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A Giro (, , , or ) or giro transfer is a payment transfer from one bank account to another bank account and instigated by the payer, not the payee. Equivalents in other countries are the United States Automated Clearing House for direct deposit and the Australian Direct Entry system.

In the United Kingdom and in other countries the term Giro may refer to a specific system once operated by the British post office, originally known as National Giro and, confusingly, was adopted by the public and the press as a shorthand term for the Girocheque which was a cheque and not a credit transfer. The commercial banks in the UK operate a paper credit transfer system known as Bank Giro.

The use of both cheques and paper giros is now in decline in developed countries in favour of electronic payments, which are thought to be faster, cheaper and safer due to the reduced risk of fraud.


The term is borrowed from German, which in turn borrowed it from Italian, in the sense of "circulation of money"; the Italian term comes from the Greek gyros ("circle").Glyn Davies, National Giro

History and concept

Giro systems date back at least to Ptolemaic Egypt in the...
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