The easy way to get paid electronically
Direct deposit is a fast, secure and convenient way to receive payments, an example of this is having your pay cheque deposited directly into your bank account.
How to sign up for direct deposit
Salaries and government payments are examples of payments commonly made through direct deposit.
To sign up for direct deposit, you'll need to give the payor your banking information. This information is like a GPS on the Canadian payments highway, and will guide each payment from the payor's account to yours.
Your banking information is usually found in the line of numbers printed across the bottom of your cheques.
If you don't have a cheque or if you need help, contact your financial institution. Let them know you're signing up for direct deposits and they'll give you the information you need.
The payor might also ask you for a void cheque. They do this to verify the accuracy of the information you provide to them. It's safe to give your payor a blank cheque for this purpose. But to protect against fraud, be sure you write "VOID" across the front of the cheque in ink, and don't sign it.
For Government of Canada payments, you can now sign up for direct deposit through many financial institutions. For more information, visit: Government of Canada Direct Deposit.
To learn more about direct deposits, check out Module 02 (Automated Funds Transfers) of our educational video series – the Learning Exchange.
What happens if I change bank accounts?
You should inform each of your payors immediately if your banking information changes. Some financial institutions offer a service where they do this for you. If the changes are the result of a merger or closure, your financial institution might also contact your payors to inform them.
Once the funds are in my account, can a direct deposit be reversed?
Yes. Any errors in direct deposit can be corrected up to three (3) days after the funds are available to you.
Of course, our rules take into account the needs of consumers, businesses and financial institutions. You can refuse an error correction made to a direct deposit within 90 days, as set out in section 35 of Rule F1.
If you notice a suspicious reversal in your account, you should contact your payor for information. If you can't resolve the situation with the payor, and you believe that you are legally entitled to the funds, you can contact your financial institution. Your financial institution may be able to assist you by refusing the error correction. The funds will be withdrawn from the payor's account and returned to your account.
You can open yourself to legal action if you keep funds that don't belong to you.
I received a direct deposit in my account and I don't know what it's for, or who it's from. How can I find out?
Contact your financial institution so they can investigate.
What is a direct deposit?
Direct deposit is a method of payment where a paying party, such as an employer or government agency, electronically transfers a payment from its bank account into the bank account of the payee.
Direct deposit is a fast, safe and convenient way to receive payments, like having your pay cheque deposited directly into your bank account.
What are the benefits of direct deposit?
Receiving your payments by direct deposit offers many benefits. It allows you to access your money faster and is more convenient as your payment will not be delayed due to unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather. It is reliable and your payment will always be deposited on time in the bank account that you supply at the time of your enrolment in direct deposit. Direct deposit is secure because your payment cannot be lost or stolen.
What are some examples of direct deposit?
Salaries as well as provincial and federal government benefit disbursements or tax returns are examples of payments commonly made through direct deposit.
In the case of Government of Canada payments, you can receive payments such as your income tax refund, benefits and credits such as the Canada child benefit (CCB), the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit, Canada workers benefit (CWB), and provincial and territorial payments such as the Ontario Trillium Benefit (OTB). If you are eligible to receive it, you can also receive your Canada Emergency Response Benefit payments. For more information, visit: Government of Canada Direct Deposit.
Does direct deposit allow the payor to take money from my bank account?
No. When you enrol in direct deposit, you don't authorize the payor to withdraw money from your bank account. The information you provide can only be used to deposit money into your account.
Does using direct deposit mean the payor can monitor my bank account?
No. By enrolling in direct deposit, you don't give the payor permission to monitor your bank account. The information you provide for direct deposit is protected under the Privacy Act and access to your account is protected by your agreement with your financial institution.
Do I need a computer or Internet access to use direct deposit?
No. You can enrol in and use direct deposit without a computer or Internet access.
For more information, contact your financial institution. Let them know you're signing up for direct deposit and they'll give you the information you need.
Once you've enroled, you can continue to use your financial institution as you normally would: in person, at an ATM, online or over the phone.
I was asked to provide a void cheque in support of a direct deposit request, why?
A payor might also ask you for a void cheque. They do this to verify the accuracy of the information you provide to them. It's safe to give your payor a blank cheque for this purpose. But to protect against fraud, be sure you write "VOID" across the front of the cheque in ink, and don't sign it.
If you don't have a cheque or if you need help, contact your financial institution. Let them know you're signing up for direct deposit and they'll give you the information you need. Alternatively, many online banking services provide account holders with direct deposit information that you can provide to the payor, including a form you can download and use in place of a void cheque.