Electronic Funds Transfer

The University of Toronto is currently implementing a project to update the payment method to transition vendors from paper cheques to Electronic Funds Transfer. This initiative will help to increase efficiency and transparency as well as provide a convenient, cost-effective way to distribute recurring payments to established Canadian vendors. To achieve this goal, the Financial Services Department, Procurement Services and Enterprise Applications & Solutions Integration have implemented CIBC Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) payment to allow U of T to pay vendor invoices directly to vendors’ bank accounts.

Project Overview

Phase 1 – Launched August 2022

  • Vetted 33 Canadian currency vendors to transition from payments by paper cheque to direct deposit, offering increased payment speed while reducing processing costs for U of T and vendors.
  • Vendors were selected for the EFT pilot due to their transaction volume and spend and were onboarded through the Enterprise Service Centre.

Phase 2 – Launched March 2023

  • Increased automation and reduced manual workflows.
  • Scaled automation to onboard larger numbers of existing U of T vendors, including additional vendors proposed by the U of T community.
  • Enabled the convenient display of EFT suppliers in SAP.

Phase 3 – Initiated June 2023

  • Streamlining processes, particularly in Accounts Payable for reviewing and approving supporting documentation for payments.
  • Continuing to strategically onboard existing U of T vendors and accept additional vendor recommendations from the U of T community for future consideration.
  • Initiating pilot for onboarding net new vendors in September 2023.


Why Transform the Vendor Payment Process?

U of T currently prepares physical cheques for vendor payments, which are then mailed to vendors. This process can be slow, labor intensive and subject to the availability and speed of Canada Post. U of T has limited control over when cheques arrive, which makes it challenging to meet tight payment terms and there is no tracking or tracing ability. Given these challenges, U of T has implemented this project to improve efficiencies and transparency for vendors and staff.


Interested in learning about changes for users? Visit Financial Services’ webpage for details about:

  • An overview of the project
  • Highlights for financial administrators
  • Documentation and simulations related to the EFT Initiative and FIS reporting and processing
  • Contacts


U of T

  • Reduces manual effort and provides a convenient, cost-effective way to distribute recurring payments by an electronic payment file rather than issuing a cheque.
  • Allows U of T to deliver remittance information along with payment electronically.
  • Reduces the uncertainties associated with the timing of cheques, reduces lost or misdirected cheques, and facilitates meeting tight payment terms.
  • Provides a secure file-transfer system to move files to and from CIBC in an automated manner.
  • Provides reassurance that security protocols will be implemented.
  • Allows for improved tracking capabilities.
  • Provides reassurance that payments will be processed properly by CIBC, a trusted U of T partner.


  • Increases payment transparency and reduces the uncertainties associated with the timing of payments and avoids lost or misdirected cheques.
  • Eliminates the inconvenience of suppliers having to prepare and process deposits – reduces manual workflows.
  • Increases speed of payment.


  • A – Task: Design, Starts June 2023, Ends June 2023
  • B – Task: Build, Starts June 2023, Ends September 2023
  • C – Task: Test, Starts September 2023, Ends October 2023
  • D – Task: Deploy, Starts October 2023, Ends October 2023
  • E – Milestone: Go Live, Occurs October 2023


Kirin Jeffery
Manager, Strategic Initiatives, Finance Division

Project Sponsors

  • Trevor Rodgers, Chief Financial Officer

Project Leadership Group

  • Cathy Eberts, Director, Enterprise Applications and Deputy CIO
  • Renata Faverin, Director, Procurement Services
  • Sanish Samuel, Controller and Director of Financial Services
  • John Ogg, Senior Manager, Financial & Student Account Information Systems