All posts by Gerry Bayer

Telpay Payment News
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Fort McMurray

Our thoughts are with the people of Fort McMurray who are dealing with the horrific effects of the wildfires in northern Alberta. Many of us have friends and family there and we are all hoping that everyone stays safe until this is all over. You can help by making a donation to the Canadian Red Cross, either directly or through our Telpay for Business software.

Telpay Payment News
Bringing You Payment Insights, Trends and Best Practices

What’s up with Credit Card Due Dates?


Have you ever noticed that credit card statements have a payment due date that sometimes falls on a weekend? If so, were you uncertain if you had to pay that bill well in advance of that weekend? Well, it certainly can be confusing!

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada states the following:
“No matter how you pay, if the payment due date falls on a weekend or holiday, payments made on the next business day have to be accepted as having been made by the due date”.

Just for fun, I read my own BMO Mastercard cardholder agreement (yes, I have time on my hands!) and it gives the same message. For example, when the due date is Saturday or Sunday then the payment must be accepted “on time” if the credit card company receives payment on Monday.

Here is where it can get a bit slippery. It is important to understand what is meant by “making the payment on a certain date”. It means that the credit card company must receive your payment remittance on that date. When paying electronically via your financial institution or bill payment provider, it’s always a good idea to verify the exact date of when your payments are remitted to the credit card company. Even though you make a payment on a Monday, it may not be submitted to the company until Tuesday (or even later). So, if you make the payment electronically on the due date, you may be assessed late charges, as the payment will “arrive” the next business day. If you are using snail mail or courier then obviously it’s best to pay quite early.

Incidentally the same timeline applies for CRA payments, be careful though as penalties for late CRA payments are stiff.

Telpay Payment News
Bringing You Payment Insights, Trends and Best Practices

Why Doesn’t My Bill Payment Get Credited Immediately?


You would think, with the development of online technology and instant access to account information, that all electronic transactions would take place in real time. So why, when you pay a bill electronically, does it take at least the next business day for the payment to be credited to your account?

There are two steps when remitting an electronic bill payment to a payee. The payee’s bank account must be credited with the funds and the remittance information (your name, account number and the amount you paid) must be forwarded to the payee.

In most cases these are two independent steps and both have to take place before your account can be credited. There is rarely a direct channel between a bill payment service provider and a payee (one exception would be a financial institution and their “in-house” credit card). That means an arrangement has to be made between a payment provider (i.e. Telpay) and the payee so that a mutually accepted method of sending and receiving the remittance information is in place.

Often this exchange is done overnight or at a certain period during the day. The payee also has to reconcile the remittance information to the amount credited. For example, the payee receives $10,000 worth of bill payment remittances. They will need to verify that amount has been credited to their bank account. They would also update their internal databases with the remittance information before your bill is officially “credited”. That can create another delay.

Until the processes are in place for “instant” bill payments, there will be a bit of a lag between you making the payment and when your payment is actually credited. It’s something to take into consideration when making payments.

Telpay Payment News
Bringing You Payment Insights, Trends and Best Practices

The Cheque Will No Longer Be in the Mail

cheque-modernizationThe C.D. Howe Institute presented a paper with recommendations on how to modernize Canada’s payment system. First and foremost (though far from the only step) was to eliminate cheques from Canada’s payment system. The report goes on to list, in broad terms, how this process could take place. One of the steps was to “educate consumers and businesses, especially small businesses,” on making payments electronically rather than by cheque.

Telpay has recognized the advantages of replacing cheque payments by electronic means since it was first formed in 1984 as Canada’s first electronic bill payment system. A more focused approach took place in the late 90’s with the launch of Telpay for Business payment software. Since then Telpay has preached the gospel of electronic payments to thousands of businesses across Canada, both payers and suppliers. In fact, Telpay is a member of an industry forum organized by Finance Canada – Finance Canada Payments Consultative Committee (FinPay).  FinPay is a committee made up of public and private sector representatives whose mandate is to review Canada’s payment industry.

There are a number of reasons why payment by cheque is expensive and inefficient. There are the obvious reasons such as postage and manual labour. However there are more subtle reasons, for example as the volume of cheque payments decreases the costs (system and salary) of processing each cheque increases. New systems that are developed have to “account” for cheque payments, slowing development and making those systems unwieldy.

Cheque payments will die a natural death over the next 10-20 years, what the C.D. Howe institute and others are proposing is a quick “chequemate” sometime in the next few years. We think that is a measure worth supporting.

Telpay Payment News
Bringing You Payment Insights, Trends and Best Practices

Plug into Telpay’s Bill Payment Engine


If you are a bank, credit union, retail store, cash store or any sort of financial provider that accepts bill payments, you can “plug and pay” into Telpay’s bill payment processing engine. We provide a simple record specification that allows you to batch bill payment requests into a file and send them to Telpay. At the same time, you send us the funds to cover the payments via your lead bank’s bill payment system (Telpay is a biller on most financial institution’s on line bill payment systems) or via wire transfer.  We process the payments next business day.

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