Interac - FAQs

Interac Debit

INTERAC Debit is the leading payment choice, particularly for small purchases

When Canadian consumers reach for a payment card in their wallets, 56 per cent* of the time they choose Interac Debit.  That’s compared against all credit card brands combined.

Consumers across the country have made Interac Canada’s leading payment brand and a home-grown success story and part of our lives for nearly 20 years.  From the quick grocery store stops on the way home from work to filling up the gas tank on the way to the local hockey rink and a quick coffee run on route,  Interac Debit helps you make those everyday purchases securely, with ease and confidence, using your own money straight from your bank account.  Now, we’re even making it faster and more convenient with Interac Flash, the contactless enhancement of Interac Debit.

What does using INTERAC Debit mean to you?

Interac Debit and Interac Flash help you  take control of your finances and can help you avoid overspending. It’s like using cash, only more secure, as the money is exchanged electronically between your bank and the merchant.

Interac Debit and Interac Flash transactions occur  online (versus offline) and in real time so you can always keep track of your spending – all transactions must be card-present and approved by your financial institution (versus by the terminal and then sent to your financial institution for account posting) and appear instantly on your personal banking account records, allowing you to monitor your account balance to see exactly how much money you have available.

We know that security is important to you. Chip-enabled Interac Debit and Interac Flash cards are extremely secure and are protected from fraud tactics such as skimming, duplicating and electronic pick-pocketing.  Given the possible available data is payment transaction codes, not account-related details, and transactions are online and in real-time, no information can be captured by criminals to conduct fraudulent transactions or create identity theft.  You are also protected under Interac’s Zero Liability policy. 

If you would like a little more proof about our commitment to security, just look at how successful we’ve been in tackling Interac debit card fraud  - it’s plummeted by 70 per cent in the last two years to the lowest point since first recorded.  And, we’re not done yet.

How does choosing INTERAC Debit benefit merchants in communities across the country?

Interac Debit is one of the lowest cost payment acceptance methods for Canadian merchants.  At pennies per transaction regardless of the size of your bill, you can help out your local merchants when you pay with Interac Debit.  Credit cards can result in higher costs as many have multiple fees and are percentage based, from 1.5 per cent to 5 per cent, of the total amount you are spending. It adds up and hits merchants’ bottom line, particularly small independent merchants, where every penny counts.

Interac Flash

How do I know which of my accounts will be debited?

Your purchases will be debited from the saving or chequing account associated with your Interac debit card.

Can the information on my card be stolen, even if the card is in a purse or wallet?

The security built into the chip within your card protects you against this type of fraudulent activity. The chip uses processing power and cryptography that protect your card from skimming and counterfeiting.

How do I track purchases made using INTERAC Flash? Will I be able to get receipts?

Each transaction will be itemized on your bank statement with the rest of your Interac Debit transactions. Upon request, a merchant can provide a receipt for a purchase made with Interac Flash, just as they do with regular Interac Debit transactions.

What protections are in place in the instance of fraud?

You are protected under the Interac Zero Liability Policy from any losses due to unauthorized transactions. If your card is lost or stolen, contact your financial institution immediately.

Are there fees for using INTERAC Flash?

Interac Association does not charge fees directly to cardholders. Fees, if any, are set by the financial institutions who issue your debit card.

Interac e-Transfer

Sending

Which banks are INTERAC e-Transfer participants?

To view the full list of Interac e-Transfer participating financial institutions, click here.

How much does it cost to send an INTERAC e-Transfer?

There may be a fee from your financial institution for using the Interac e-Transfer service. Please check with your financial institution directly.

Are there limits on the amount I can send?

Like most other financial transactions, there are limits on the amount you can send. Each Financial Institution sets send limits through online banking. Please contact your financial institution for more details.

I have a business. Can I send an INTERAC e-Transfer?

Some participating financial institutions offer the Interac e-Transfer service to their small business online banking customers. Please check with your financial institution to find out more.  

How secure is it to send money by email or text message?

