Overview

Each month, the Alberta government issues 520,000 payments, and collects over 65,000 payments from Albertans.

Whether it is issuing or collecting payments, the Alberta government works to ensure payments are secure – to protect Albertans, financial institutions and the government.

Making payments to the government

Payments by cheque should be addressed to the Government of Alberta.

Many government departments accept credit card payments for a variety of goods and services. The Government of Alberta uses secure payment processes to protect taxpayer information. This includes taking steps to optimize the security of credit and debit cardholder data, which is used in making card payments by taxpayers.

Forms of payment

You can make payments to the Government of Alberta by:

  • cheque
  • cash
  • money order
  • bank draft
  • credit card
  • debit card
  • wire transfer
  • electronic funds transfer (EFT)

Protecting your credit card information

All Government of Alberta merchants that accept payment cards must process those payments in a manner compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI SSC). PCI compliance is maintained and supported by the Alberta government’s PCI Compliance Program.

For more information, contact pci.compliance@gov.ab.ca.

Forms of payment issued by government

The Government of Alberta issues payments in the form of:

  • direct deposit
  • wire payment
  • bank draft in foreign currencies
  • cheque

Cheques issued by government

Since the Government of Alberta issues large amounts of cheques each year, it is important that proper security measures are taken to ensure the integrity and safety of government payments.

Cheque security features

Paper cheques issued by the Government of Alberta have the following security features:

  • The paper stock is specifically designed for the Government of Alberta’s cheque production, and is stored and managed in a secure fashion.
  • The paper contains a unique chain-link watermark that identifies it as a genuine Government of Alberta payment.
  • Cheque paper has full chemical sensitization, so that any attempt to dissolve the ink will result in noticeable staining on the paper.
  • Printed cheques are subject to a toner retention treatment, which makes it extremely difficult to scrape off text without damaging the cheque.

A cheque may be a forgery if:

  • No Alberta watermark can be detected when the cheque is held up to a standard light source.
  • No 2-colour security fibres are visible when the cheque is illuminated with an ultraviolet light.
  • Unusual staining appears on the cheque, particularly in the areas of the cheque where the amount or payee information is printed.
  • The cheque surface appears damaged in the areas where the amount or payee information is printed.

Verification of cheques by financial organizations

If after checking for the security features above you are still uncertain, you can verify the authenticity of a cheque by contacting our Payments Help Desk. This service is available to financial institutions and cheque cashing organizations.

For payments issued on CIBC bank account number 75-00610
(Transit # 30179 and Bank # 010), located at 10102 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton:

Financial institutions can call the Payments Help Desk:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-7481 (in Edmonton)
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)

When you call this number, be prepared to provide the following information:

  • your name
  • Financial Institution and branch you are calling from
  • cheque number
  • amount
  • date of the cheque
  • account number the cheque is drawn on
  • name of the Payee

Once we have located the related cheque file, we can confirm:

  • if the cheque has been legitimately produced according to the information provided
  • if there is a stop payment in place on the cheque

Automated Cheque Verification System for Community and Social Services Bank Accounts

Financial Institutions and cheque cashing organizations can call the number below to access an automated cheque verification system for:

Payments issued on CIBC bank account numbers 00-19305 and 00-14907
(Transit # 30179 and Bank # 010), located at 10102 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton:

Automated Cheque Verification System phone: 780-427-6942
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)

Detailed instructions on entering the serial number:

Please note:

  • The status of a cheque is updated the next business day after being issued. For example, the status of a cheque dated July 27 will not be available until July 28, if that is the next business day.
  • If a cheque has already been deposited and has cleared the bank account, or has been stopped, the recorded message will be that the cheque is “Not Negotiable”.
  • If a financial institution or a cheque cashing organization is unable to verify the status of the cheque through the automated cheque verification system, they should notify the Community and Social Services client. The client can then speak with their case worker, who can check to confirm:
    • if there are any issues with the automated cheque verification system; or
    • whether the client’s cheque is negotiable or not.

The case worker might contact the Community and Social Services Corporate Finance office for any unusual issue with the verification.

Community and Social Services clients should not deposit or try to negotiate third party or unendorsed cheques with the financial institutions or the cheque cashing organizations. These cheques may be not be accepted for deposit, or could be dishonored, if deposited through an ATM or through mobile banking applications.

Lost, damaged or stale-dated cheques

Note: cheques issued by the Government of Alberta are considered stale-dated 6 months after the issue date.

If you require a Government of Alberta cheque to be reissued due to a lost, damaged or stale-dated cheque, please follow the process below:

  1. Contact the finance office of the issuing ministry (see Government of Alberta finance offices).
  2. Provide the cheque details so the payment can be identified, including payee, when the payment was received, amount of payment, and what was the payment for.
  3. Follow any other instructions provided by the issuing ministry.
  4. Submit the correct documentation (if any) according to the instructions given.

