Automated Clearing House. A generic term, which many countries have branded or re-named (e.g. for UK BACS, for Hong Kong ECG/Autopay). The Federal Reserve in the USA retained the term to indicate the system which which facilitates electronic debit and credit transactions between financial institutions in North America. The term ACH is also commonly used to refer to individual electronic debit transactions (e.g. electronic cheque debiting) or credit transactions (e.g. payroll deposits) within the United States.
Anti Money Laundering. The procedures and policies adopted by banks and financial institutions to avoid being inadvertently caught up in money laundering activities.
Automatic (or automated) Teller Machine, commonly referred to as a “bank machine”, “hole-in-the-wall” or “cashpoint”.
Business to Business, a common abbreviation signifying a payment between two companies.
Business to Consumer, a common abbreviation signifying a payment from a private individual to a company.
Bankers Automated Clearing Services, the electronic ACH system in the United Kingdom which passes financial transactions between financial institutions. Direct debits and automated credits are passed through the BACS system.
Bank Identification Code. A standard 8- or 11-digit string used under the auspices of the International Organization for Standardization and administered by SWIFT. It uniquely identifies either a bank (8 digits) or a branch (11 digits). The first four digits are the bank code, the next two the ISSN country identifier number, and the next three the location identifier. The main office of the bank has 8 digits, or is followed by XXX: where there is an 11 digit code and the last three are not XXX, this identifies the particular branch. BICs are often referred to as “SWIFT Codes”.
Bank Identification Number, commonly (and wrongly) referred to as “Bin Number”. This is the first six digits of the number on many types of card including credit cards and debit cards. As other issuers besides banks participate in card schemes, the term IIN (Issuer Identification Number) is replacing BIN.
Bankleitzahl. The German and Austrian system for numbering banks uniquely, similar to SortCodes in the UK, BSB in Australia etc.
Bank State Branch, a six digit code used to identify, uniquely, Australian bank branch.
Bank Transfer Service. Commonly referred to as “Giro”, PacNet’s service offering in those countries where we offer clients the ability to collect “pushed” payments in a designated bank account.
The Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa.
franc – or simply the Franc, is the collective name of the West African CFA Franc and the Central African CFA Franc. Both currencies are guaranteed by the French Treasury. Although in effect they are separate currencies, in practice they are interchangeable.
franc – or simply the Franc, is the name of the currency in use in the French Overseas Collectivities, namely French Polynesia, New Caledonia and Wallis and Futuna. It originally stood for Colonies Fran├žaises du Pacifique or “French Colonies of the Pacific” and now is Change Franc Pacifique (or simply Franc Pacifique).
Clearing House Automated Payment System, the UK system of fast (same day) sterling and euro funds transfers.
Commonwealth of Independent States. The former Soviet Republics, namely: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Turkmenistan has been an associate member only since 2005.
A company or individual contractually engaged with PacNet. Internally, we use this term as distinct from “customer” which is the consumer who purchases from our client.
Common Monetary Area
A monetary union of Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland which allows free movement of domestic currency and payments across borders, and commonality of cheque clearing facilities in any one country.
An individual or company which purchases a product or service from PacNet’s client.
Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa
A monetary union of six countries: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, which share a common currency (XAF) and permit free movement of funds between them.
See Euro Standard Payment. A low-cost, slow payment method which may be sent cross-border between countries which are members of the European Common Payment Area.
Euro Standard Payment
A low-cost, slow payment method which may be used, up to a limit of EUR 50,000, to make cross-border transmissions between countries which are members of the Euro Common Payment Area.
European Union.
European Union
An economic and political organization of several states. It presently has 28 members: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
A “direct deposit” financial transaction in which the payer instructs his/her bank to place money in the account of another party. Giros are generally “safer” than cheque or direct debit transactions because they are only paid if there is sufficient money in the sending account.