You are not sending money by email or text message; only the notification travels over the Internet or over the air to advise the recipient that the transfer has been initiated and to provide instructions on how to deposit the money. The money always resides safely at a financial institution, and is transferred through existing payment networks that financial institutions have used for years to settle cheques, bank machine deposits and withdrawals.
Security measures have been built into the system, including:

  • Encryption technology
  • Confidential user IDs and passwords issued by financial institutions
  • Secure login process
  • A security question and answer to ensure only the intended recipient receives the money
  • 128-bit browser encryption

Receiving

How do I deposit an INTERAC e-Transfer?

When someone sends you an Interac e-Transfer, you will receive a notification via email or text message indicating a transfer has been sent to you. The notification includes information about the transfer including:

  • Sender's name
  • Transfer amount
  • The notification also includes a link to deposit your transfer to your bank account.

The fastest way to get your funds is through your financial institution's online or mobile banking service. Simply click the link in the notification, select your financial institution, login to online or mobile banking and deposit the money into the account of your choice. If you cannot click on the link, either cut and paste or type the link into your browser.

If you don't have access to online or mobile banking, contact your financial institution or visit their online banking website to sign up.

If your financial institution does not yet offer the Interac e-Transfer service, or if you don't bank online, you can still deposit transfers to any Canadian bank account. You will be required to register with Interacand provide your banking information in order for the money to be deposited into your bank account. The deposit usually takes 4 - 6 business days to process and a $4.00 fee will be deducted from the deposit amount.

See our Interac e-Transfer demo

Which banks are INTERAC e-Transfer participants?

To view the full list of Interac e-Transfer participating financial institutions, click here.

Do I need to bank online?

To deposit a transfer, you can either use online banking or register with your account number on our secure website. The fastest way to deposit an Interac e-Transfer is through online banking at a participating financial institution.

If your financial institution does not yet offer the Interac e-Transfer service, or if you don't bank online, you can still deposit transfers to any Canadian bank account. This option is available when you click the link in the notice you get when receiving an Interac e-Transfer. If you cannot click on the link, either cut and paste or type the link into your browser. You will be required to register and provide your banking information in order for the money to be deposited into your bank account. The deposit usually takes 4 - 6 business days to process and a $4.00 fee will be deducted from the deposit amount.

What if my bank doesn’t offer INTERAC e-Transfer?

If your financial institution does not yet offer the service, or if you don't bank online, you can still deposit transfers to any Canadian bank account. This option is available when you click the link in the notice you get when receiving an Interac e-Transfer. If you cannot click on the link, either cut and paste or type the link into your browser. You will be required to register and provide your banking information in order for the money to be deposited into your bank account. The deposit usually takes 4 - 6 business days to process and a $4.00 fee will be deducted from the deposit amount.

Can I deposit an INTERAC e-Transfer into a bank account in another country?

Currently the Interac e-Transfer service is only available to those who bank at a Canadian financial institution and have a Canadian currency account. You will not be able to deposit your Interac e-Transfer to a foreign bank account. If you have received an Interac e-Transfer and you do not have a Canadian bank account, ask your sender to cancel the transfer. Once the transfer is cancelled, the funds will be returned to the sender's account. If you are unable to contact your sender, the transfer will expire in approximately 30 days. Once the transfer expires, the sender will receive a notification to reclaim the funds.

Can I deposit an INTERAC e-Transfer on my mobile device?

Yes. Click on the link in the notification message from any web-enabled handset and you will be taken to the mobile gateway page where you can select your financial institution and proceed to deposit your transfer. You can also type the link into any Internet browser and deposit your transfer on any computer.

Does Interac send INTERAC e-Transfer notifications via email and/or text messages?

Yes. Anyone using a web-enabled mobile device can use the link provided in the notification message, login to online or mobile banking, and deposit a transfer. If your mobile device is not web-enabled, or you'd prefer not to deposit your transfer on your mobile device, type the link provided into your browser on your computer to deposit your transfer.

How much does it cost to receive an INTERAC e-Transfer?

