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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the relationship between eCollections and eCommerce?

eCollections is a strategic approach to electronic collections. eCollections focuses on offering the best tools and tactics for an agency to move its payers from paper to electronic channels.

eCommerce seeks to make available payment industry technologies with which members of the public are already familiar, such as online bill pay, PayPal, Amazon Pay, and mobile applications.

eCommerce solutions are essential components of the overall eCollections initiative. But eCollections also uses existing Fiscal Service electronic channels such as Pay.gov, Automated Clearing House (ACH) debit and credit, wire, and credit and debit cards, as well as other additional tactics controlled by both the Fiscal Service and other government agencies.

What is the difference between initiated electronic collection and settled electronic collection?

“Initiated” electronic collection refers to a payment transaction that started electronically (credit card, ACH debit) and also finished electronically. Think “cradle to grave.”

"Settled” electronic collection refers to a transaction that started on paper and finished electronically. For example, a written check could be sent either to one of our lockboxes or directly to an agency over-the-counter (OTC) and then converted to electronic format for settlement through Electronic Check Capture technology.

The eCollections initiative focuses on initiated electronic collection – having the entire transaction happen electronically. No paper.

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