Interac is launching Interac e-Transfer for Business, with the support of 13 leading Canadian financial institutions

In a context of economic recovery, Interac is launching its e-transfer solution for businesses, an innovative solution that enables real-time digital payments to personal and commercial bank accounts with confirmation of funds received in seconds.

Entrepreneur using Interac e-transfer for businesses
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A digital payment solution that meets a real need for businesses

With more than eight in 10 (83 per cent) business leaders calling for new commercial payment products as part of their post-pandemic digital transformation, according to recent research from Interac1, this allows Canadian businesses to send and receive payments faster and more efficiently than ever before from the safety and security of their financial institution. Businesses are still reliant on cheques, with over 389 million commercial cheques in market in 2019 representing an average value of $9,000 each2. With higher limits of up to $25,000, Interac e-Transfer for Business transactions have the potential to displace upwards of 200 million of these cheques3.

1] 2021 Interac Commercial Payments Research, Phase5

2] Source: 2019 Canadian Payments Methods and Trends Report

3] Interac based this estimate on the conservative assumption that more than half of the commercial cheques in market hold a value of less than $25,000.

Despite the challenges of COVID-19, the Interac commercial payments research shows that business respondents are optimistic about recovery with 8 in 10 (82 per cent) aspiring to grow over the next two years. Within this period, 83 per cent of finance professionals surveyed say applying digital transformation to their function is a priority. The majority (77 per cent) want their finance team to spend less time on transactional processes and more time on higher value-add functions.

Interac e-Transfer for Business makes this possible by alleviating the need to follow up with suppliers as payment confirmation is provided within seconds, while also reducing time consuming manual reconciliation processes through data-rich payments. With higher transactional limits of up to $25,000 and flexible payment routing options, this solution gives commercial users more choice, a higher level of efficiency and control in managing receivables and cash flow. Users will also have the added flexibility of sending funds directly to account numbers they have on record, in addition to traditional Interac e-Transfer payment routing options of an email address or mobile number.

The applications of Interac e-Transfer for Business also span multiple industries and business sizes. A small business owner can use the solution to pay employees while spending less time on administration, a franchise can facilitate just-in-time vendor payments, while an insurance company can leverage it to distribute claims with funds received and available for use within seconds.

Interac e-Transfer for Business is poised to do for business payments what Interac e-Transfer did for the personal cheque,” said Todd Roberts, Canadian Payments Leader at Deloitte Canada. “We expect businesses will respond favourably to this introduction as it accelerates their ability to fully participate in Canada’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery.”

A payment solution supported by 13 Canadian financial institutions

Working with Interac, over 90 per cent of Canada’s financial institution market share is able to receive real-time, data-rich transactions. Leading Canadian financial institutions such as ATB Financial, BMO Financial Group, CIBC, Desjardins Group, HSBC Bank Canada, Manulife Bank of Canada, National Bank of Canada, Peoples Trust Company, Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank, TD Bank Group and Canada’s Credit unions including Meridian, First West Credit Union and Vancity, are enabling this functionality for their customers. Depending on the customer segment, BMO Financial Group, CIBC, Peoples Trust Company, Royal Bank of Canada and Scotiabank are enabling the ability to initiate these transactions. Many more financial institutions are anticipated to enable these capabilities for their customers over the coming months. 

As recently announced, Interac is working with Payments Canada as the exchange solution provider for the country’s new Real-Time Rail (RTR), a new real-time payments system. Once the RTR is live, Interac e-Transfer for Business payments will utilize the new RTR exchange for processing.

In August 2020, Interac e-Transfer was designated a prominent payment system under the Payment Clearing and Settlement Act. Interac e-Transfer for Business is the first significant change for the service following this designation.