What is an 'On-Us Item'

An on-us item is a check or draft that is presented to the bank where the check writer has the funds on deposit. The check can be cashed or deposited into another account. Of course, the drawing account must have a sufficient balance to pay the check.

BREAKING DOWN 'On-Us Item'

On-us items can also be electronic debits or transfers. As with checks, electronic on-us items refer to the drawing and paying accounts at the same bank. The on-us checks are also referred to as "house checks.”

On-us items can be very beneficial for banks conducting the transactions as they often obtain revenues from both the acquiring and issuing sides. In on-us transactions there is often no need to go to an outside network to obtain authorization or funds for the exchanges.

On-Us Versus Alternative Forms of Transactions

In addition to on-us items, a number of other categories of bank transactions exist. These include, but are not limited to, a not-on-us transaction, an international or cross border transaction, and intra-regional transactions. Not-on-us items occur when the acquirer and issuer bank are separate. In a typical credit card process, for example, an acquirer (a merchant’s bank) both processes and settles a merchant's credit card transaction. After a merchant swipes a credit card, the merchant’s bank requests authorization for the sale. This request is routed to the card-issuing bank prior to the completion of the sale.

International or cross border transactions are defined as when an acquirer and issuer are from different countries. Intra-regional transactions occur when acquirers and issuers are from different regions yet still to an established geographic grouping, such as Europe Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) or GIM UEMOA, a banking group of the Economic and Monetary Union of West Africa. GIM UEMOA represents over eighty regional financial institutions and more than 80 million individuals.

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