There may be a fee from your financial institution for using the Interac e-Transfer service. Please check with your financial institution directly to determine what fees, if any, they may charge for receiving.

If your financial institution does not yet offer the Interac e-Transfer service, or if you don't bank online, you can still receive transfers to any Canadian bank account. You will need to register and provide your banking information in order for the money to be deposited into your bank account. The deposit usually takes 4 - 6 business days to process and a $4.00 fee will be deducted from the deposit amount.

Standard text messaging charges apply.

I received a text message notification from 100001. What does this mean?

100001 is the short code address from which all text Interac e-Transfer notifications originate.

Short codes (also known as short numbers) are special telephone numbers, significantly shorter than full telephone numbers that can be used to address text messages to or from mobile phones. Short codes are designed to be easier to read and remember than normal telephone numbers. Like telephone numbers, short codes are unique to each operator at the technological level.

Standard text messaging charges apply.

I received a text message notification for an INTERAC e-Transfer. I don't want to pay data charges on my mobile phone and/or I cannot access the web. What should I do?

If your mobile phone is not web-enabled, or if you would prefer not to deposit your transfer using your mobile phone, type the link provided into your browser on any computer and follow the instructions to pick up your transfer. Anyone using a web-enabled mobile device can use the link provided in the notification message, login to online or mobile banking and deposit a transfer.

How long will it take to receive the money in my bank account?

Once the notification arrives, you have almost instant access to the money, provided you bank online with one of the participating financial institutions. Click the link that appears in the notification to login to your online banking website and you will be able to access your funds. If you cannot click on the link, cut and paste or type your link into your browser.

If you do not wish to sign up for online banking, or you bank with a financial institution that does not yet offer Interac e-Transfers, you can still receive transfers to any Canadian personal bank account. You will be required to register with Interac by providing your bank account information in order for the money to be deposited into your bank account. A transfer collected this way usually takes 4 - 6 business days to process.

Depending on where you bank, the deposit could take several additional days due to factors such as holiday schedules or manual processing. Smaller, regional financial institutions often take longer to process these transfers.

Also, if you enter any financial information that cannot be verified it can take up to 10 days before your financial institution returns the funds as undeliverable. In this case, we will contact you by email and ask you to correct your account information.

I have a business. Can I receive an INTERAC e-Transfer?

Some participating financial institutions offer the Interac e-Transfer service to their small business online banking customers. Please check with your financial institution to find out more.

Security

I have been offered a job as an e-Transfer agent. Does INTERAC work with e-Transfer businesses?

No. Interac does not hire transfer agents. There have been instances of employment recruitment scams in which Canadian job hunters are hired as agents for "foreign companies". In fact, the job hunters may actually end up being used as "mules" to transfer stolen funds outside of Canada. Anyone who participates, even unknowingly, could be deemed an accomplice to a crime and may be prosecuted. We urge you to fully investigate any such job offers.

How do some of these e-Transfer business scams work?

In the typical scenario, the "employer", very often a foreign-based company, poses as a legitimate company looking on job recruitment websites for an agent to represent the company in Canada. The job is to accept payments from Canadian customers on behalf of the foreign company, and then transfer a portion of the proceeds offshore. The employer indicates that a key qualification for the position is that employees must be online banking customers, able to receive funds electronically, using Interac e-Transfer.

Once the employee receives the funds in his/her account, he/she is given instructions to transfer the money via a funds wire transfer service to a foreign address. As compensation, the employee or "transfer agent" is paid a percentage of the funds received and transferred. This is often a front for an illegal operation and the unwitting employee may be prosecuted for his or her part in this scheme.

How can I tell if this job offer is part of a scam operation? The information I am receiving looks very professional.

In order to appear authentic, fraudsters may present employment agreements, websites and other types of information, for example, a detailed contract, outline of employee job responsibilities, compensation, etc. While, these websites and employment agreements may present an appearance of legitimacy, spelling errors or the use of odd wording may be a sign that the operation is not a legitimate one.

