Web EFT General Frequently Asked Questions

Getting Started

1. Where can I get information regarding signing up for Web EFT™?

All of the information you need to become a subscriber and participate in both the Test Environment and Production "Live" Environments is located at the How to Subscribe to Web EFT  page. 

2. What is the difference between the Test Environment and the Production "Live" Environment?

There is technical preparation required by those firms wanting to subscribe to the Web EFT System. For this reason, all firms will be required to  test in the Test Environment prior to accessing the Production "Live" environment. Testing functionality mirrors production, however the data is not a match to production data and personal information is obfuscated.

3. When can I move into the Production "Live" Environment?

Firms that are planning on using the upload function of Web EFT will be required to successfully submit a filing with no errors in the Test Environment before moving to the Production "Live" Environment. We also recommend that firms successfully consume the download reports in the Test Environment before moving to production.

4. How do I make the request to move into the Production “Live” Environment?

Once your firm has successfully completed its testing and is ready to access the Production "Live" environment, notify the FINRA Gateway Call Center at (301) 869-6699. When the determination has been made by FINRA that your firm is ready to access the Production "Live" Environment, your firm will be issued the production URL and a new password that enables access to the Production Environment. No new Entitlement Forms are required to receive your production password. A Production Confirmation Package will be sent to your firm by the Web EFT Entitlement Group, and you will also be contacted by phone with your Production User ID and Password. Please note that Subscription Fees associated with the service(s) you have chosen will be deducted from the firm's Daily Account within 30 days of when Production access is granted.

5. How do I change my current service level?

For any service option change, a firm must complete the Service Option Change Form (PDF 36 KB) and mail it to FINRA.

6. How do I change the contacts listed on the initial entitlement forms?

To update your Web EFT Contact Person(s) listed on the initial entitlement forms, an updated User Account Acknowledgment Form (UAAF) (PDF 131 KB) may be faxed to (240) 386-4669. Please make sure you notify FINRA of any changes in your firm’s contact persons.


Billing

1. What is the cost to use Web EFT?

The different service options costs are as follows:

  • Service Option 1 (Form Filing/ Download) $4,800/ year
  • Service Option 2 (Form Filing only) $3,600/ year
  • Service Option 3 (Download only) $1,800/ year

2. Should I send payment with the entitlement forms?

Do not send payment with your entitlement forms. Your firm's Web CRD & IARD Daily Account will automatically be assessed the initial subscription service(s) fee once your firm has been given access to the Production System.

3. Will my firm be billed on a monthly basis?

Firms will not be billed monthly.

4. When will my firm's daily account be charged?

Your firm will automatically be assessed the initial subscription service(s) fee once the firm has been given access to the Production System. This fee will be automatically deducted from your firm's Daily Account for the entire year through your firm's anniversary subscription date. Firms will not be billed monthly.

5. If I chose to downgrade my current service level during the year, can I receive a refund?

No refunds for service changes will be issued. For any service option change, a firm must complete the Service Option Change Form and mail it to FINRA.


Anniversary Date

1. What is the initial subscription date?

The Initial Subscription Date is the date represented by month/year that your firm is given initial access to the Production "Live" Environment. This date will become your firm's anniversary subscription date. Your firm will automatically be assessed the initial subscription service(s) fee once your firm has been given access to the Production System. This fee will be automatically deducted from your firm's Daily Account for the entire year through your firm's anniversary subscription date. Firms will not be billed monthly.

2. Will my firm be notified when it is time to renew for the next year?

FINRA will send an email to the firm's Web EFT business contact. Firms will be notified a month before their anniversary date. The e-mail will state that the annual EFT Renewal Fee will be deducted from the firm's daily account on or about the second Monday of the month following the firm's anniversary subscription month. Please make sure you notify FINRA of any changes in your firm’s contact persons.


Form Filing

1. What is an uploaded file?

An Uploaded File is the file that a firm submits to Web CRD containing U4, U5, NRF, and BR Form Filings in an XML format through Web EFT.

