FYI Canadian businesses: what you need to know about government payments

November 28, 2013 - Tags: Economy

This guest post has been provided by Public Works and Government Services Canada.

By April 1, 2016, the federal government will stop issuing payments by cheque (except in exceptional circumstances) and pay only by direct deposit.

The reason for this is compelling. It costs the government (i.e. taxpayers) approximately 83 cents to print, process and mail a cheque. Direct deposit brings that down to around 11 cents. The difference is staggering when you consider that the government will have issued more than 55 million cheques by the end of this year.

While this shift to direct deposit will save the government money, it also has tangible benefits for small and medium-sized business.

Direct deposit is:

  • Fast. Whether it's a refund or payment for services rendered or goods provided, the money goes straight into your account without delay.
  • Secure. There's no risk of your payment being delayed, lost, stolen, or damaged.
  • Convenient. Because it goes directly to your bank account, the money is there when you need it even if you're not around to get the mail or get to the bank.
  • A timesaver. You no longer need to shuffle your schedule to accommodate banking hours or wait in bank lineups.
  • Easily managed. If you receive more than one type of payment, for example an income tax refund and money for goods or services provided, they can be deposited in different accounts – even at different banks.

Help is close at hand

Public Works and Government Services Canada will help you make a smooth transition to a system that not only benefits all Canadians individually but also saves taxpayers an estimated $17 million each year. Not to mention, the 32,600 trees that will be saved yearly.

Canada's top financial institutions and accountants also are ready to assist you. So don't wait until April 1, 2016 to take advantage of all the benefits of direct deposit.  It's your money, so get it fast and get it into your bank account the most secure way possible.

Need more information?

Check out the Public Works and Government Services Canada website and/or call toll free: 1-800-593-1666 Monday to Friday between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. EST.

Made your decision to sign up?

Contact the federal department or agency with which you do business so your invoices can be paid by direct deposit.


Posted by on January 6, 2014
Hello Annie,

Here is the response from our colleagues at Public Works and Government Services Canada. Hope it helps!

Thank you very much for your interest in direct deposit. We are happy to hear that you are pleased with the service.

With regards to the notification you receive about your payments, each department has its own configuration in their financial systems as to when the notification of payments are sent. You would have to contact the department(s) you are conducting business with to see what is feasible regarding invoice processing. The notification you are receiving now is tied directly to the processing of the payment and not the processing of the invoice.

Thank you once again for your comments; we appreciate you using direct deposit.
Posted by on December 10, 2013
Bonjour Adobah,

Le personnel d'Entreprises Canada au Nouveau-Brunswick serait plus qu'heureux de recevoir plus d'informations au sujet de votre idée de boulangerie et de répondre aux questions que vous pourriez avoir sur l'ouverture d'une entreprise au Nouveau-Brunswick.

S'il vous plaît, n'hésitez pas à nous envoyer un courriel directement à afin que nous puissions recueillir les informations nécessaires pour mieux répondre à vos besoins.
Posted by Adobah on December 7, 2013
Je désire ardemment venir m'installer au Nouveau-Brunswick, pour y travailler et/ou ouvrir ma propre boulangerie pour travailler délicieusement au Nouveau-Brunswick. C'est mon seul désir et ma seule idée.
Posted by Annie on December 4, 2013
Thank you. I appreciate you passing along the comment.
Posted by on December 4, 2013
Hi Annie,

Thank you for your feedback about direct deposit. We have shared your comment with our colleagues at Public Works and Government Services Canada.

If you need more information, you can visit the Public Works and Government Services Canada website ( and/or call toll free: 1-800-593-1666 Monday to Friday between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. EST.
Posted by Annie on December 4, 2013
I think it is great that the government is moving toward direct deposit. My company is already registered for direct deposit with several government departments and it has been a great experience.

I do have one suggestion for improving it, however. At the moment, I receive a payment notification when the Direct Deposit is being made (i.e. it says the money will be deposited into my account within the next few business days).

Personally, I would like that notification even earlier, i.e. as soon as the payment has been scheduled. I know that the government has a policy of paying an invoice 30 days after it was received or approved, whichever one happens last. But as a consultant to government, I don't always know when my invoice was received or processed.

I would love to receive a notification as soon as it has been processed indicating what date I should expect the payment on. This would serve two purposes. First, it would reassure me that the invoice has been received. Second, it would help me with my cash flow planning.
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