Web EFT Frequently Asked Questions

Getting Started

1. What functionalities does Web EFT™ offer?
Answer: Web EFT allows firms to upload batched data to FINRA and provides subscribers reports containing results of their filings as well as downloads of registration and accounting activity. For more information, go to the Web EFT website.
2. Where can I get information regarding signing up for the Web EFT?
Answer: The How to Subscribe to Web EFT page has information on how to become a subscriber and participate in both the Test Environment and Production "Live" Environment.
3. What is the difference between the Test Environment and the Production "Live" Environment?
Answer: There is technical preparation required by firms wanting to subscribe to the Web EFT System. For this reason, all firms will be required to test in the Test Environment (fsgtest6) 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.
4. When can I move into the Production "Live" Environment?
Answer: 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.
5. How do I make the request to move into the Production "Live" Environment?
Answer: Once your firm has successfully completed its testing and is ready to access the Production "Live" Environment, make note of the filename (required for Form Filing subscribers) and notify the FINRA Gateway Call Center at (301) 869-6699 or by email. When FINRA has determined 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 Flex-Funding Account within 30 days of when Production access is granted.
6. How do I change or cancel my current service level?
Answer: For any service option change, a firm must complete the applicable sections of the Web EFT FINRA Entitlement Form.
7. How do I change the contacts listed on the initial entitlement forms?
Answer: To change your Web EFT Contact Person(s) listed on the initial entitlement form, complete the applicable sections of the Web EFT FINRA Entitlement Form.
8. An Initial and Relicense U4 require residential and employment histories. Since I do not have the sequence numbers, how can I avoid for records to be duplicated in CRD?
Answer: Web EFT subscribers may use the Pre-Filing Individual Information Request through Web Service to obtain residential and employment histories (including sequence numbers) to Web EFT subscribers must provide attestation, individual's CRD number, date of birth, and SSN. The system will send a respond in an XML format which provides the individual's CRD number, name, residential histories (including sequence numbers), and employment histories (including sequence numbers). For more information, go to the Web EFT Schema Documentation and Schema Files page and scroll down to the Web Service Schema Files section.

Billing

9. What is the cost to use Web EFT?
Answer: 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
10. When will my firm's Flex-Funding Account be charged?
Answer: Your firm will automatically be assessed the initial subscription service fee once the firm has been given access to the Production Environment. This fee will be automatically deducted from your firm's Flex-Funding Account for the entire year through your firm's anniversary subscription date. Firms will not be billed monthly. Do not send payment with your entitlement forms.
11. If I choose to downgrade my current service level during the year, can I receive a refund?
Answer: 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

12. When is the Initial Subscription Date?
Answer: 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.
13. Will my firm be notified when it is time to renew for the next year?
Answer: FINRA will send an email to the firm's Web EFT business contact(s) a month before their anniversary date. The e-mail will state that the annual EFT Renewal Fee will be deducted from the firm's Flex-Funding 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.

Schema Guidelines

14. Where are the CRD schema (xsd) files located?
Answer: The Web EFT Schema Documentation and Schema Files page contains filing schema (xsd) for U4, U5, NRF, and BR forms. The page also contains form filing sample, download reports xsd, and information on Pre-Filing Individual Information Request through Web Service.
15. What is an uploaded file?
Answer: 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.
16. What format do I use to build my data files?
Answer: Web EFT requires all data in XML format and all upload files must have a .nrq extension.
17. How should special characters (i.e. &, ', >, <, and ") be entered?
Answer: Letters (A-Z and a-z) and numbers (0-9) are the allowable characters.  Symbols such as & and > have special significance in XML.  Take precaution when using other characters such as an extended hyphen '–' which is not supported by the iso-8859-1 character set.  The filing schema will be uploaded properly but Web CRD may not display the extended character accordingly. To enter the following special characters as data, use the encoding below to prevent confusion with XML-significant characters:
Special character Encode Example
& &amp 123 K &amp West Street
' &apos ABC Company&aposs proposal...
> &gt The formula is x &gt y.
< &lt The value 20 is &lt 25.
" &quot Change &quotMaine&quot to &quotMain&quot.
18. Most form sections in the filing schemas are listed as "minoccurs=0". Does this mean that they are truly optional on all filings?
Answer: Not necessarily.  Filing schemas are designed to be flexible enough to accommodate multiple filing scenarios.  However, all of the Web CRD completeness checks also apply to Web EFT uploads.  This means that sections can become required based on the filing scenario.  Please see the updated CRD Form Filing Results schema file for a list of completeness checks.
19. I keep getting a schema error every time I try to upload a file. What should I do?
Answer: 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. 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.
20. I submitted my files via the Test Environment but they are not processed. Why is this?
Answer: 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.
21. What happened to the files in my incoming directory? They have disappeared.
Answer: 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.
22. What is the maximum file size for uploads?
Answer: The maximum file size is 100MB and a file can contain no more than 5,000 forms.
23. Can I upload the same file multiple times?
Answer: 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.
24. Can I use commented text in my XML file?
Answer: No, you should not use commented text in your XML file.  Web EFT's XML parser does not recognize the standard "<!-- -->" XML comment syntax.

