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Latitudes December 11th, 2019
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New Electronic Fund Transfer System (EFTS) Platform Update!

Posted by on November 20th, 2019 Posted in: Announcements, DOCLINE, Document Delivery
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Electronic Fund Transfer System logo with the letters EFTS and the DOCLINE Billing Component underneath it

The Medical Library Association (MLA) has developed the specifications of a new Electronic Funds Transfer System (EFTS) platform. MLA will proceed with actual development and implementation if a minimum of 750 users sign up for the new platform by January 10, 2020. As of November 20, 2019, nearly 500 libraries have signed up to receive a user agreement.

EFTS is an online billing system for interlibrary loan (ILL) transactions that collects an ILL charge from a borrowing library, on behalf of the lending library, and pays it to the lender, less a transaction fee.

  • Participating libraries are able to exchange funds for the payment of ILLs instead of creating their own invoices and writing checks to each other.
  • EFTS only processes the financial component of ILL transactions between a borrower and a lender, using ILL transaction information provided to EFTS by the lender.
  • The National Library of Medicine DOCLINE platform is the preferred service to match a lender with a borrower.
  • The fulfillment of the ILL is managed outside of EFTS and DOCLINE by the lender.

EFTS has been operated by the University of Connecticut Health Center (UCHC) since 1996, when UCHC and NLM collaborated to create it. In May, 2019, UCHC informed EFTS users that UCHC would cease EFTS operations on December 31, 2019, 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.

For information on the new EFTS features, enhancements, and fees, and to request a user agreement, please consult the EFTS information page. MLA has also collected answers to questions current EFTS users and potential participants may have:

  • MLA will send out the user agreement to the list of libraries who requested a user agreement, once it has been completed and vetted by several libraries.
  • All libraries that want to use the new EFTS need to sign up, with one agreement per DOCLINE LIBID (Library Identification).
  • There is no automatic sign up of libraries in a consortium (each library needs to sign up individually).
  • If you replied to UHCH’s May 2019 survey regarding your willingness to kickstart a new EFTS platform, you still need to sign up.
  • If you are a current user of EFTS, you will have the option to pay the new registration fee using your current EFTS funds and will have the option to have your funds transferred directly from the current EFTS to the new EFTS.
  • If you are not a current user of EFTS, please join the new EFTS. MLA forecasts to have it active in April 2020.

For more information, contact Kevin Baliozian, MLA executive director.

Image of the author ABOUT Marco Tamase
Marco Tamase is the Member Services Coordinator for the Pacific Southwest Region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine located at UCLA.

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Phone: (310) 825-2183
Email: psr-nnlm@library.ucla.edu

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This project is funded by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Cooperative Agreement Number UG4LM012341 with the UCLA Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library.

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