2. What format do I use to build my data files?

Web EFT requires all data in XML format, and all upload files must have a .nrq extension.

3. Where are the CRD schema files (xsd) located?

All schema files (xsd) for U4, U5, NRF, BR, and download reports are located on the Web EFT Schema Documentation page. Sample U4, U5, and NRF filings are also provided.

4. Can I add disclosure information into Web EFT filings?

As of September 12, 2015 firms are able to include disclosure questions and Disclosure Reporting Pages (DRP) on U4 and U5 uploads.

5. What happened to the files in my Incoming Directory? They have disappeared.

All batch form files sent to Web EFT must be uploaded to the "Incoming" Directory. The files are held in the Incoming Directory until the file has been completely processed. Once the file is completely processed, the uploaded file is automatically moved to the Archive Directory and no longer appears in the Incoming Directory. Also, the processed file will be located in the "Processed" Directory.

6. What is the maximum file size for uploads?

The maximum file size is 100MB, and a file can contain no more than 5,000 forms.

7. Can I upload the same file multiple times?

No, if you attempt to upload a file with the same name as a previously submitted file within 31 days, the upload will fail and Web EFT will display an error message. If a file upload status returns a schema or completeness check error you may upload the same file again if you change the file name.

8. Can I use commented text in my XML file?

No. You should not use commented text in your XML file. Web EFT's XML parser does not recognize the standard "<!-- -->" XML comment syntax.

9. How do you update or close an item on an existing individual's record (such as a residential address, or employment history entry)?

The Individual Information Report (IIR) contains unique identifiers for each item in an individual's record. Filers would use these unique identifiers to denote changes to current records. Please see the relevant sections of the schema files for more information.

10. What form can I use to associate people with a Branch Office? 

As it is in Web CRD, you can associate individuals on a Form BR Initial. After the Form BR Initial is filed, you would associate individuals to a Branch Office on their U4 filings. However a Form BR Amendment can be used if you are adding a new Branch Supervisor or Branch Person-in-Charge.

11. How can I move an individual from one branch to another in Web EFT?

File a U4 Amendment. Using the unique identifier from the IIR for the existing Branch, enter an end date in the existing Branch record. Add a new entry in the Office of Employment section with the new Branch number and start date information.

12. There is no billing code under RegisteredBranch node. Is this an issue? There is a billing code called FirmBillingCode under GeneralInformation node. There is another billing code under NonRegisteredBranch node. Which node should I use to update the employee’s cost center?

The billing code for a Registered Branch would come from the Form BR.

The billing code under the General Information node may be used at the individual level.

13. How should special characters (i.e. &, ', >, <, ") be entered?

Letters (A-Z and a-z) and numbers (0-9) are the allowable characters. Symbols such as & and > have special significance in XML. To enter these characters as data, use the entities below to prevent confusion with XML-significant characters:

& &amp (e.g. 123 K &amp West Street)
' &apos (e.g. ABC Company&aposs proposal... )
> &gt (e.g. The formula is x &gt y.)
< &lt (e.g. The value 20 is &lt 25.)
" &quot (e.g. Change &quotMaine&quot to &quotMain&quot.)

File Transmission

1. I keep getting a schema error every time I try to upload a file. What should I do?

Web EFT's file validation stops after the first formatting error is identified. If you are sending a large file, several attempts may be necessary. If you are having trouble, you may want to consider using an XML editing software tool to validate the XML files against the form filing schemas before initiating your upload. It may also be advisable to start out with one form filing at a time, adding more forms to your batch as you go.

2. On a U4 Amendment, why am I getting a completeness check error that is not related to the information that I am trying to amend?

All of the Web CRD Completeness checks also apply to Web EFT uploads. Therefore, any pre-existing issues with an individual's record will trigger a completeness check error - even if the purpose of the filing was not connected to that specific section. Filers must resolve all completeness check errors before their filing can be successfully processed. 