Form Filing

25. Once the filing has been submitted through Web EFT, how will it look when viewed in the Web CRD Filing History?
Answer: There will be no difference in Filing History for a filing submitted through Web EFT or online through Web CRD.
26. Can we include multiple filings of different form types (U4, U5, NRF) in a single EFT upload?
Answer: You can submit multiple filings (of the same type or different types) within the 'NSGBatch' node as 'NSGRequest'. As the terminology suggests, each filing within the batch, is a request.
For example:

<NSGBatch Email="email@myemail.com" UserBatchRef="111">

         <NSGRequest UserReqRef="333" AppId="CRDFF">

             <U4XMLFiling>

             <FilingType="Amendment"

             ........

             </U4XMLFiling>

         </NSGRequest>

         <NSGRequest UserReqRef="153" AppId="CRDFF">

             <U5XMLFiling>

             <FilingType="Partial"

             ........

             </U5XMLFiling>

         </NSGRequest>

         <NSGRequest UserReqRef="4040" AppId="CRDFF">

             <NRFXMLFiling>

             ........

             </NRFXMLFiling >

         </NSGRequest>

     </NSGBatch>

27. What does the error message "The requested form and filing type cannot be used for this individual" mean?
Answer: 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.
On the other hand, when submitting amendments or when registering someone that has already submitted their disclosures on previous filings, it would not be necessary to continually resubmit the disclosure questions if none of the answers are changing. Additionally, all disclosures-related Web CRD completeness checks will apply.
28. 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?
Answer: 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. If you received a General System Error (GSE), please contact the FINRA Gateway Call Center at (301) 869-6699 or by email.
29. Why am I receiving completeness checks on postal codes that were previously provided?
Answer: Postal codes for US addresses on individual form filings will be checked against the state to ensure that the code is valid for the state. This is similar to the check that already occurs on Form BR filings. If there are any existing records that contain invalid postal codes, you will receive a completeness check error on your next filing for that person requiring you to update the postal code.
30. How do you update or close an item on an existing individual's record (such as a residential address, or employment history entry)?
Answer: 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.
31. What is the difference between CRUcode and CRUDcode? How are these codes used?
Answer: While both codes indicate the type of action (Insert, Update or Delete) being performed, CRUcode only allows values 'U' and 'I', while CRUDcode allows 'U', 'I' and 'D'. It was necessary to have two separate definitions because some U4 sections allow deletions, while others do not. Sections that allow items to be deleted use CrudCode, while all others use the CruCode.
32. Prior to Release 2015.09, we did not include disclosure questions when uploading U4 and U5 filings because filing disclosures through Web EFT was not available at the time. Now that they have been added to the new schema, are we required to include them in all upload files?
Answer: It depends on the filing scenario. When filing for a brand new person that has never been registered before, you must complete all sections of the Initial U4. This includes the disclosure questions (Section 14) because they would not have been previously answered. Similarly, when uploading a Full U5 termination, Section 7 is now required.
33. Can I submit multiple DRPs of the same type on a single Web EFT filing?
Answer: Yes. Just like web filings, EFT filings also allow multiple DRPs to be submitted and amended. For example, you could include multiple Bond DRPs in the same filing like this:

<SectionDRPBond>

<BondDRP>

........DRP 1........

</BondDRP>

<BondDRP>

......DRP 2.......       

</BondDRP>

</SectionDRPBond>

34. How would I amend a DRP on a Web EFT filing?
Answer: After the initial submission, each DRP is assigned a unique identifier (dsclrPK). The IIR includes this identifier once the DRP has been reviewed by FINRA. You can obtain the identifier from the IIR and use it to indicate that you are amending the associated DRP on the U4/U5 filing.
35. Why does 'EndDt' require 'value' element in some cases and not others and how is it different from 'BeginDt'?
Answer: Date elements are typically defined strictly to be provided in a specific format (i.e. MM/YYYY and MM/DD/YYYY). However, in CRD where current addresses are provided, 'EndDt' can be a null value. Therefore 'EndDt' has to be defined as a 'nullable date' which can be either omitted or contain a valid date. Since 'nullable' and regular date formats cannot both be defined by a single datatype, the 'value' element was added. Therefore, if no end date is being provided (current record is to 'PRESENT'), then the 'EndDt' field would be completely omitted. Or if an 'EndDt' that is defined as 'nullabledate' or 'nullableshortdate' is included, then it has to be in one of the following formats:

<EndDt> <Value>09/2014</Value> </EndDt>(short date)

        Or

<EndDt> <Value>09/01/2014</Value> </EndDt> (date)

36. What form can I use to associate people with a Branch Office?
Answer: 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.
37. How can I move an individual from one branch to another in Web EFT?
Answer: 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.
38. 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?
Answer: 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.

