Clearing (the clearing of payments) is the process by which an intermediary entity acts to ensure a transaction is carried out, from the initial agreement between the two counterparties to the actual transfer of money from one bank account to another. The intermediary entity effectively adopts the role of both counterparties to carry out the transaction.
In currency transactions, a bank, broker or FX provider completes the clearing process through a clearing department. Clearing speeds up the transactional delay between parties. Counterparties make payments directly to the clearing entity rather than the counterparty at the opposite end of the transaction.
International clearing houses include: Clearing House Automated Payment System (CHAPS) in the UK, EBA Clearing in the Eurozone and Automated Clearing House in the United States.