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Electronic funds transfer (EFT) is the 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.
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".
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 "BACS Payment", "bank transfer" and "bank payment" are used, in Canada, "e-transfer" is used, while in several other European countries "giro transfer" is the common term.
EFTs include, but are not limited to:
- Automated teller machine (ATM) transfers
- Direct deposit payment or withdrawals of funds initiated by the payer
- Direct debit payments in which a business debits the consumer's bank accounts for payment for goods or services
- Transfers initiated by telephone
- Transfers resulting from credit or debit card transactions, whether initiated through a payment terminal
- Wire transfer via an international banking network such as SWIFT
- Electronic bill payment in online banking, which may be delivered by EFT or paper check
- Instant payment
- ^ a b "Electronic Fund Transfer Act" (PDF). www.federalreserve.gov. Federal Reserve Board. 1978. Retrieved September 8, 2018.