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FAQs About File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

For Internet ACH File Delivery

How does FTP file delivery work?
We maintain an FTP server and will create a drop box directory on the server. To send data to us, you push the data files to the directory. For data we send to you, you pull the data files from their outbound directory on the server.

Can you initiate the FTP session?
We prefer that you initiate the FTP session to push and pull all data files. On a limited basis, we can initiate the outbound transmission of an encrypted file to your FTP server.

What are the technical requirements for FTP over the open Internet?
An Internet connection, FTP client capabilities and PGP or GNUPG software are required for file encryption and decryption. FTP over SSL requires SecureTransportTM FTP client software from Tumbleweed Communications (formerly Valicert) or a client supporting the RFC 2228 standard for FTP over an SSL session.

Is the encryption software provided?
We can provide open source GNUPG software for the Windows and SolarisTM platforms. The open source software can also be downloaded from
gnupg.org. Up

Where can I get PGP software?
PGP software is sold and supported by McAfee.

What are the file naming requirements?
The file name must include your Customer ID. Encrypted files must have a .pgp or .gpg suffix. The file name will be established during implementation.

How often does the inbound directory get swept?
We sweep the inbound directory every 90 seconds and then deliver the data file to the appropriate application.

Do the FTP servers support disaster recovery?
Yes. The FTP servers are mirrored to allow for disaster recovery.

Who is responsible for cleaning the drop box?
You are responsible for deleting data files after pulling the data from the outbound directory. For inbound files, we will remove the file after the inbound directory is swept.

Is there a tool to monitor the status of my file?
We provide a Web tool that can be used to review the activity on the file server drop box. We maintain logs that can be viewed to monitor operating performance.

What are the hours of support and where do I call?
A help desk provides production support 24 hours a day, six days a week. The implementation and testing staff is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.

Do you support self-signed certificates?
Yes. We support self-signed certificates.

Do you require encryption keys to expire after a specified period of time?
For PGP and GNUPG encryption, we do not require keys to expire. SSL encryption keys are dynamically exchanged during transmissions, and expire with every session.

Is there a test site?
Yes. An analyst will contact you to verify the connectivity information and coordinate a connectivity test.

Can a file be retransmitted if required?
The help desk can coordinate a retransmission of data if required.

If a second file is put into the drop box before I pick up the first file, will the data be overwritten?
A unique name can be utilized to prevent data from being overwritten.

Are there other security options if I would like to process files manually?
Yes. We can support the manual exchange of data with HTTPS security by using a standard Internet browser that supports 128-bit encryption.

Can I utilize the same FTP directory for all my data files?
In most cases, you can utilize the same FTP directory for your file transfers, but the files must have unique names.

Does the file require a header record?
Yes. A transmission header record is required as the first record for all inbound files, and must be included before encryption. The format of the header record will be established during implementation. This record, along with the origin number, can be utilized to identify the transaction to the help desk.


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