What is Interac e-Transfer and How Does it Work?

Read about all you need to know about Interac e-Transfer including how it works and applicable charges.

What is an Interac e-Transfer
What is an Interac e-Transfer

Since the introduction of e-transfer to Canadians in 2003, the service has quickly gained recognition. Currently, millions of Canadians use Interac e-transfer service to execute billions of financial transactions. This service quickly became popular because it provides users with a convenient and quick way to transfer funds to an account. So, what is an Interac e-transfer and how does it work? To learn more about this unique service that has become most people’s favourite, read through this article.

What is an Interac e-Transfer?

An Interac e-Transfer, also called an email money transfer, is a procedure for Canadians to transfer funds from one bank to another digitally. For instance, you can transfer money to your partner by email as long as he/she owns a Canadian bank account. Essentially, this method of transfer uses both email and online banking services.

Interac e-Transfers are very fast, and usually, the receivers of the money will have access to the amount of money deposited immediately. Also, e-Transfers are considered very secure, so when you send money via this method, the banks involved will handle your transfer directly. For this reason, you don’t need to share any information about your bank account with the sender or the receiver before the transfer can happen.

Interac e-Transfers was first launched in 2003 as a direct network between all Canadian financial institutions via email. Today, that network called the Interac Corporation, promotes instant funds transfers between all the licensed banks in Canada. This transfer can be done for both personal and business-related reasons.

How Does Interac e-Transfer Work?

Interac e-Transfers occur when one person sends funds from one Canadian bank account (personal or business account) to another one. The money sent will then be debited instantly from the sender's bank account. Once this is done, it's proof that the money cannot bounce.

If you want to send an e-Transfer, you'll have to answer a unique security question, and then also provide the answer to that question to the receiver of the funds, as they will be mandated to answer that same question later.

On the recipient’s end, they'll either receive an email or a text message when the fund is available to be deposited into their account. This process generally takes place within a few seconds or minutes. To access the money deposited, the recipient will first have to answer the unique security question correctly. This will be done via a protected Interac web page.

Recommended - Payment Systems in Canada

How To Send Money Via Interac e-Transfer

Essentially, Interac e-Transfer allows all Canadians to send funds in the safety and protection of the mobile banking app or online platform of your regular bank. As long as you own a Canadian bank account, you can use this service. Here are the steps to take when sending money via Interac e-Transfer:

  • First, sign in to your bank's online banking platform or the mobile app (if you have it)
  • Next, specify the account you'd want to send money from
  • Input your intended recipient’s email or phone number
  • Thereafter, input the total amount of money you want to send
  • Provide a correct answer to the security question
  • Send the transfer instantly.

While the exact steps we provided above (like the names of the tabs you'll have to click) may vary slightly depending on your bank, the steps are still similar.

What Do I Need To Send Money Via Interac e-Transfer?

Before you can send money via Interac e-transfer, you and the receiver have to own:

  • An account with any participating bank or a credit union
  • Active email address or a valid mobile phone number

Who Can Use This Electronic Transfer?

Anybody who owns a Canadian bank account that provides e-transfer services is eligible to use this mode of payment. Fortunately, virtually all financial institutions in Canada provide this method of payment for their online customers and mobile application users. The best part is that the sender and recipient don't even have to own an account with the exact same bank. This is because money can readily be sent between any financial institution in Canada as long as they offer this service.

What Are Interac e-Transfer Transaction Limits?

Interac email transfers have their limitations. Basically, there are some limits on the minimum and maximum amount of money that you can send within a specific period. For instance, most banks in Canada will only allow you to send up to $3,000 at a time and within a duration of 24 hours. Also, there is a maximum transfer limit of $10,000. On the other hand, the minimum amount you can send via Interac e-Transfer is $0.01.

How Long Does an E-Transfer Take?

An e-Transfer occurs almost instantly. It all depends on the sender’s and recipient’s data network. Once the sender confirms the transaction details with their bank, the funds will immediately be transferred out of their account. On the other end, once the recipient has correctly answered the security question, the stipulated transferred amount will be instantly deposited into their account.

Related Article - How To Make An ACH Payment

How Can I Cancel E-Transfer?

Once the receiver accepts the funds transferred by answering the security question, it is impossible to cancel the transfer. This is because the money has already been removed from your account and put in the recipient’s account. However, if the receiver is yet to accept the money transfer, you can easily cancel it before the money is deducted from your bank account.

Note that your financial institution/bank will charge a specific fee before you can cancel your Interac e-transfer transaction. Hence, you must be sure of the recipient’s email before initiating the transaction.

How Can I Accept Interac e-Transfer?

Before you think of accepting an Interac e-Transfer, you must already have a mobile bank app that offers this service. If you already have one, note that receiving funds is automatic. Your bank app will automatically accept money via Interac e-Transfer as long as it offers this service.

These are the steps to take when you receive any money through Interac e-Transfer:

  • Check through your email inbox, your text messages, or your bank and credit union app.
  • Follow the simple instructions provided here to log in to your bank account and input the unique security answer.
  • Once this is done, the money will be deposited into your account immediately.  

Final Thought

The Interac e-transfer is a safe way to move money between bank accounts electronically using just email addresses or phone numbers. Hence, we can say that it is one of the fastest and most stress-free methods of transfer existing in Canada. You can try it out by signing into your bank app and following the steps we’ve provided above. Sending money within Canada is effortless with Interac e-transfers.

SanaTransfer offers easy, fast and secure payment services with better rates and faster payouts for international remittance. Sign up now to get started.

Download the app for Android or iOS.