101 Bank Statement Abbreviations & Other Bank Related Jargon

Bank Statement Abbreviations

Banks and financial institutions seem to speak their own language that many of us cannot understand, filled with abbreviations, acronyms, and jargon that can be confusing to the average customer just like you and me.

When you receive your monthly bank statement, it can look like it’s written in code with all those letters and numbers that don’t seem to make any sense.

In this blog post, we’ll walk you through some of the most common abbreviations and terms found on bank statements and explain what they mean in plain language so you can better understand your finances.

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What Are Bank Statement Abbreviations?

Bank statement abbreviations are shortened versions of longer financial or banking terms used to describe various transactions, fees, entries, codes, and more on your account statement.

For example, rather than writing out “Automated Teller Machine” every time you make a cash withdrawal, it will just show as “ATM”. Other common shortened forms include “ACH” for Automated Clearing House, “POS” for Point of Sale, “OD” for Overdraft, and “INT” for Interest.

Financial institutions use these abbreviated letters and acronyms to simplify statements and conserve space instead of spelling everything out in full detail. Some abbreviations have become so common that they are industry-standard terms.

So, in short, bank statement abbreviations allow banks to communicate transactions, balances, fees, etc. in shorthand to save room and provide essential account details at a glance.

But all that shorthand can become alphabet soup for customers trying to interpret their statements!

Why Should You Know Bank Statement Abbreviations?

Knowing common bank statement abbreviations is important for several reasons.

First, it helps you clearly understand all the transactions on your account and do proper bank statement analysis or bank statement audits.

When you recognize terms like ATM, ACH, and OD, you can quickly grasp the meaning instead of getting confused by cryptic letters and numbers.

Understanding abbreviations also allows you to spot any unusual or fraudulent activity. If an unfamiliar code appears that you don’t recognize, you can investigate further.

Additionally, if you notice frequent OD charges, you can take steps to avoid overdraft fees in the future.

Furthermore, knowledge of common abbreviations and codes makes the task of categorizing bank transactions during bank statement reconciliation much simpler.

what is transaction categorization

When categorizing the different transactions on your statement, acronyms like ATM, POS, ACH, and INT clearly identify cash withdrawals, debit card payments, transfer funds, earned interest, and other common categories without needing to research unclear codes.

Understanding the terminology on your statement allows for smoother monthly or quarterly bank statement reconciliation — an important process for tracking account activity and catching discrepancies.

Finally, fluency in bank terminology allows you to communicate more effectively when contacting your financial institution with any questions or issues. Rather than struggling to explain a mysterious CHG fee, you can simply reference the ACH charge in question.

In short, familiarity with common statement abbreviations saves time avoids confusion, and enables you to stay well-informed about every debit, credit, and fee affecting your account. So learn your ABCS of bank-speak!

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Why Banks Use Abbreviations and Acronyms

Banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions rely heavily on acronyms, abbreviations, and codes rather than writing out full descriptions on account statements.

There are a few key reasons for this common practice:

  • Saving Space: By shortening terms like “Automated Clearing House” down to “ACH”, banks can condense more transactions onto a single page. This keeps statements from becoming dozens of pages long. This saves money and the planet.
  • Increasing Efficiency: Abbreviations speed up internal bank processes for recording transactions and issuing statements. Workers can enter shorthand codes much faster.
  • Meeting Standards: Certain abbreviations have become sector-wide standards, aligning banks with universal financial communication protocols and allowing smoother transfers between institutions.
  • Technical Requirements: Strict systemic and compliance rules sometimes dictate that only precise codes, rather than long-form descriptions, may be used to represent specific transaction types.

As customers, dealing with abbreviations rather than full terminology can feel confusing.

But overall, they allow your bank to operate faster and remain in step with industry-wide financial systems – even if they make statements tricky to decipher!