Data Downloads (Reports)

39. What is the maximum file size for downloads?
Answer: The maximum file size we can download is 100MB (an uncompressed file can be much larger than 100MB).
40. What is a downloaded file?
Answer: 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.]
  • 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.
41. What is the difference between the Full Individual Information Report (IIR) and the Individual Information Report Delta?
Answer: 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 by the requesting firm and individuals terminated within the previous 30 days. The Delta IIR contains only individuals whose records were modified the previous day and individuals terminated since the last report run.
42. What happened to my processed files and report files? They disappeared from the file list after I viewed them?
Answer: 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.
43. I am using a machine-to-machine connection to retrieve the download reports. Are there any tips for resolving potential issues?
Answer: When a script includes a request to list the contents of a directory and html is returned instead of a text directory listing, try setting the USER-AGENT to "SecureTransport" (case sensitive). If you get a certificate error, go to this website for help.
44. When are reports generated?
Answer: The table below shows the projected production report delivery schedule. Report delivery in the test environments will generally follow the same delivery schedule; however, maintenance and other development activity in the test environments will cause occasional delays. Firms should code their systems based on the published schedule, rather than test environment behavior. All times listed below are Eastern Time (ET).

Day

Arrival Time

Report

Contents

Monday

By 6 a.m.

Branch Information Report

Complete set of data through Sunday

Monday

By 6 a.m.

Individual Information Report - Delta
Post Accounting Report
Post Appointments Report
Post Approvals Report
Post Branch Deficiencies Report
Post Branch Individual Report
Post Branch Status Report
Post Deficiencies Report
Post Enrollments Report
Post Exams Report
Post Fingerprint Report
Post Pending Report
Post Termination Report

Data from Sunday

Note: The Post Accounting report delivered on Monday morning will have transactions from Saturday and Sunday.

Tuesday

By 6 a.m.

Branch Information Report

Complete set of data through Monday

Tuesday

By 6 a.m.

Individual Information Report - Delta
Post Accounting Report
Post Appointments Report
Post Approvals Report
Post Branch Deficiencies Report
Post Branch Individual Report
Post Branch Status Report
Post Deficiencies Report
Post Enrollments Report
Post Exams Report
Post Fingerprint Report
Post Pending Report
Post Termination Report

Data from Monday

Wednesday

By 6 a.m.

Branch Information Report

Complete set of data through Tuesday

Wednesday

By 6 a.m.

Individual Information Report - Delta
Post Accounting Report
Post Appointments Report
Post Approvals Report
Post Branch Deficiencies Report
Post Branch Individual Report
Post Branch Status Report
Post Deficiencies Report
Post Enrollments Report
Post Exams Report
Post Fingerprint Report
Post Pending Report
Post Termination Report

Data from Tuesday

Thursday

By 6 a.m.

Branch Information Report

Complete set of data through Wednesday

Thursday

By 6 a.m.

Individual Information Report - Delta
Post Accounting Report
Post Appointments Report
Post Approvals Report
Post Branch Deficiencies Report
Post Branch Individual Report
Post Branch Status Report
Post Deficiencies Report
Post Enrollments Report
Post Exams Report
Post Fingerprint Report
Post Pending Report
Post Termination Report

Data from Wednesday

Friday

By 6 a.m.

Branch Information Report

Complete set of data through Thursday

Friday

By 6 a.m.

Individual Information Report - Delta
Post Accounting Report
Post Appointments Report
Post Approvals Report
Post Branch Deficiencies Report
Post Branch Individual Report
Post Branch Status Report
Post Deficiencies Report
Post Enrollments Report
Post Exams Report
Post Fingerprint Report
Post Pending Report
Post Termination Report

Data from Thursday

Saturday

By 8 a.m.

Branch Information Report

Complete set of data through Friday

Saturday

By 8 a.m.

Individual Information Report - Delta
Post Accounting Report
Post Appointments Report
Post Approvals Report
Post Branch Deficiencies Report
Post Branch Individual Report
Post Branch Status Report
Post Deficiencies Report
Post Enrollments Report
Post Exams Report
Post Fingerprint Report
Post Pending Report
Post Termination Report

Data from Friday

Sunday

By noon

Branch Information Report

Complete set of data through Saturday

Sunday

By noon

Individual Information Report - Delta
Post Accounting Report
Post Appointments Report
Post Approvals Report
Post Branch Deficiencies Report
Post Branch Individual Report
Post Branch Status Report
Post Deficiencies Report
Post Enrollments Report
Post Exams Report
Post Fingerprint Report
Post Pending Report
Post Termination Report

Data from Saturday

Note: The Post Accounting report delivered on Sunday will be empty due to limitations with FINRA’s finance system.

Sunday

By 10 p.m.

Individual Information Report – Full

Complete set of data through Saturday

Questions

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