Interac, with the support of 13 Canadian financial institutions, has launched Interac e-Transfer for Business, a solution that builds on the technology of the Interac e-Transfer service, enabling real-time digital payments for businesses. 

What’s new?

  • Increased individual transaction limit: The upper limit for transactions on the Interac e-Transfer service had been $10,000 per transaction. The new solution for businesses offers an increased individual transaction limit of $25,000, with user limits controlled by each financial institution. 

Businesses are allowed to use the traditional method as well. Use of the Interac e-Transfer service by businesses skyrocketed throughout the pandemic. Twenty-one per cent more businesses were receiving Interac e-Transfer transactions in August 2020 than in February, reaffirming the need for a solution facilitating secure, data-rich, real-time business payment,” Anurag Kar, assistant vice-president of money movement products at Interac, told itbusiness.ca.

The pandemic has accelerated the need this type of payment, according to Kar, citing new research from Interac. More than eight in 10 (83 per cent) business leaders are calling for new commercial payment products as part of their post-pandemic digital transformation. Businesses are still reliant on cheques, with over 389 million commercial cheques in the market in 2019 representing an average value of $9,000 each. With its higher limit of up to $25,000, Interac says its new solution for business transactions has the potential to displace upwards of 200 million of these cheques.

More features

  • Real-time:Interac says this new service enables Interac e-Transfer for Business transactions to take place in real-time which means businesses no longer have to tie up capital while waiting for cheques and electronic funds transfers, and they’ll know within seconds if their money has been received. 
  • Data-rich: Interac e-Transfer for Business transactions are data-rich and ISO 20022 compliant, which means structured information can be included within the payment itself. The traditional Interac e-Transfer service was also recently made ISO20022 compliant, Kar told the publication. 

Canadian financial institutions that are currently enabling this new payments solution include ATB Financial, BMO Financial Group, CIBC, Desjardins Group, HSBC Bank Canada, Manulife Bank of Canada, Meridian Credit Union, National Bank of Canada, Peoples Trust Company, Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank, TD Bank Group and Canada’s Credit Unions starting with Vancity and First West. While the new service can be made available to both retail and business customer segments, Interac says it is up to each financial institution on how they roll this out to their end-users.

“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, in a press release. “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.”

Once Canada’s new Real-Time Rail (RTR), a new real-time payments system, is live, the Interac e-Transfer for Business service will utilize the new RTR exchange for processing.

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