Common Bank Statement Abbreviations, Jargon, and Acronyms

Here we have curated the list of most commonly used bank statement abbreviations, jargon, and acronyms along with what they stand for and their explanation:

AbbreviationWhat it stands forExplanation
ABCPAsset-Backed Commercial PaperShort-term investment securities backed by collateral
ABSAsset-Backed SecuritiesSecurities backed by financial assets like loans, leases, or receivables
ACAmortised CosMethod of accounting for financial assets based on amortized cost
ACHAutomated Clearing HouseElectronic network for financial transactions in the U.S.
AFSAvailable for SaleFinancial assets designated as available for sale by the holder
AIRBAdvanced Internal Ratings BasedAn approach used by banks to determine credit risk for regulatory capital
ALCoAsset and Liability Management CommitteeGroup responsible for coordinating the management of assets and liabilities
AMEXAmerican ExpressFinancial services corporation specializing in payment card services
APRAnnual Percentage RateThe interest rate for a whole year rather than just a monthly fee/rate
ARAAnnual Report and AccountsComprehensive report on a company’s activities throughout the preceding year
AT1Additional Tier 1Core capital in a bank’s capital structure
ATBAdjusted Trial BalanceTrial balance after adjustments are made
ATMAutomated Teller MachineA machine that provides banking transactions without a teller
ATM RFDATM refundsRefunds processed through an ATM
BACSBankers’ Automated Clearing ServicesSystem for financial transactions in the UK
BBKBeneficiary BankBank receiving funds in a transaction
BBP or BPBill PaymentPayment made to settle a bill
BGCBank Giro CreditMethod of transferring money by instructing a bank to directly transfer funds
BICBank Identifier CodeCode that identifies banks internationally
BNFBeneficiary Name FieldField in a transaction indicating the beneficiary’s name
BPOABeginning Period of AvailabilityIdentifies the first year of availability under law that the appropriation may incur new obligations
BSPBranch Single PaymentSingle payment made through a bank branch
CAFE         Central Accounting Front EndSystem for managing accounting processes centrally
CATCharges, easy Access, fair TermsFinancial product features ensuring fairness and accessibility
CCCCurrency conversion chargeFee for converting currency in transactions
CDLCareer Development LoanLoan to fund vocational education and training
CDMCash & Deposit MachineMachine for depositing cash and checks
CFRCode of Federal RegulationsCodification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the departments and agencies of the Federal Government
CHAPS or CHPClearing House Automated Payment SystemSame-day automated payment system for high-value transactions in the UK
CHGChargeFee applied to an account for various services
CHQChequeDocument that orders a bank to pay a specific amount from a person’s account
CIRCollections Information RepositoryDatabase for managing collection information
C‐KeyClassification KeyKey used for classifying transactions
COCO Certifying OfficerOfficer responsible for certifying financial transactions
CORCorrectionAdjustments made to correct an error in an account
CRCreditEntry recording an amount received
CRECredit paymentPayment made to an account, increasing its balance
CSHCashPhysical currency used in transactions
CUICentralised Unpaid In (Unpaid Cheque)Central system for managing unpaid checks
CWPCold Weather PaymentFinancial aid is given in extremely cold weather conditions
D/D or DDRDirect DebitInstruction to a bank to collect varying amounts from an account
DANDeposit Account NumberUnique number identifying a deposit account
DIVDividendDistribution of a portion of a company’s earnings to shareholders
DNPDo Not PayInstruction or alert not to process a payment
DRAccount Overdrawn or Debit Item / Debit BalanceIndicates an overdrawn account or a debit transaction
DUNSData Universal Numbering SystemSystem that assigns a unique numeric identifier to a single business entity
DWPDepartment of Work and PensionsUK government department responsible for welfare and pension policy
ECPElectronic Check ProcessingProcess of converting a paper check into an electronic transaction
EFTElectronic Funds TransferTransfer of money from one bank account to another electronically
EPOAEnding Period of AvailabilityIdentifies the last year of availability under law that the appropriation may incur new obligations
ERTFExchange Rate Transaction FeeFee associated with converting currency in a transaction
ESFExchange Stabilization FundFund used to stabilize exchange rates
FPI or FPFaster Payments InwardsIncoming fast electronic payments in the UK
FPOFaster Payments OutwardsOutgoing fast electronic payments in the UK
FRBFederal Reserve BankCentral bank of the United States
IATInternational ACH TransactionsInternational automated clearing house transactions
IBANInternational Bank Account NumberInternational standard for identifying bank accounts
IBPInter-Branch PaymentPayment made between branches of the same bank
IDDInternational Direct DepositDirect deposit service for international payments
IMFInternational Monetary FundInternational organization working to foster global monetary cooperation
IMOInternational Money OrderPayment order for a pre-specified amount of money
INTInterestPayment from a bank or credit union to a depositor of interest on their deposit
IPPInternet Payment PlatformPlatform for managing internet-based payments
ISAIndividual Savings AccountTax-free savings account in the UK
ITLInternationalTransactions or activities involving multiple countries
MAINMain Account CodeIdentifies the type and purpose of the fund
MTSMonthly Treasury StatementMonthly statement summarizing the financial activities of the federal government
NDCNon Dividend CounterfoilDocument proving ownership of shares without dividends
NO WI BONNo Withdrawal BonusReward for not withdrawing funds from an account
N-S TRN FEENon Sterling Transaction FeeCharge for transactions in currencies other than Sterling
ODOverdrawn BalanceBalance indicating that an account is overdrawn
OD/SOverdrawn Sub TotalSubtotal amount by which an account is overdrawn
OTROnline Banking TransactionTransaction conducted through online banking
PIIPersonally identifiable informationInformation that can be used to identify an individual
PIRPayment Information RepositoryDatabase for storing payment information
POCPost Office CountersServices provided by a post office, including financial transactions
POSPoint Of Sale / Debit Card TransactionTransaction made at a retail location or with a debit card
REVReversalTransaction that reverses a previous transaction
RTNRouting Transit NumberNumber identifying a financial institution in a transaction
SSub-TotalIntermediate total of amounts or items
S/lineStatement LineLine item in a bank statement
S/O, SO or STOStanding OrderInstruction to a bank to pay a set amount at regular intervals
SALSalaryPayment received as wages or salary
SAMShared Accounting ModuleSystem for managing shared accounting processes
SBTScreen Based TransactionTransaction conducted through a digital interface
SODStatement Of DifferencesDocument detailing discrepancies in accounting records
SPRStandard Payment RequestRequest for a standard payment
SPSSecure Payment SystemSystem for secure financial transactions
SSNSocial Security NumberUnique number assigned to U.S. citizens for tracking social security
SubSub Account CodeIdentifies an available receipt or other Treasury ‐ defined subdivision of the account
SWIFTSociety for Worldwide Interbank Financial TelecommunicationNetwork enabling financial institutions worldwide to send and receive information about financial transactions
TELTelephone BankingBanking services conducted over the telephone
TFRTransferMovement of funds from one account to another
TINTaxpayer Identification NumberNumber used to identify taxpayers in the U.S.
TLRTeller TransactionTransaction conducted with a bank teller
TRACSTreasury Receivable, Accounting & Collection SystemSystem for managing treasury receivables and collections
TRFTransferMovement of funds from one place to another
TSUTelephone BankingBanking services conducted over the telephone
UNPUnpaidTransaction or cheque that has not been paid
VRATEVisa Payment Scheme Exchange RateThe exchange rate used by Visa for international transactions
XMLExtensible Markup LanguageMarkup language for encoding documents in a format that is both human-readable and machine-readable

