EFTS General Information

The Electronic Fund Transfer System (EFTS ) is the online billing system for interlibrary loan (ILL) transactions that collects an ILL charge from a borrowing library, on behalf of the lending library, and pays it to the lender, less a transaction fee.

  • Participating libraries can exchange funds for the payment of ILLs instead of creating their own invoices and sending payments to each other
  • EFTS only processes the financial component of ILL transactions between a borrower and a lender, using ILL transaction information provided to EFTS by the lender.
  • The National Library of Medicine DOCLINE platform is the preferred service to match a lender with a borrower.
  • The fulfillment of the ILL by the lender is managed outside of EFTS and DOCLINE, by the lender.
  • All lending and borrowing DOCLINE transactions appear in your account the following day.
  • EFTS computes the transaction price based on the pricing tables set by lenders and the library group information provided by DOCLINE.
  • Lending libraries can modify and approve transactions for billing, without the need to enter them manually or upload a file created by a third-party ILL management program (e.g., QuickDOC, ILLiad, Clio). However, a library may upload files if it chooses.
  • MLA membership is not required for EFTS participation.

Link to EFTS Platform


EFTS fund account

Each library has funds in its own EFTS deposit account, held by MLA on its behalf. Your library’s EFTS account receives funds deposited by your library or earned by lending transactions. Available funds are used to pay charges owed from borrowing transactions or fees assessed by EFTS. Libraries with a positive fund account balance may transfer money out of their EFTS fund account. They may also pay MLA invoices upon request.

Funds and transactions are in US dollars only.

External fund transactions

To make deposits to your library’s EFTS fund account, you may send:

  • A check in US dollars. (This method is not preferred due to postal and processing delays.)
  • Payment by eCheck or ACH. (MLA EFTS staff can assist with setting up ACH payments.)
  • Credit card payment (Visa, MC, AmEx) through the email that accompanies each EFTS invoice.

EFTS adds a 3% fee for any payment made by credit card, to offset the standard credit card processing fee. If your institution cannot accept this fee, please send a check or ACH payment. (The funds you deposit still belong to your institution so MLA cannot absorb the processing fee as a cost of doing business.)


EFTS uses Bill.com as the secure gateway for financial transactions. Bill.com is a “gold standard” for optimal user experience, with a high level of security and internal controls, including payment card industry (PCI) compliance.

  • MLA holds no financial account information (e.g., credit card number, bank account number is securely held by Bill.com if you opt to save it).
  • You receive your notices for payment automatically, and Bill.com guides you with the payment process.
  • You can securely connect your bank account and save your credit card information but this is optional.
  • All payments by credit card are charged a 3% processing fee to cover the processing fee.
  • You may pay by check (in US dollars), instead.

Flexible account configuration

Wallet configuration (default mode):

  • You load funds into your library’s EFTS Wallet by check, credit card, or eTransfer via the payment of an invoice sent by EFTS through Bill.com. The triggers, frequency, and amount of Wallet reloads are configurable by the manager, including manual reloads.
  • ILL transaction costs incurred by library through your borrowing activities are automatically deducted from the Wallet balance.
  • You agree to maintain a positive account balance.

Invoice mode (by special arrangement)

Libraries that are not allowed to carry a fund balance may use Invoice configuration, subject to EFTS administrative approval:

  • Borrowers receive a monthly EFTS invoice for their borrowing transactions. Payment is expected within thirty days, unless a longer payment period has been agreed to.
  • Lending libraries are paid only after the borrowing library pays the monthly invoice.


To sustain EFTS operations, MLA charges an account activation fee for all users, a transaction fee charged to lenders, and a credit card transaction fee for libraries who use credit cards to pay deposit invoices.

  • ILL Transaction Fee: 15% of charged amount to borrower, paid by the lender when payment is received by the lender
  • Credit Card Processing Fee: 3%
  • MLA-EFTS Library Account Activation Fee: US $275 (one-time only)

To Sign Up

  • If your library is a member of DOCLINE, does not have an EFTS account, and would like an account, please contact EFTS .
  • EFTS has a standard User Agreement that must be completed and signed by an authorized library agent.
  • MLA will not accept changes to the standard EFTS User Agreement. However, MLA may sign a separate vendor agreement to address institutional requirements for all vendors.
  • There is a US $275 activation fee for each account (LIBID) that signs up for EFTS.
  • MLA membership is not required for EFTS participation.