Tips to Protect Yourself

Offers of easy money are often too good to be true. A web-based job that requires you to move funds outside Canada could be a front for an illegal operation. While the opportunity may look appealing, you may end up being subject to criminal prosecution for your role in the operation.

Check any employment-related information for unusual phrasing and look for misspelled words. If you are suspicious, check with local law enforcement.

Stay aware by checking the following sources of information about fraud:

www.phonebusters.com
www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca
www.recol.ca (Reporting Economic Crime Online)
www.fcac.gc.ca (Financial Consumer Agency of Canada)
www.strategis.gc.ca (Industry Canada)

What is email Fraud, Phishing or Spearphishing, SEO poisoning, Twitter, Web surfing, Mobile Apps, SMS phishing?

Phishing is a scam where fraudsters attempt to acquire personal and/or financial information, such as passwords, card numbers, etc., by masquerading as a trustworthy person or business through electronic communications. Phishing is typically carried out using email or an instant message, although phone contact has been used as well.

In some instances, the fraudster sends authentic-looking emails or text messages (smishing) that appear to come from legitimate companies, requesting recipients to disclose personal and/or financial information that is later used to commit fraud.

Be suspicious if you receive a notice for an Interac e-Transfer that you were not expecting. If in doubt, contact the sender to ensure he or she has initiated your transfer.

Other

What is an INTERAC e-Transfer?

An Interac e-Transfer is a fast, secure and convenient way to send money to anyone in Canada from within the security of your online banking service. It uses email or text messaging for fast notification to the recipient that a transfer has been sent, while the participating financial institutions transfer the funds using established and secure banking procedures.

To send an Interac e-Transfer, all you need is an email address, online access to your bank account at a participating financial institution and the email address or mobile phone number of the person that you are sending money to. Email and/or text messages carry the notification while the financial institutions use existing payment networks to transfer the money to any financial institution in Canada.

If your financial institution does not yet offer the service, or if you don't bank online, you can still deposit transfers to any Canadian bank account. This option is available when you click the link in the notice you get when receiving an Interac e-Transfer. If you cannot click on the link, either cut and paste or type the link into your browser. You will be required to register and provide your banking information in order for the money to be deposited into your bank account. The deposit usually takes 4 - 6 business days to process and a $4.00 fee will be deducted from the deposit amount.

How do I send an Interac e-Transfer?

All you need is an email address, access to online or mobile banking at a participating financial institution and the email address or mobile phone number of the person you are sending money to.

Learn how now.

If I pay with INTERAC e-Transfer, is it the same as paying by Interac Debit or Interac Online?

No. While it is possible to pay for things using any of these Interac branded services, Interac e-Transfer is different because it is a way to electronically transfer money directly from one party to another. As such, the service has some of the advantages and disadvantages of paying with cash.

Once a transfer has been deposited, it cannot be cancelled or reversed.

Like using cash, you should send money transfers only to parties you know and trust. For most uses of the Interac e-Transfer service (sending money to family and friends, repaying IOUs, sending monetary gifts, etc.), you know the recipient well. For uses where you may not know the receiver well (e.g., online auction purchases), take the precautions you would take when making cash purchases. For auctions and online purchases, be sure to read and follow steps as recommended by operators of these websites to protect your money.

I received a text message from INTERAC, but did not opt in to this service. How do I stop receiving INTERAC text messages?

The text message was sent because someone chose to send you an Interac e-Transfer and notify you via text message. We recommend you let this person know you do not want to receive these messages. The sender can use your email address instead to send you a transfer.

To permanently stop all text message notifications from Interac e-Transfer, reply to an Interac e-Transfer text message with the message STOP (or text STOP to 100001). Once stopped, text message notifications cannot be reinstated.

Standard text messaging charges apply.

Will other financial institutions offer Interac e-Transfers in the future?

Yes. Canadian financial institutions know that people want to send money quickly and easily. Watch for upcoming announcements or contact your financial institution to find out when they will be offering Interac e-Transfers.

