Personal Finance

Why weekends and holidays are not business days ?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 24th, 2020 2:19 pm
[OP]
Sr. Member
Apr 13, 2017
730 posts
259 upvotes

Why weekends and holidays are not business days ?

It’s 2020 and almost everything is electronic. Yet, banks still don’t consider weekends and holidays as business days. Transactions are pushed to next business day etc.

Why can’t banks treat every day as business day for electronic transactions ? Their computer systems work around the clock, after all.
19 replies
Member
Sep 16, 2017
265 posts
155 upvotes
legacy systems that cost astronomical amounts to switch from.
Deal Fanatic
Dec 5, 2006
6161 posts
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Markham
What's the benefit for BANKS?
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Jan 9, 2011
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headleygrange wrote: It’s 2020 and almost everything is electronic. Yet, banks still don’t consider weekends and holidays as business days. Transactions are pushed to next business day etc.

Why can’t banks treat every day as business day for electronic transactions ? Their computer systems work around the clock, after all.
The electronic payment network is nothing more than a front end to the 1960s paper cheque based, human-involved evenings-and-weekends-off clearing system that still forms the back end of it. I agree, it is astonishing that in 2020 this is still the case. An e-payment should take literally seconds, not days and delayed by a weekend or holiday. The existing technology was outdated even 15 years ago. In 2005 I never would have predicted that it would still be in use by 2020. But here we are. Anyone want to bet on it still being here in 2035?
Newbie
Dec 5, 2017
80 posts
37 upvotes
That's why I bank at TD, open 7 days a week. Although I rarely go into the branch anymore.
Sr. Member
Jul 26, 2018
704 posts
822 upvotes
Canada, eh?
Besides the system limitations, the overnight rate and interbank lending market are also a reason. These markets allow banks to lend and borrow huge amounts of funds between each other, as well as with Bank of Canada. These typically only operate M to F.

When you bank at TD, even though they're opened 7 days a week, your transaction may go through/process on a weekend. But in reality this might not get processed until Monday in TD's backend system.
Member
Aug 8, 2019
341 posts
195 upvotes
Are the delays intentional to help catch fraudulent activity?
Deal Addict
Jul 21, 2005
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Spiritwalker2222 wrote: That's why I bank at TD, open 7 days a week. Although I rarely go into the branch anymore.
I don't use TD for daily banking but had an account with them for a while, holding the magical $2000 in the account to avoid fees. Just got a letter from the bank a few days ago that the account I have will no longer have this $2000 limit...and regardless of how much you hold in it, it will be $3.95 in fees. Guess who is closing that account down, this guy! What a bunch of goofs, this old school thinking at all the big banks will be their downfall eventually unless they evolve.
Member
Feb 28, 2014
437 posts
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Spiritwalker2222 wrote: That's why I bank at TD, open 7 days a week. Although I rarely go into the branch anymore.
The branches are opened over the weekend but things are still not processed until the next business day for backend transfers.
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Jan 9, 2011
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roleless wrote: Are the delays intentional to help catch fraudulent activity?
No. They're using an antiquated system from the 1960s that requires human intervention, humans that work M-F. The technology to make it instant exists; just look at Interac, make a payment and the funds are gone from your bank account instantly. Hopefully one day the banks will modernize and all e-payments and transfers will work the same way.
Member
Aug 8, 2019
341 posts
195 upvotes
Kiraly wrote: No. They're using an antiquated system from the 1960s that requires human intervention, humans that work M-F. The technology to make it instant exists; just look at Interac, make a payment and the funds are gone from your bank account instantly. Hopefully one day the banks will modernize and all e-payments and transfers will work the same way.
Is that not dangerous, if a malicious can move money instantly then it can potentially steal money and become difficult to trace due to fast transfers?
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Jan 9, 2011
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roleless wrote: Is that not dangerous, if a malicious can move money instantly then it can potentially steal money and become difficult to trace due to fast transfers?
Sure I suppose it's possible. But I don't think that's reason enough for e-payments for the rest of us to take days when they should take seconds. Pay my Visa bill online and it takes 2-3 business days and weekends/holidays don't count? That's just unacceptable in 2020.
Newbie
Sep 12, 2019
37 posts
32 upvotes
Kiraly wrote: Sure I suppose it's possible. But I don't think that's reason enough for e-payments for the rest of us to take days when they should take seconds. Pay my Visa bill online and it takes 2-3 business days and weekends/holidays don't count? That's just unacceptable in 2020.
The banks obviously won’t make any changes of their own accord so the only way this gets changed is if we the public demand that our MPs pass new banking regulations.
Deal Addict
Jan 21, 2018
2130 posts
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Vancouver
Banks are among the most conservative and slow to change institutions in Canada. They barely know it's the 21st century, let alone 2020.

However, our U.S. bank (BMO Harris) considers Saturday a business day for things like 2-day cheque clearance, whereas BMO Canada takes 3-5 days to clear a domestic cheque, and doesn't count Saturday as a business day. It's all about competition.

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