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Transaction processing and settlement

Card transaction settlement

Westpac credits your account the same day, except on weekends and national public holidays when the settlement is delayed until the next banking day. The amount credited is the total of approved transactions. Any direct debit or merchant service fees will be deducted as separate transactions per your service agreement.

American Express and Diners Club may credit your account a number of days later and may be a net amount (i.e. approved transactions less the merchant service fees), depending on your contract with them. Although Westpac facilitates the processing of the transaction, we do not control settlement for these schemes and therefore any queries should be made to American Express and Diners Club directly.

For reconciliation purposes, all successful transactions through a given acquirer that return the same settlement date will be credited together on the same day.

What are the card cut-off times?

The standard cut-off time for card payments is 18:00 (Australia/Sydney Time).

When are payments sent to the bank?

Generally, card transactions will be processed immediately. The settlement date will depend on the time of processing (whether they were processed before the current day's cutoff time).

When are card payments refundable?

Card transactions can be voided during a settlement day before the cut-off time. A voided card transaction will not appear on the merchant or cardholder statement. After settlement cut-off, card transactions can be refunded.

Bank account transaction settlement

Bank account transactions work differently from card transactions in that there is no immediate response from your customer's bank to indicate whether the transaction worked. Instead, the transaction is assumed to have worked unless it is later declined by the customer's bank. The customer's bank can decline the transaction for up to 3 banking days after the transaction was processed.

Your Bank account facility configuration will affect how successful and failed transactions are represented on your statement. For example, your account may be credited with the total amount of all direct debit transactions processed in one settlement day. Your account may also be debited with the amount of declined (or "returned") direct debit transactions. If no transactions are returned, you will not receive a debit that day.

What are the Bank account cut-off times?

The standard cut-off time for Bank account payments is 16:00 (Australia/Sydney).

When are payments sent to the bank?

Generally, Bank account transactions performed before 16:00 (Australia/Sydney) will be submitted to the bank for processing at 16:00.

When are bank account payments refundable?

If your facility supports it, bank account payments are refundable after 5 days (to account for other financial institutions returning transactions late.) Not all facility types support bank account refunds.

Payment procedure

Card transactions

The payment procedure for card payments is simple. Card payments occur in real-time: the transaction is made between Westpac and the payer's issuing bank. The issuing bank responds to Westpac with a response code to report the success or failure of the card transaction.

Bank account transactions

Note: Bank account, Direct entry and Direct debit are terms that are used interchangably. While they do refer to different parts of the bank account payment process, the context is bank account payments.

The payment procedure for bank accounts is more complex than the payment procedure for cards. It will take 5 banking days to fully process a bank account payment. During this time you will receive a number of Cash Applied Files from QuickStream. A Cash Applied File is a file that contains information about the payments submitted by your customers.

QuickStream will generate a Cash Applied File at 20:00 (Australia/Sydney) on banking days. It lists the valid bank account payments that have been submitted by your customers that day. A 'valid' payment is a payment that has passed the high level error checks performed by QuickStream and Westpac. Payments that fail these checks will be deemed invalid and won't be included in the Cash Applied File.

The Cash Applied File only includes payments that are submitted before the cut off time. For bank account payments this is 4pm Sydney time each banking day. Transactions that occur after this time will be included in the next file.

Day Time Step Details
1 16:00 (Australia/Sydney) QuickStream submits bank account payments to Westpac's payment processor. The payments are those made since the previous banking day.
1 Before 20:00 Westpac performs high level error checking on each of the payments in the file. An Exception Disbursement file (also known as a Direct Entry Exception Disbursement file or DEEDS file) is then created and sent back to QuickStream. This file lists all the payments and categorises each one as either valid or invalid. Behind the scenes Westpac will also send a debit request to each customer's bank.
The transaction status
At this point a 'valid' status simply means the payment doesn't display any obvious errors. This is a temporary status and one that may change over the following 5 banking days as the customer's bank processes the debit request.

If the customer's bank discovers an error (for example, there is insufficient funds in the customer's account) the bank will inform Westpac about the error. Westpac will then change the payment's status to invalid and notify QuickStream. This notification is done via a Returns file and is explained further below.

1 20:00 (Australia/Sydney) QuickStream creates a Cash Applied File. The report contains information about valid and invalid bank account and also card payments.
2 06:00 (Australia/Sydney) Westpac creates a Returns file (also known as a Direct Entry Returns Processing System or DERPS file) and will send it to QuickStream. The Returns file contains all the overnight error notifications sent in by other banks. These errors are low level errors that can only be identified by the customer's bank. If there are no returned payments, this file will be empty.
2 20:00 (Australia/Sydney) QuickStream creates a Cash Applied File. The report contains information about valid and invalid bank account and also card payments.
3 06:00 (Australia/Sydney) Westpac creates a Returns file (also known as a Direct Entry Returns Processing System or DERPS file) and will send it to QuickStream.
3 20:00 (Australia/Sydney) QuickStream creates a Cash Applied File.
4 06:00 (Australia/Sydney) Westpac creates a Returns file (also known as a Direct Entry Returns Processing System or DERPS file) and will send it to QuickStream.
4 20:00 (Australia/Sydney) QuickStream creates a Cash Applied File.

Processing is complete. Any payment that was included in the Cash Applied File on day 1 and not included in the Cash Applied File on day 2, 3 or 4 can now be considered successful.

Disclaimer

The information contained in this publication is provided for learning purposes only and is subject to change. Revisions may be issued from time to time that encompass changes or additions to this module.

This is a guide only and it is not comprehensive. It does not impinge on or overrule any formal arrangement you may enter into with the Bank. The Bank and its officers shall not have any liability for any losses of any kind incurred in connection with any action, inaction or decision taken in reliance on the information herein or for any inaccuracies, errors or omissions. In this publication references to the "Bank" are to Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 and to any of its operating Divisions, including BankSA and St.George.