Can I respond to an INTERAC e-Transfer text message?

Yes, two responses (in both English and French) are accepted by the service and Interac will reply to these messages. Remember that text messages are limited to very few characters and therefore do not contain detailed information.

HELP

A HELP reply to short code 100001 will provide you with the address of this website, and instructions to type the link received in your notification into any browser.

STOP

To permanently stop all text message notifications from Interac e-Transfer, reply to any of the texts with the message STOP (or text STOP to 100001). Once stopped, text message notifications cannot be re-started.

Standard text messaging charges apply.

Can I send an Interac e-Transfer through this site?

No. The only way you can send an Interac e-Transfer is within the security of your online banking service at a participating financial institution. This way, the financial institution can identify you and process the transfer instantly. If you do not have access to online banking, contact your financial institution or visit their online banking website to sign up.

Can I send an Interac e-Transfer to a mobile phone number?

Yes. An Interac e-Transfer notification can be sent to a Canadian mobile phone number.

What happens if I send an Interac e-Transfer to a landline?

If you also provided an email address, the recipient will be notified by email. Otherwise, you may be informed that the transfer notification could not be delivered and will be directed to either reclaim your transfer or correct the contact information of your recipient.

I tried sending an Interac e-Transfer notification to a mobile phone number, but received an email and/or text message saying it did not go through. Why?

Always check to make sure you have entered the correct mobile phone number each time you wish to send an Interac e-Transfer. A notification may not be delivered to the recipient if the:

  • Phone number entered is a land line
  • Phone number entered is a non-Canadian mobile phone number
  • Recipient has blocked Interac e-Transfer notifications being sent to his/her mobile phone number
  • Recipient is encountering technical issues with their mobile phone and therefore the message cannot be delivered for technical reasons (e.g. phone is off, mobile network unavailable)
  • Mobile Network Operator does not support all text messages

Which banks are INTERAC e-Transfer participants?

To view the full list of Interac e-Transfer participating financial institutions, click here.

Interac Online Payment

 

What if a consumer doesn't use online banking?

A consumer must be registered for online banking to use the Interac Online Payment service. If the consumer tries to use the Interac Online payment option but does not have access to online banking, the financial institution may give them the option to register for web banking right away. The consumer will always be provided a link back to your website, so if they decide not to register for online banking, you can let him or her checkout using another payment method.

How much does Interac Online cost?

Fees to online merchants are set by the payment service provider or payment service provider. Fees to consumers, if any, depend on their financial institution and service plan.

Why does the consumer have to leave my website? What if they don't come back?

One of the main benefits of the Interac Online Payment is the separation of shopping and paying. The consumer is taken to his or her financial institution to make the payment so that he or she does not have to enter any account information on your website. Many studies show that consumers are concerned about sharing financial or account details with online merchants.

In the Interac Online Payment flow, the consumer's web browser is automatically directed back to your website once the payment is made. In the event that the consumer is unable to or decides not to authorize the payment in online banking, they are still returned to your website, allowing you to continue the checkout process using a different payment method.

How do I handle refunds?

Some acquirers and payment service providers support Interac Online Payment refund transactions. These allow you to initiate a credit which the customer will receive in the same bank account used for the original purchase. Alternately, you can provide refunds using other mechanisms (e.g. providing a store credit, or sending a cheque).

What is a chargeback?

In the credit card world, an authorized transaction can be reversed. This may happen, for example, when a fraudulent transaction has been charged against a customer's account, and the customer disputes the transaction. To avoid chargebacks, many merchants perform checks before accepting a transaction and refuse to accept it if suspicious. Sometimes blocked transactions are actually legitimate, and so this practice has the negative effect of preventing valid customers from completing their purchase. This type of chargeback does not occur with Interac Online Payment. The financial institution authorizes each payment, and guarantees payment to the merchant.

How much does it cost to use Interac Online?

Your Interac Online payment is handled by your Financial Institution, so fees, if any, would be levied by your Financial Institution. Contact your Financial Institution to inquire about any fees applicable to your Interac Online payment.

