible. A common type of payment system is the operational network that links bank accounts and provides for monetary exchange using bank deposits.
Fedwire is a real-time gross settlement funds transfer system operated by the United States Federal Reserve Banks that allows financial institutions to electronically transfer funds between its more than 9,289 participants. Transfers can only be initiated by the sending bank once they receive the proper wiring instructions from the receiving bank. These instructions include: the receiving bank's routing number, account number, name and dollar amount being transferred. This information is submitted to the Federal Reserve via the Fedwire system. Once the instructions are received and processed, the Fed will debit the funds from the sending bank's reserve account and credit the receiving bank's account. Wire transfers sent via Fedwire are completed in the same day, while some are completed instantly.
Payment cards are part of a payment system issued by financial institutions, such as a bank, to a customer that enables its owner to access the funds in the customer's designated bank accounts, or through a credit account and make payments by electronic funds transfer and access automated teller machines (ATMs). Such cards are known by a variety of names including bank cards, ATM cards, MAC, client cards, key cards or cash cards.
An ATM card is a payment card or dedicated payment card issued by a financial institution which enables a customer to access automated teller machines (ATMs). ATM cards are payment card size and style plastic cards with a magnetic stripe or a plastic smart card with a chip that contains a unique card number and some security information such as an expiration date or CVVC (CVV). ATM cards are known by a variety of names such as bank card, MAC, client card, key card or cash card, among others. Most payment cards, such as debit and credit cards can also function as ATM cards, although ATM-only cards are also available. Charge and proprietary cards cannot be used as ATM cards. The use of a credit card to withdraw cash at an ATM is treated differently to a POS transaction, usually attracting interest charges from the date of the cash withdrawal. Interbank networks allow the use of ATM cards at ATMs of private operators and financial institutions other than those of the institution that issued the cards.
Payment and settlement systems in India are payment and settlement systems in India for financial transactions. They are covered by the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007, legislated in December 2007 and regulated by the Reserve Bank of India and the Board for Regulation and Supervision of Payment and Settlement Systems.
Alternative payments refers to payment methods that are used as an alternative to credit card payments. Most alternative payment methods address a domestic economy or have been specifically developed for electronic commerce and the payment systems are generally supported and operated by local banks. Each alternative payment method has its own unique application and settlement process, language and currency support, and is subject to domestic rules and regulations.
Vocalink is a payment systems company headquartered in the United Kingdom, created in 2007 from the merger between Voca and LINK. It designs, builds and operates the UK payments infrastructure, which underpins the provision of the Bacs payment system, the Direct Debit system, the UK ATM LINK switching platform covering 65,000 ATMs and the UK Faster Payments systems.
gh-link is GhIPSS’ interbank switching and processing system which interconnects financial institutions and systems of third party payment service providers. gh-link is a local electronic payment ecosystem based on the domestic ATM card with channels such as ATM, POS and Web.
An automated clearing house (ACH), or automated clearinghouse, is an electronic network for financial transactions, generally domestic low value payments. An ACH is a computer-based clearing house and settlement facility established to process the exchange of electronic transactions between participating financial institutions. It is a form of clearing house that is specifically for payments and may support both credit transfers and direct debits.
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