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Glossary

Account

Your bank account, credit card account or debit card account, See also: Pay.gov Account.

ACH

The system your bank uses to process payments charged to your bank account. Also a term for electronic (automatic) payments from your savings or checking account. Also called Direct Debit.

ACH Credit

A transaction, allowed by some agencies, where instead of making the payment immediately from your bank account, you promise your participating bank will submit an ACH payment later. When you submit an ACH Credit transaction on Pay.gov, an ACH Credit Instruction form is displayed; it must be submitted to your bank. Your bank then follws the instructions send the payment and complete the transaction. Payment must be made within 60 days of the date you created the transaction on Pay.gov.

Agency

Used to describe any group in the U.S government, such as a department, bureau, agency, or other subdivision. An agency is who you pay through Pay.gov.

Amazon

A separate company that, among other transactions, accepts payments to some U.S. government agencies.

Automatic Payment

A payment withdrawn from your bank account or changed to your credit card account by Pay.gov without you needing to take any action after you have set it up.

Bank Holiday

Holidays when the Federal Reserve Bank is closed. Payments charged to your savings and checking account are not processed on bank holidays.

Bill

A notice from an agency that you must make a payment. On Pay.gov this includes the notice, information needed to access the bill, and an online page explaining the bill and the payment process. Some bills require you to sign in to a Pay.gov account before they can be paid. Other bills can be paid without signing in.

Business Day

Any day the Federal Reserve Bank is open. Generally Monday through Friday, excluding US holidays. Weekends and holidays are never business days, even if if your bank branch is open.

Duplicate

Making a copy of an agency form that was saved or used to make a payment in the past so it and information it contains can be reused for another payment of the same kind.

Dwolla

A separate company that, among other transactions, accepts payments to some U.S. government agencies. Dwolla transfers payments only from your bank account or using its own credit account. Credit and debit cards cannot be used.

Form

A page on Pay.gov where you fill in information required by an agency for your payment. Different from a payment page where you fill in information about your bank or credit card account.

Pay.gov

A website where you can make payments to many U.S. government agencies.

Pay.gov Account

The account on Pay.gov you created or that was created for you by an agency. You do not need to create an account to make most payments.

Payment Date

The date you submitted a payment on Pay.gov. Different from the settlement date, which is the date money was actually withdrawn from you bank account or charged to your credit card.

Payment Method

The account or service you use to make your payment on Pay.gov. Examples include checking and savings accounts, credit cards, PayPal and others.

PayPal

A separate company that, among other transactions, accepts payments to some U.S. government agencies.

Recurring Payment

See Automatic Payment

Registration

The process of creating an account on Pay.gov.

Routing Transit Number (RTN)

A number that identifies the bank or other institution where you have your checking, savings or business account. The RTN can be found on your checks or bank statement.

Settlement

The date and time when money is actually withdrawn from or charged to your bank or credit card account. It can be different from the date and time you made the payment on Pay.gov (payment date). Also the process that determines if money is available in your account.