Tips for Decoding Your Bank Statement

In this section, we have curated some of the best tips provided by bank customer support teams to better understand your bank statement:

  • Carefully Review Transactions: Scrutinize each line item and take notes on unfamiliar codes. Compare to previous statements to identify new codes.
  • Highlight Unknown Abbreviations: Mark abbreviations you don’t recognize right away so you can look them up or ask your bank about specific meanings.
  • Learn Common Terms: Study guides of common bank statement shorthand like ACH, POS, ATM, OD, INTEREST, etc. Many recur frequently.
  • Note Frequency of Fees: If you see repeat fees like overdraft (OD) or maintenance charges, assess ways to reduce these expenses.
  • Compare Related Statements: If you have other accounts like credit cards or loans, compare abbreviations across statements to discern meanings.
  • Contact Bank with Questions: If an abbreviation remains a mystery even after a thorough review, your banking representative can decode it.
  • Use Online Banking Tools: Many bank websites and apps have glossaries explaining various transaction codes that may prove helpful.
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While bank statements may seem filled with confusing codes and abbreviations, taking the time to identify common shortened terms can make understanding your finances much easier.

There are many ubiquitous acronyms like ATM, POS, and ACH that simplify frequent bank transactions. Other codes reference types of transfers, interest earned, various fees, or overdraft charges.

Though it may take some initial effort to decipher meanings, gaining fluency in bank terminology will allow you to monitor statement activity. You can catch unauthorized uses, avoid unnecessary fees, and communicate effectively with financial institutions.

So don’t let cryptic abbreviations deter you from mastering your money!

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