What if I don't have online banking?

It is easy to get access to online banking. Contact your bank or visit their website to inquire about signing up. Click here for a list of banks that offer the Interac Online Payment.

Who do I call if something goes wrong?

If you have questions or concerns about your online purchase, (e.g. about delivery time, shipping options, product information etc.) please contact the online retailer.

If you have questions or concerns about your Interac Online Payment (e.g. fees, limits, your account, processing times etc.) that cannot be answered by the online merchant, please contact your bank.

In a proven case of online fraud, you are protected by the 'Customer Services Rules', which ensure that your funds are returned to your bank account by your financial institution. More information about consumer protection is outlined in the Customer Commitment section.

I'm not sure if my payment was completed. How do I know?

If you reach the confirmation screen, and receive a confirmation number, you can be sure your payment was completed. If you confirmed your payment in online banking, but did not get redirected to a confirmation page at the online retailer website, then there was a technical problem.

One of two things may have happened:

  1. The online retailer received your payment but for some reason you were unable to see the confirmation page.
  2. The online retailer was not able to receive your payment.

You can often determine that it was case (1.) if the online retailer sends you a confirmation email, or allows you to check your order history on their website. In case (2.), the funds will be (in most cases) re-credited to your bank account within minutes.

If you are uncertain, contact the online retailer to ask whether your order has been processed.

What if I need to return my purchase? How do I get my money back?

It is important that you check each online retailer’s s return/refund policy prior to making your purchase. Some online retailers will process a refund where the funds are credited back to your bank account.

How can I protect myself against online fraud?

In a proven case of online fraud, you are protected by the 'Customer Services Rules', which ensure that your funds are returned to your bank account by your Financial Institution. These 'Rules' are based on the reputable Canadian Code of Practice for Consumer Protection in Electronic Commerce. While we work with all stakeholders, as well as security experts, to maintain the ongoing security of our services, there are actions that you can take as well. You are encouraged to regularly check your bank statements to verify that all transactions have been properly documented. If entries do not accurately reflect transaction activities - for example, if there are missing or additional transactions you should immediately contact your Financial Institution.

Who are Interac Online participating financial institutions?

  • BMO Bank of Montreal
  • Envision Financial
  • Interior Savings Credit Union
  • Libro Credit Union
  • Mennonite Savings and Credit Union
  • Scotiabank
  • Tandia Credit Union
  • TD Canada Trust
  • RBC Royal Bank
  • Valley Credit Union
  • Windsor Family Credit Union
  • Your Credit Union

Interac Cash

What is INTERAC Cash?

The Interac Cash service is a convenient way to withdraw cash from your account at any Automated Banking Machine (ABM) displaying theInterac logo, anywhere in Canada.

When you're looking for cash in a hurry, you don't have to look far to find an ABM. Interac services have made accessing your accounts for withdrawals easy and available everywhere in Canada.  Since the service is available 24 hours a day, you do not need to worry about what hours a branch is open or searching for an ABM belonging to your own financial institution.

The security of INTERAC Cash

The Interac Cash service is safe and secure. This is ensured by the use of your card and confidential Personal Identification Number (PIN). Adherence to strict Canadian and international security standards are required by all participating Interac Association members.

A debit card cannot be used to withdraw cash at an ABM without the associated cardholder’s PIN. This ensures the security of funds when a card is lost, stolen, or illegally copied.

It is important to report lost or stolen cards to your financial institution immediately to avoid any possible liability.

Learn more about the security of Interac products and services here.

How INTERAC Cash works

The Interac Cash service allows you to withdraw cash from your account at an Automated Banking Machine (ABM). To begin a transaction, insert a valid Interac branded debit card into an ABM that displays the Interaclogo and follow the prompts on the screen, which will ask you to:

  • Enter the withdrawal amount
  • Select the account from which you wish to withdraw funds
  • Enter your Personal Identification Number (PIN)
  • Provide a final okay to send the request the cash withdrawal