Electronic Funds Transfer

The University of Toronto has successfully introduced the first phase of a pilot project to update the payment method for external vendors. 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

The first phase of the pilot project launched on August 11, 2022 and vetted thirty-three Canadian currency vendors to transition from payments by paper cheque to direct deposit, offering increased payment speed while reducing processing costs for the University and vendors. Vendors were selected for the EFT pilot due to their transaction volume and spend and were onboarded through the Enterprise Service Centre.

The first phase of of the pilot project serves as a foundation for onboarding additional vendors in the future

 

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 pilot project to improve efficiencies and transparency for vendors and staff.

Resources

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

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

Please see the list of vendors that have enrolled in Phase 1 of the EFT pilot project.

Benefits

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.

Vendors

  • 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.

Timeline

  • A – Milestone: Go Live, Occurs August 2022
  • B – Task: Prepare, Starts December 2021, Ends February 2022
  • C – Task: Design, Starts February 2022, Ends March 2022
  • D – Task: Build, Starts April 2022, Ends July 2022
  • E – Task: Technical Testing, Starts May 2022, Ends June 2022
  • F – Task: Financial Testing, Starts July 2022, Ends July 2022
  • G – Task: Deploy, Starts July 2022, Ends August 2022
  • H – Task: Communication & Change Management, Starts December 2021, Ends August 2022
  • I – Task: Project & Quality Management, Starts December 2021, Ends August 2022

Contact

Kirin Jeffery
Manager, Strategic Initiatives, Finance Division
kirin.jeffery@utoronto.ca

Project Sponsors

  • Scott Mabury, Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships & Vice-Provost, Academic Operations
  • Trevor Rodgers, Chief Financial Officer

Project Leadership Group

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