Last updated November 13, 2019
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|The Electronic Fund Transfer System (EFTS) is an online billing system for interlibrary loan (ILL) transactions. EFTS collects an ILL charge from a borrowing library, on behalf of the lending library, and pays it to the lender, less a transaction fee.
EFTS is currently operated by the University of Connecticut Health Center (UCHC) and has been since 1996, when UCHC and NLM collaborated to create EFTS.
On May 22, 2019, UCHC informed EFTS users that UCHC would regretfully cease EFTS operations on December 31, 2019, a date later extended to December 31, 2020. This announcement has understandably created major concerns for the many libraries that depend on the EFTS service. Since this announcement, MLA, UCHC, and NLM have collaborated on an MLA solution to launch a new and enhanced EFTS platform. UCHC has agreed to extend the current EFTS operations until MLA’s EFTS platform is operational, to ensure a continuity of service.
* Payment of the US $275 is due only if MLA proceeds with the actual development. MLA will notify signed up users of its decision, at which time payment of the activation fee will be due.
The EFTS platform was developed 20+ years ago on older technology that does not meet today’s security and operational requirements.
The volume of ILL transactions processed by EFTS has dropped by half in the last 10 years, resulting in insufficient revenues to support the UCHC administrative costs. UCHC estimates that it would need to invest US $200,000 to reprogram the platform.
MLA and its chapters have a long history of being a financial clearinghouse for ILL transactions. Many of you may recall purchasing and redeeming coupons. EFTS is an essential service to many libraries and fits in MLA’s mission. For many smaller libraries, EFTS is the only affordable solution.
We determined that MLA has the expertise to develop a new platform that can provide enhanced service, use the latest technologies, and be sustainable at a lower ILL transaction volume. We can achieve this by adopting the latest technology, reducing administrative time, increasing transaction fees from 6% to 10% (that corresponds to a 4.3% reduction in margin for the borrower), and “crowdfunding” the development costs.
We aim to make the EFTS platform sustainable at a 50% decrease in transaction volume.
EFTS is operating at 50% of its volume from 10 years ago, with continued decreases forecast. In order to justify a $200,000 investment in developing a 100% new platform, we are asking EFTS users to crowdfund the development, consistent with the communication that users received in May from UCHC.
We believe it is reasonable to forecast that 75% of the current 1,000 EFTS users will support a new platform, which adds up to $206,250.
Payment of the $275 is due only if MLA proceeds with the actual development. MLA will notify signed-up users of its decision, at which time payment of the activation fee will be due.
US and non-US libraries in good standing, with an active DOCLINE account and associated DOCLINE identification (LIBID).
There is NO requirement to be an MLA member. There is NO requirement to be a current EFTS library.
Click here to view the list of current EFTS libraries, sorted by LIBID.
You can request that we send you an electronic user agreement. You will have the option to:
We will unfortunately not be able to proceed, and UCHC has indicated that will have to cease operating the EFTS platform no later than December 31, 2020 (one year more than originally indicated).
In this case, the user agreements do not go into effect, and no activation fee is due.
We immediately start the programing and testing of the new EFTS, which we expect to have launched in April 2020. The good news is that if we need more time (we want to get it right), UCHC’s EFTS continues to operate.
Your activation fee is due. If you opted for the activation fee to be taken out of your EFTS account, the fee is processed in the current EFTS (UCHC).
UCHC and MLA have designed a transition to be as seamless as possible for you:
In the days leading to the actual transition, expect several action items related to configuring your new EFTS account, so that all is set up prior to processing ILL transactions on the new system.
Until then, business as usual on UCHC’s EFTS platform.
Each library designates a manager. Managers are able to add or remove individuals assigned to their library account and to perform higher level roles such as financial transfers. Managers can then assign multiple individuals to their library account.
An individual can have multiple roles for different library accounts.
Each library has money in its own EFTS fund account held by MLA on its behalf. Your library’s fund account receives money transferred by your library or earned by lending transactions, and is used to pay out money owed as a result of borrowing transactions or fees assessed by EFTS. Libraries with a positive fund account balance may transfer money out of their EFTS fund account.
Fund accounts and transactions are in US dollars only.
We are making it simple for you to transfer money between your library and your EFTS fund account.
For payments from your library to your library’s EFTS fund account, you have the following options:
We will add a 3% credit card processing fee for any payment made by credit card to offset credit card processing charges (to avoid this charge, send a check, or better yet, send an eTransfer).
For payments from your library’s EFTS fund account to your library, you have the following options
Transfers from your library’s EFTS fund account to your library are processed quarterly. Those are triggered by rules configured by your EFTS manager.
EFTS will use Bill.com as the secure gateway for financial transactions. Bill.com is a “gold standard” for optimal user experience and high-level of security and internal controls, including payment card industry (PCI) compliance.
What is new:
In the default Wallet configuration:
The ILL Transaction configuration is available to libraries that are not allowed to carry a fund balance and that have been approved by MLA for this configuration. In the ILL Transaction configuration
What is new:
Lending libraries will continue to be able to:
What is new: libraries will be able to opt to have DOCLINE provide the ILL transaction information to EFTS, eliminating the need for upload files or manual entries. This is how it works:
Regardless of the configuration, lenders can review, adjust if necessary, and confirm their transactions before they are charged to the borrower(s). EFTS also allows lenders to credit transactions previously invoiced.
You can view your library’s EFTS balances, transactions, and required action list through a combination of a dashboard and downloadable reports. You are notified via email when there is a required action item (e.g., validating transactions).
UCHC set EFTS fees 20+ years ago based on a significantly higher ILL volume and marginal use of credit cards.
To sustain EFTS operations, MLA will charge an account activation fee for all users, increase the transaction fee charged to lenders, and add a credit card transaction fee for libraries who use them.
As a borrower, if you pay by check or electronic transfer, nothing changes.
Stay tuned for updates. For immediate questions, please contact Kevin Baliozian, MLA executive director.
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