A giro (/ˈdʒaɪəroʊ/, /ˈdʒɪroʊ/, /ˈʒɪroʊ/, /ˈdʒɪəroʊ/, or /ˈʒɪəroʊ/), or giro transfer, is a payment transfer from one bank account to another bank account and instigated by the payer, not the payee. Giros are primarily a European phenomenon; although electronic payment systems such as the Automated Clearing House exist in the United States and Canada, it is not, as yet, possible to perform third party transfers with them.
In the United Kingdom and in other countries the term giro may refer to a specific system once operated by the post office. In the UK, the giro service was originally known as National Giro. In due course "giro" 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 use of both cheques and paper giros is now in decline in many countries in favour of electronic payments, which are thought to be faster, cheaper and safer due to the reduced risk of fraud.