Note: If you received a GSE, please contact the FINRA Gateway Call Center at (301) 869-6699 or by email.

3. What does the error message "The requested form and filing type cannot be used for this individual" mean?

Form filing rules check for a valid filing type for each firm and individual before processing. For example, if a firm previously terminated a representative, a U4 Amendment would not be an appropriate filing type for that firm to file for the individual. These are the same rules that apply when filing through Web CRD.

4. I submitted my files via the Test Environment but they are not processed. Why is this?

The Test Environment is only available for filing submissions between the hours of 9 a.m., to 8 p.m., ET, Mondays through Fridays. If filings are submitted outside of those time periods, they will not complete processing until the system is made available again. There may also be temporary processing outages due to maintenance or other activities.

5. Once the filing has been submitted through Web EFT, how will it look when viewed in the Web CRD Filing History?

There will be no difference in Filing History for a filing submitted through Web EFT or online through Web CRD.


Data Downloads (Reports)

1. What is the maximum file size for downloads?

The maximum file size we can download is 100MB. (Remember an uncompressed file can be much larger than 100MB.)

2. What is a downloaded File?

All Web EFT submitted batch form files (.nrq), batch results files (.nrs), status reports and scheduled reports in any of the firm’s directories are produced in XML format and can be viewed in a browser or downloaded to the user’s computer.

  • To view a file, simply click on the name of the file.
  • To download a file, right-click on the name and select "Save target as…" in the menu. [Firefox users would select "Save Link as…" in the menu.]

3. How often will the Postings Reports run?

The following reports are scheduled to run daily: Branch Information, Post Accounting, Post Appointments, Post Approvals, Post Branch Deficiencies, Post Branch Individual, Post Branch Status, Post Deficiencies, Post Enrollments, Post Exams, Post Fingerprint, Post Pending, and Post Termination.

4. How often will the Individual Information Report (IIR) run?

The Individual Information Report (IIR) is scheduled to run weekly. In addition to the weekly IIR, firms will also receive a daily Individual Information Report Delta, containing changes made to an individual’s record from the previous day for individuals currently employed by the requesting firm and individuals terminated since the last report run. 

The Full IIR is generated every Sunday between 3 p.m., and 10 p.m., (ET).

The IIR Delta is generated Monday through Saturday between 4 a.m., and 6 a.m., (ET).

Please note that these times are approximations and will vary depending on when FINRA processes are completed. Additionally, other than during the Renewals Shutdown period, these reports will continue to be generated on FINRA holidays.

5. What is the difference between the Full Individual Information Report (IIR) and the Individual Information Report Delta?

In addition to the Full Individual Information Report (IIR) received weekly, firms will also receive a daily Individual Information Report Delta.  The Full IIR contains all the individuals currently employed the by the requesting firm and individuals terminated within the previous 30 days. The Delta IIR contains only the individuals whose records were modified the previous day, including individuals terminated since the last report run.

6. What happened to my processed files and report files? They disappeared from the file list after I viewed them.

Any files viewed or downloaded in the firm’s "Processed" and "Reports" Directories are removed immediately after they are viewed or downloaded. Copies of all files are maintained in the "archive" directory for 31 days. 

The Full Individual Information Report is removed from the Reports directory every Sunday.  The Individual Information Report Delta is available for 8 calendar days from the date of report generation.

7. I am using a machine-to-machine connection to retrieve the download reports. Are there any tips for resolving potential issues?

  1. If you get a certificate error, go to this website for help.
  2. When a script includes a request to list the contents of a directory and html content is returned instead of a text directory listing, try setting the USER-AGENT to "SecureTransport" (case sensitive).
  3. Due to the size of the IIR files, please use caution and do not double click during the download process, as it will corrupt the file.

Questions

If you have questions regarding Web EFT, please contact the FINRA Gateway Call Center at: (301) 869-6699 or by email.