The right of or opportunity for an institution to use the services of a particular payment system to exchange, clear and/or settle payments on its own account or for customers

Access criteria

The minimum conditions that an entity would need to satisfy in order to participate directly (or indirectly) in a payment system. Access criteria may differ depending on what role the entity will perform as a participant in the system (e.g. exchange of payment messages, clearing or settlement with the central bank)


Automated Clearing House; centralized architecture that is used to exchange, and reconcile batches of payment items. The process of submitted files vary greatly from region to region. Some systems only hold and forward batches upon settlement (i.e., settlement before exchange), while others will pull-out individual items for validation, sorting or routing


Automated Clearing Settlement System; a batch total entry system used to enter batch totals for transactions exchanged by CPA member direct clearers. The ACSS calculates multilateral net positions to determine the balances due to and from participants; includes rules and standards that prescribe how payments should be made between direct clearers


Anti-Money Laundering/Anti-Terrorism Financing; legal requirements by which financial institutions globally, and many non-financial institutions, are required to identify and report transactions of a suspicious nature to the financial intelligence unit in the respective country


The process by which the identity of a User who wishes to access a system or service is confirmed.  Authentication protocols may take many forms depending on whether validation is being done in person or electronically 

Automated Clearing Settlement System holiday

An Automated Clearing Settlement System (ACSS) holiday is when the system is not operational. (Saturday, Sunday and the following national holidays: New Year's Day, Good Friday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Day, Remembrance Day, Christmas and Boxing Day).

Automated funds transfer credit

Direct deposits to an account held at a financial institution. Commonly used for payroll. Also known as AFT credit.

Automated funds transfer debit

Pre-authorized or bill payment error correction debits to an account held at a financial institution. Most commonly used for mortgage and other bill payments, as well as funds transfer and corporate cash management payments. Often recurring, but can also be sporadic. Does not include debits to credit cards.

Availability of funds

The point at which a payee can withdraw and use funds (which may occur before the participating FIs settle)

Bank draft

A payment item drawn by a bank against its own account

Bank of Canada (BoC)

Canada's central bank; it is not a commercial bank and does not offer banking services to the public. Responsible for Canada's monetary policy, bank notes, financial system and funds management.