If you are with a financial institution and stale-dated items are presented for payment, you should advise your clients to contact the issuing ministry to get a replacement cheque.

If you are unsure who to contact, you are with a financial institution wishing to verify a cheque, or you have any questions, please call the Payments Help Desk:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-7481 (in Edmonton)
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)

Financial institution indemnity

Financial Institutions in Alberta are protected from loss for negotiating certain Government of Alberta cheques. This program was developed to make it easier for Albertans to cash certain government benefits cheques if the person cashing the cheques has proper identification.

The following conditions must be met for this indemnification to apply:

  • The amount covered by the indemnity agreement is the face value of the cheque.
  • The amount of a cheque cannot exceed $10,000.
  • The financial institution must confirm that the identity of the person presenting the cheque is the payee named on that cheque.
  • The standard of ID to be used is the usual standard according to the policies and procedures of the financial institution that is negotiating the cheque.
  • The only cheques that are covered by this indemnification are Benefits Payments issued on the following Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) bank accounts:
    • Account # 00-19305
    • Account # 00-14907
  • The indemnity will only apply to payments made to individuals. It does not apply to businesses or organizations, whether incorporated or unincorporated. Cheques deposited via automated teller machines (ATM) or mobile devices are not covered under this indemnity (Section 13).

View the full Financial Institutions Indemnity Agreement.

Redeeming bonds and certificates

Alberta Capital Bonds

Do not take Alberta Capital Bonds issued between 1987 and 2010 to your financial institution for redemption.
The funds are still available, and these un-redeemed bond payments are being managed by the Unclaimed Properties Trust for issues 1987- 2009 and by Computershare for the 2010 issue.

To redeem bonds issued in 1987 through 2009

Please contact:

Tax and Revenue Administration – Unclaimed Property
Alberta Treasury Board and Finance
9811 109 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2L5
Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-3044
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: unclaimed.property@gov.ab.ca
Website: unclaimedproperty.alberta.ca

To redeem bonds issued in 2010

If you would like to inquire about the status of your Capital Bonds payment(s), please contact Computershare's National Customer Contact Centre at 1-800-564-6253.

If you wish to make a claim for unclaimed 2010 Alberta Capital Bonds for you or someone on whose behalf you legally act, please:

  • Print the Unclaimed Property Claim Form, available from Computershare (PDF, 126 KB).
  • Complete the form and prepare the required documentation requested thereon as proof of ownership.
  • If you are a legal representative acting on behalf of the bondholder, legal documentation demonstrating your authority must be provided with the form and proof of ownership. When completing the Unclaimed Property Claim Form, please refer to the Appendix (Proof of Appointment) on page 2.
  • Return the completed form along with the required documentation to:
    Computershare Investor Services
    Attention: Unclaimed Property
    8th Floor, 100 University Avenue
    Toronto ON, M5J 2Y1

Please allow 4 to 6 weeks for Computershare to review the claim and provide a reply. If you have any questions regarding completion of the form, please call Computershare's National Customer Contact Centre at 1-800-564-6253.

Alberta Savings Certificates

To redeem certificates issued in 1996 and 1997

Purchasers of these certificates were not issued a physical bond as in previous years. Instead, they were provided with a receipt that confirmed the investment. The Registrar redeemed these certificates upon maturity by either direct deposit or by cheque made payable to the original Savings Certificate Holder.

If a certificate holder moved or changed their address without informing the registrar, those matured certificate payments were unsuccessful. The funds are still available, and these unprocessed payments are now being managed by the Unclaimed Properties Trust.

Please contact:

Tax and Revenue Administration – Unclaimed Property
Alberta Treasury Board and Finance
9811 109 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2L5
Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-3044
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: unclaimed.property@gov.ab.ca
Website: unclaimedproperty.alberta.ca

Unclaimed property

The Unclaimed Personal Property and Vested Property Act deals with a process for the reporting of unclaimed property and its transfer to the government in trust until the unclaimed property is claimed by the rightful owner.

Unclaimed property also includes certain payment instruments issued by the Government of Alberta. These include:

  • Stale-dated and un-cashed cheques issued by the Alberta government that are older than 2 years
  • Alberta Capital Bonds issued between 1987 and 1995
  • Alberta Savings Certificates issued in 1996 and 1997

For more information, visit the Unclaimed Property website. Alberta Treasury Board and Finance maintains an up-to-date online registry of unclaimed property that is searchable free of charge.

Please contact:

Tax and Revenue Administration – Unclaimed Property
Alberta Treasury Board and Finance
9811 109 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2L5
Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-3044
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: unclaimed.property@gov.ab.ca
Website: unclaimedproperty.alberta.ca

Contact

To contact the Banking division of Alberta Treasury Board and Finance:
Email: banking@gov.ab.ca