Hard Currencies
there is no official definition, but this term refers to those currencies in which there is general investor confidence as regards stability and negotiability. The incontrovertible members are CHF (Swiss Franc), EUR (Euro), GBP (Pound Sterling), JPY (Japanese Yen) and USD (US Dollar). Some 86% of the world’s Central Banks’ reserves are held in these five currencies alone. It will readily be seen that exchange rate alone is not a determinant: the US dollar has suffered very badly against most other currencies in recent years but is nonetheless universally regarded as a safe investment: the stability of the issuing government and Central Bank is perhaps a larger factor.
International Bank Account Number. Often (incorrectly) referred to as IBAN Number. An unique account identifier for every bank account in Europe, supervised by SWIFT. The IBAN system was originally intended for use within Europe, and its use is largely confined thereto: most notably, the USA does not participate. Among British dependencies, only Gibraltar assigns IBANs. All of Europe does however participate with the exception of the CIS countries: Turkey uses IBANS and so do some African countries. The number consists first of a two-digit country identifier, followed by two check digits, then up to 30 characters representing the local account. The number of characters varies from country to country, but is fixed for each country. When used electronically there are no spaces in IBANs, but the convention on paper is to separate into groups of four with any odd digits in the last group.
Irish Retail Electronic payments Clearing Company governs and administers the direct debit scheme in Ireland.
Know Your Customer. The rules created by banks and financial institutions to fulfill their obligations to properly identify customers as part of the fight against money laundering.
LastSchriftVerfahren: it is the name for Swiss direct debit. In French it is called “recouvrement direct”.
Message Type. The prefix for types of electronic message transmitted through SWIFT, of which there is a large variety: for example, MT-940 (end of day balance and transaction report); MT-942 (intra-day balance and transaction report). Raven interprets MT-940 and MT-942 messages to display account activity on Panorama.
Non-Sufficient Funds. The “reason for return” of a cheque or payment order (such as direct debit) where there are insufficient funds in the debited account to cover the payment.
Originator Identification Number. An unique number used in reference to a direct debit, which via the banking system’s directory points to the company or organization which initiates a pulled payment transaction.
PacNet’s proprietary account information viewer, developed by DeepCove Laboratories Ltd., used by PacNet itself to review its bank accounts worldwide on a single platform.
PacNet’s proprietary financial transaction management software, developed by DeepCove Laboratories.
Raven Online
(ROL) used by clients to review the state of their dealings with PacNet.
Real Time Gross Settlements. The national system (each country has its own) used to make financial settlements between banks, allowing customers to transfer money to customers of other banks. In the UK CHAPS is used, in the USA FedWire/CHIPS, and in HongKong CHATS. No money actually moves: the Central bank debits the account of one institution, and credits that of another. RTGS is contrasted with end-of-day settlement systems like BACS, where net balances are debited and credited at the end of a clearing cycle.
The Raven Transaction Submitter’s Guide. The technical document provided to PacNet Clients which describes file structure and format for sending and receiving instructions and information via Raven.
The Single Euro Payments Area.
Single Euro Payments Area
32 countries within which all payments including cross-border are regarded as domestic. Payment rules constrain banks to charge no more for a payment to any of these countries than would be charged for a domestic transfer. The 32 countries in SEPA are the 28 EU members, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The Holy See, San Marino and Monaco are all included, but Andorra is not even though it uses the Euro as its currency.
Swiss Interbank Clearing is the company that governs and administers the direct debit scheme in Switzerland.
Spot Price
The price quoted for immediate delivery of goods or services, as opposed to future. In foreign exchange environments it is often derived from an average of offers by several traders.
Service User Number replaces OIN for UK direct debit.
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, the universally recognized method for financial messaging between banks in over 200 countries a small group of international corporate members. The basis of most “wire transfers” and a wide variety of other electronic messages conveyed between financial institutions. PacNet is a corporate member of SWIFT with the I.D. PNSEIE2D.
The West African Economic and Monetary Union.
West African Economic and Monetary Union
Economic grouping of eight countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo, which share a common currency (XOF) and allow free movement of funds between them.

Copyright & Copy; 2007, 2010, 2011 R Paul Davis, Renee Frappier and Gabrielle Sherry