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Choosing EFT or Wire Transfer in SureFund: what is the difference?


Electronic Funds Transfers (EFTs) and wire transfers are both popular methods of transferring money safely and quickly from one entity to another. As a real estate law firm using SureFund, there are some differences that may help you determine the best method to select when entering a Payee Type as OTHER (manual entry). When wondering which to choose in SureFund, you may want to consider how quickly the funds are needed and any additional costs associated with the payment type you select.

In this guide, we will review the distinctions between the two payment types when using SureFund.

What is the difference between an EFT and a wire transfer?

The differences are subtle, but while wire transfers are a form of EFT, EFTs are not wire transfers.

An EFT moves funds from one bank account to be deposited into another account, and can be used for payments within Canada that accept EFT.

A wire transfer is a form of electronic transfer that is made across a network of banks and financial institutions (Lynx, Canada’s high-value payment system), and can be used for payments within Canada. Banks and financial institutions have clearing processes to settle accounts between them in order to complete a wire transfer.

When should I select an EFT instead of a wire?

EFT is a safe payment option for transferring funds between two accounts in Canada when same day or next day receipt is acceptable. Funds typically post to the Payee’s account on the same day between 6:00pm and 11:00pm or by the next day.

When should I select a wire instead of an EFT?

Wire transfer is a good option for time-sensitive payments, as it is the quickest method of transferring funds to Payees. For example, when a deal is dependent on another deal to close in order to receive purchasing funds, you may want to opt for a wire transfer.

While wire transfers are usually very quick, it can take up to 5 hours for the two banks/financial institutions involved to settle the transaction. Banks and financial institutions have clearing processes to complete wire transfers, which is why it can take extra time.

Is there a transaction limit for EFTs?

There is no transaction limit for EFTs.

When are funds deposited into the account when using EFT?

Funds are processed at the end of the business day, and should post to the Payee’s account on the same day between 6:00pm and 11:00pm or by the next day.

Who can receive funds via EFT?

Funds can be sent within Canada to your clients, other lawyers, or any payee that accepts payment by EFT.

What is the SureFund fee for processing a wire transfer vs. EFT?

Disbursements where the Payee is being paid by Wire Transfer are subject to an additional $15 +HST per transaction, while EFTs are included in the base SureFund Service Fee.

It is also important to note that banks and financial institutions typically charge an Incoming Wire Fee to the recipient, and this cost can vary widely. If you opt to choose Wire Transfer as a Payment Type in SureFund to transfer funds to your client (for example), they can expect to be charged an Incoming Fee by their bank or financial institution.

What information is required for an EFT?

It is important to enter the following information into SureFund correctly:

  • Payee Email Address
  • Transit Number
  • Bank Number and Bank Name
  • Account Number

What information is require for a wire transfer?

Wire transfers require more information and are irrevocable, so it is important to enter all details into SureFund correctly.

  • Payee Contact Name
  • Transit Number
  • Bank Number and Bank Name
  • Account Number
  • Bank Account Holder Name
  • Bank Address
  • Mailing Address


SureFund offers secure and convenient options for processing disbursements to “OTHER” Payees. Although often used interchangeably, EFTs and wire transfers are not the same, and knowing the difference can save you and your clients money.