Frequently Asked Questions

How do I register for an account?

Through this website, you’ll be able to answer a few quick questions about the type of account you wish to register for and, based on those answers, you’ll receive the registration form tailored to your needs.  The form has been designed to auto-populate repetitive fields to make it more convenient, and it can be saved and/or printed out.

For individual accounts, the completion of the forms should take only a few moments.  For corporate accounts, the completion of forms and gathering of documents should, in most instances, be no more than a 30 minute investment.

There is no cost to register for an account with Payline.

Where can I access your services?

Anywhere in the world there is an Internet connection or access to a phone. Payline’s online platform is also accessible on many smartphones including the iPhone and Blackberry Torch.

Do I have to install software to use your services?

No. Our Foreign Exchange & International payments platform is web-based. 

Are my funds secure with Payline?

Client funds are held in accounts with major financial institutions. A number of Credit Unions and Financial Institutions place their trust in Payline by referring or outsourcing their foreign exchange and international payment requirements to us.

A business such as ours is heavily reliant on our reputation for service and delivering upon expectations.  We would not retain our clients and continue to grow if we weren’t able to meet or exceed these expectations.

Is my information safe with Payline?

We have the latest in encryption and security systems. All data is encrypted using SSL 128-bit processes, carried on secure lines and stored off site on secure servers. Your details are safe and cannot be viewed by an unauthorized party. Please see our Privacy Policy for more details.

How soon can I exchange currency after registering with Payline?

Once we have received your completed registration documents, the account with Payline will normally be activated within one business day.

What will my rate be / How much do you charge?

The mark-up on the exchange rate is normally our only revenue source and is dependent on the volume of currency that you are transacting, how much you transact with us over time as well as the currencies involved. For instance, a corporate client converting $100,000 USD to CAD every two weeks can logically expect to get a better rate than an individual funding their USD account with $2,500 every three months. A general rule of thumb is that exchange rates range up to 1% over mid-market rates for most major currency transactions. Keep in mind that this exchange rate is usually inclusive of all fees and charges.

How current are your exchange rates?

Exchange rates are updated in real time so will take account of any fluctuations.

How do I settle a foreign exchange transaction booked with Payline?

The majority of our clients have signed Pre-Authorized Debit (PAD) agreements authorizing Payline to process EFT debits to their USD or CAD accounts after booking a foreign exchange transaction.  This makes it a one-step process for our clients and adds to the convenience.  We have an array of other settlement options that we can discuss to meet your needs.

How does Payline help importers?

Once registered with Payline you can set up all your suppliers as templates in the system, so you don't need to re-key their details each time you have a payment to make. You can also scan and email their details and we can have them entered into our system for you. If you make regular payments, you will be surprised how quickly the savings add up and above all, how convenient it is to be able to book a transaction and make multiple payments without having to fax or go down to the bank.

How can Payline help exporters?

Exporters can easily and cost-effectively convert foreign revenues back into CAD, can add pricing stability to those foreign revenues through the use of forward contracts, and can take advantage of Payline’s banking relationships to receive funds from your customers in foreign currencies that you may not hold accounts in. If we make you easier to pay for your foreign customers and save you time, stress and money in doing so, it is a win-win situation.

What are wires, ACH’s, EFT's?

Bank wire transfers are the most expeditious method for transferring funds between bank accounts. A bank wire transfer is a message to the receiving bank requesting them to effect payment in accordance with the instructions given. The message also includes settlement instructions. Wire transfers were born around the telegraph companies hence the acronym TT or Telegraphic Transfer. The terms wire transfer or bank transfer (sometimes combined as bank wire transfer) are used for domestic or international transactions where no cash or cheque exchange is involved, but the account balance is directly (electronically) transferred from one bank to the other.  Wire transfers almost always result in fees for the beneficiary to receive the funds.

ACH (Automated Clearing House) is a paperless system that provides for the inter-bank clearing of electronic entries for participating financial institutions.  FedACH is the Federal Reserve's centralized application software used to process ACH transactions.  Both the government and the commercial sectors use ACH payments.  ACH payments do not incur fees for the beneficiary to receive the payment, but some purchases requiring guaranteed funds, will not be satisfied with ACH payments.

EFT (Electronic Fund Transfers) are processed using the payment networks of Canada and the United States. EFT is a paperless system that provides for the inter-bank clearing of electronic entries for participating financial institutions.  When you provide a company with a void cheque and authorized them to debit your account for a recurring bill, it is an EFT that they use to process that.

What are SWIFT, BIC codes and IBAN?

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication ("SWIFT") operates a worldwide financial messaging network. Messages are securely and reliably exchanged between banks and other financial institutions. The majority of international interbank messages use the SWIFT network. SWIFT links more than 9,000 financial institutions in 208 countries.

The Bank Identification Code (BIC) is a universal method of identifying financial institutions in order to facilitate automated processing of telecommunication messages in banking and related financial environments. It is often used interchangeably with SWIFT code.

The International Bank Account Number (IBAN) is an international standard for identifying bank accounts across national borders. It is primarily used in Europe and can be used in replacement of a bank account number.

What is a Spot deal?

In the spot market the exchange rate is agreed on the trade date (or ‘done’ date) with the date of exchange as soon as possible thereafter.

The standard time for ‘immediate‘ settlement is two business days after the trade date (T + 2). This is called the spot value date. (The only exception to this convention is USD/CAD which has a spot value date of T + 1).

This reduces settlement risk, allowing time for deal confirmation details and settlement system instructions to go through between counter-parties.

What is a Forward Contract?

A forward contract is a deal to exchange currencies – to buy or sell a particular currency – at an agreed date in the future, at an exchange rate agreed now. This rate is called the forward rate.

Business and Personal clients with foreign exchange needs typically have some degree of risk tolerance, but there is some appeal in the comfort of adding some surety and stability to costs or revenues in other currencies. We don’t typically go to a store and purchase an item for an ‘estimated’ price, only to find out whether it will cost more or less once it has been delivered to us. By securing the exchange rate for future needs (in whole or in part), just as they have secured the price with their vendor or customer, clients have the ability to know exactly what a foreign purchase or sale will amount to.

By way of example, a Canadian corporation will receive USD in 30 days time, the future value of that USD, or a portion of it, in terms of CAD can be fixed now by entering into a forward contract to sell USD for CAD in 30 days time at a pre-agreed rate.

A forward contract can have a designated value date (closed forward) or a period of time for which it can be exercised (window forward). These dates typically range up to one year into the future.

Why are Forward rates different than Spot rates?

The forward contract rate is based on the spot rate at the time the deal is booked, with an adjustment for the interest rate differential between the two currencies.  The magnitude of this adjustment is depending on how much the interest rates for the two currencies differ and how long the contract goes into the future.

For example, you need to buy GBP and sell USD in three months time and UK interest rates are higher than US interest rates. If you enter into a forward contract for this, because Payline holds the sterling until the forward contract settles in three months' time, you receive the benefit of the higher rate of interest that you would have earned on the sterling through a forward exchange rate better than the spot rate.  However, if UK interest rates were lower than US rates the reverse would apply and the forward contract rate would be less favourable than the spot rate.