What Is Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)? Its Types, Benefits, and Advantages

21 May, 2024
10 mins
Rachelle Fisher, AVP, Digital Transformation

Table of Content

Key Takeaways
What is Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT)?
Electronic Fund Transfer Process
Peer to Peer Payments as Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)
How Long Does It Take for EFT to Clear Bank?
Top 5 Types of EFT Payments 
Top 7 Benefits of EFT Payment Method 

Key Takeaways

  • EFT streamlines financial transactions, replacing traditional methods with electronic transfers, which enhances security.
  • EFT offers several benefits to individuals and organizations: cost-effectiveness, security, convenience, facilitating global accessibility, automation, and transparent audit trails. 
  • EFT confines various methods, such as ACH payments, wire transfers, electronic checks, online payment systems, and mobile payment apps.


Electronic fund transfer has revolutionized the way we handle financial transactions, offering utmost convenience, accessibility, security, and cost-effectiveness. EFTs have replaced traditional methods of payments like paper checks or cash and have gained immense popularity for the speed and convenience they offer. 

In the days to come, electronic payment options like EFT will grow in acceptance even as technology continues to advance and alter our way of life.  Payments like utility bills no longer require physical statements, invoices, and receipts. Even as technology advances, the acceptance and the usage of EFT are expected to grow, revolutionizing the way traditional banking systems work.

What is Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT)?

An electronic fund transfer refers to transferring funds from one bank to another through electronic mode. Credit card payments, internet payments, and automatic bill payments are all examples of electronic fund transfers (EFTs), which are among the most popular payment methods.

Electronic fund transfers have become so popular that more and more people are going cashless. When executing EFT banking, we transfer funds from one bank account to another. However, these two accounts need not be from the same bank for EFT payments. Electronic fund transfers are executed significantly faster and easier than traditional payment options. 

Electronic Fund Transfer Process

An Electronic Fund Transfer payment necessitates a sender and a recipient. When the sender consents to send money to the receiver, funds are sent from the sender’s account to the recipient’s account via the appropriate payment network. This process involves many steps.

 Let us look into them.

Payment initiation: Once the sender decides to proceed with the payment, he initiates it by providing the necessary details like the amount to be transferred, the recipient’s account details, etc.

Authorization: Once the sender initiates the payment, the bank verifies the transaction concerning security and authorization. Besides, the bank verifies whether the sender has sufficient funds to execute the intended transaction.

Processing: Once the transaction is authorized by the bank, the bank debits the sender’s account and initiates a fund transfer to the recipient’s account. 

Routing: Once the processing is initiated, the bank sends the transaction details to the payment network that routes the funds to the recipient’s bank account.

Receipt: The recipient’s bank gets the funds credited into the recipient’s account. 

Notification: Once the transaction is completed, both the sender and the receiver receive notifications confirming the successful execution of the transfer.

highradius banner

Peer to Peer Payments as Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)

Smartphone applications like Paypal, Venmo, CashApp, and more employ ETF technology and empower individuals to execute peer-to-peer transactions quickly and easily. 

Once users install any of these apps and register themselves, they can link their bank account or debit cards to execute transactions. Few of the apps also faciliate users to link their credit cards and execute transactions, but the user will be charged a fee per transaction. 

How Long Does It Take for EFT to Clear Bank?

Factors such as cross-border transfers, transaction type, submission time, bank processing hours, and more, can affect how long an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) takes to complete. On the other hand, wire transfers within the United States can be finished in a day. 

Top 5 Types of EFT Payments 

Types of EFT Payments

EFT payments confine diverse methods such as ACH, Wire transfers, Echecks, Online payment systems, and Mobile payment apps for transferring funds between accounts over the Internet. Each of these payment methods has distinct features and benefits catering to customers with different needs and preferences.

A few of the common EFT payment types include:

  1. Automated Clearing House (ACH) Payments: ACH payments refer to the electronic transfers that take place in batches between banks and are often used for payroll, bill payments, and direct deposits.
  2. Wire Transfers: Wire transfers are the immediate, one-time transfers of funds between accounts. Wire transfers are commonly used for high-value transactions and international payment transfers.
  3. Electronic Check:Electronic checks, also known as e-checks, are nothing but the digital versions of paper checks. Echecks allow electronic debit of funds from one account and deposit into another.
  4. Online Payment Systems: Digital platforms like PayPal, Venmo, and Google Pay facilitate payment transfers between individuals or businesses. 
  5. Mobile Payment Apps: Mobile payment applications like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay facilitate peer-to-peer payments and purchases through mobile devices.

highradius banner

Top 7 Benefits of EFT Payment Method 

There are several advantages of EFT payments to individuals and businesses. 

  1. Efficiency:EFT eliminates the need for physical checks or cash, which helps streamline the payment process, resulting in reduced paperwork, manual intervention, processing time, and administration costs.
  2. Cost-effectiveness:EFT payments typically have lower transaction fees than traditional payment methods like checks or wire transfers. Opting EFT payments results in cost savings to organizations and individuals.
  3. Security: Most of the EFT payments are highly secure, as they enable encryption and authentication standards to protect sensitive financial information. This eliminates the risk of fraud and unauthorized access.
  4. Convenience: Compared to traditional payment methods, EFT payments offer the utmost convenience for both senders and recipients. Funds can be transferred quickly and easily between accounts, facilitating timely payments and improved cash flow management.
  5. Accessibility: Internet is the only requirement to execute an EFT payment. This accessibility facilitates businesses in sending and receiving payments globally and expanding market reach.
  6. Automation: Businesses can automate EFT payments, which allows businesses to set up recurring payments for regular transactions like salaries, bills, and subscriptions. Automating EFT payments saves time and ensures timely payments without manual intervention.
  7. Audit trail: Another great benefit of leveraging the EFT payment method is that it generates electronic records of transactions. This provides a transparent and traceable audit trail for financial tracking and reconciliation purposes. 

highradius banner


1) What is an EFT Payment?

Electronic Funds Transfer payments are payments that are executed electronically. With EFT payments, the funds from one bank are transferred to another electronically. EFT payments are one of the most preferred modes, and EFT payments include credit card payments, bill payments, and online payments.

2) What is a one-time EFT payment?

One-time EFT refers to the fund transfer from one bank to another in a single electronic transaction. One-time  Electronic funds transfer is typically used for immediate payments like bills, peer to peer transfers, and online shopping, retail purchases that aren’t recurring. 

3) How do Electronic Funds Transfer work for international payments?

For international payments through the Electronic funds transfer are transferred securely through international banking networks, with processing times varying based on factors like banking regulations, currency conversion, and intermediary banks, typically taking several business days.

Related Resources

Billing and Payments
Talk TO Our Experts

Streamline your order-to-cash operations with HighRadius!

Automate invoicing, collections, deduction, and credit risk management with our AI-powered AR suite and experience enhanced cash flow and lower DSO & bad debt