EFT Payments: Bank Account Payments in Canada

The dominant retail payment rail in Canada that can be used for payouts and collections

VoPay’s EFT payment service enhances the current legacy EFT payment service that is used for all retail bank transactions in Canada. It is an electronic payment type that allows businesses to debit or credit payments from one bank account to another. You can set up one-time or recurring EFT payments to:

• Send payments directly to a vendor or supplier

• Collect payments directly from a client or customer without requesting their explicit approval each time and managing PAD agreements digitally

The Current Challenges for EFT Payments

• No Visibility: Paper checks or electronic payment systems for bank account payments do not allow visibility into the bank account at the time of the payment

• No Traceability: Businesses accepting cheques or electronic payments can not track the payments, the status of the transaction or when the funds will be available

• Labour Intensive Manual Processing: Eliminate the complexities and inefficiencies associated with manual payment processing with an integrated payment API streamlining the entire workflow

EFT Product Benefits

EFT payments are usually faster and more secure than checks, wires, or credit cards. EFT payments are also more cost-effective and convenient for you and your vendors or customers. The payment is taken directly from the payer’s bank account and deposited in the recipient’s bank account, which means there is no need to print or sign anything, make a trip to the bank, or pay off a credit card bill later.

VoPay EFT advantages compared to traditional EFT:

  1. You can integrate our API (endpoints available here) into your billing, account receivables/payables, payroll or payment provider platforms or you can access the payment service directly through the VoPay portal
  2. Both our API and VoPay portal allow for fully automated bulk payments
  3. Our technology can be fully white-labelled to match your brand
  4. A 100% paperless and digital-first experience

How Does It Work?

EFT Canada Processing Times

Once an EFT transaction is initiated it will follow the following default timelines:

• Collecting payment: T + 3 business days for funds to be available

• Sending payment: same-day funds arrive if processed by mid-day, else next day

The hold times in the above example can be reduced based on risk approval and the overall error/return rate of the transaction profile. Better risk management allows for quicker funds release.

EFT Canada Cut-Off Times

(CAD or USD dollars destined to Financials institutions in Canada for EFT)

“Cut Off Time" is the recommended latest time on a Business Day, as advised to you from time to time, by which we must receive your Debit or Credit Instructions in order for us to process them on the payment due date. The cut of time depends on the destination of the financial institution and the currency being used.

The payments are only processed or settled on business days. A business day is any day other than Saturday, Sunday or a Federal statutory holiday. For more details on US/Canadian statutory holidays please visit our Holiday Calendar.

Please note that if the payment date falls on a non-business day, then the transaction is processed on the next business day. You can adjust your payment schedules to settle on the business day before or after the holidays.

There are three daily cut-off times to submit EFT payments:

EFT Transaction and Cancellation Statuses

Below is a list of transaction statuses for an EFT payment, from start to finish:


Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3

Stage 4

Stage 2

Stage 3






CANCELLED by Merchant

Transaction initiated

Transaction approved by VoPay

Transaction being processed by the bank

Funds have cleared or transaction was unsuccessful

Transaction cancelled by VoPay’s risk team after it’s been REQUESTED

Transaction cancelled by the merchant before it goes into IN PROGRESS

Error Codes

Below is a complete list of return and reversal codes if a transaction fails. It may take up to 5 business days for a 901 NSF (Non-Sufficient Funds) return code to be returned from the bank.

CodeReturned Item ReasonDescription
900Edit RejectBank account information cannot be validated.
901NSFBank account does not have enough funds to complete the transaction.
902Cannot TraceThe account cannot be located.
903Payment Stopped/RecalledThe account holder has asked the bank to stop/recall the payment.
904Post/Stale DatedConsidered stale-dated after six months. A stale-dated payment means that the item is old, and not necessarily invalid. Financial institutions may still honour these items, but there is no obligation to do so.
905Account ClosedThis account is closed and cannot be debited/credited.
907No Debit AllowedThis account does not allow debit transactions.
908Funds Not ClearedThe payor/payee has made a credit payment to their account that has not cleared. The payee did not have enough clear funds in the account to cover the debit amount.
909Currency/Account MismatchThe currency of the transaction does not match the currency of the account.
910Payor/Payee DeceasedThe account may be closed or frozen due to a death.
911Account FrozenThis account is not allowing any transactions.
912Invalid/Incorrect Account No.The account number is not correct or its invalid format.
914Incorrect Payor/Payee NameThe account payor/payee name does not match the transaction details.
915PAD No Agreement Existed – Business/PersonalAccount holder has asked the financial institution to withhold payment.
916PAD Not In Accordance with Agreement - PersonalThe payor has requested the debit to be returned as the debit has not been issued in accordance with the PAD agreement the customer signed.
917PAD Agreement Revoked - PersonalThe payor has requested the debit to be returned as they have cancelled the PAD agreement authorizing the debit.
918PAD No Pre-Notification – PersonalBank requires a pre-notification agreement and cannot allow payment.
919PAD Not In Accordance with Agreement – BusinessThe payor has requested the debit to be returned as the debit has not been issued in accordance with the PAD agreement the customer signed.
920PAD Agreement Revoked – BusinessThe payor has requested the debit to be returned as they have cancelled the PAD agreement authorizing the debit.
921PAD No Pre-Notification – PersonalThe payor has requested the debit to be returned as they have did not receive pre-notification of a change to the PAD date or amount, or they did not receive written confirmation of a PAD Agreement executed by electronic means.
989Information not provided by the bank
990Institution in Default

Below is an example of a failed code due to returned transactions. and errors is returned when you hit the endpoints The response will be displayed as shown below.

// Example 1
	"Success": false,
	"ErrorMessage": "901 - iQ11 - Insufficient Funds"

// Example 2
	"Success": false,
	"ErrorMessage": "909 - Currency/Account Mismatch"