How does the Canadian banking system pursue post-pandemic recovery and growth? By introducing instant digital payments for businesses.

5 august 2021

Canadian debit network Interac is opening up its e-Transfer P2P payments service to businesses. Interac e-Transfer lets the customers of 13 Canadian financial institutions send money directly from their bank accounts to the accounts of other consumers and businesses, using their email address or mobile number.

Today, Interac Corp., with the support of 13 leading Canadian financial institutions, is launching Interac e-Transfer for Business, an innovative solution that builds on the widespread adoption of the Interac e-Transfer service. „The solution enables real-time digital payments to personal and commercial bank accounts with confirmation of funds received within seconds,” according to the press release.


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.

The launch of Interac e-Transfer for Business in collaboration with Canada’s banking and credit union community marks a milestone in the modernization of Canadian payments and provides a timely solution as businesses embrace financial transformation to aid their recovery and growth plans,” said William Keliehor, Chief Commercial Officer at Interac.

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.”

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 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. 

“Business owners told us they want to spend less time on transactional processes and more time focused on the growth of their business, and Interac e-Transfer for Business was developed with this in mind,” said Anurag Kar, AVP, Money Movement, Interac Corp. “Bringing the market together to create a simplified way to pay or be paid, which boosts cash flow management and overall efficiency, will help the thousands of businesses participating in Canada’s economic recovery.

The launch of this solution by Interac builds on a track record of delivering made-in-Canada innovation at scale over many decades. The company connects nearly 300 financial institutions.

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.

Contributed Quotes:

Interac e-Transfer for Business is a game changer for Scotiabank’s business clients. They demand safer and easier ways to pay and get paid. Interac e-Transfer for Business meets that need, and can dramatically streamline reconciliation processes and maximize working capital. It’s also an important first step in delivering modernized payment services for Canadian businesses.” – Dougal Middleton, Vice-President of Enterprise Payments at Scotiabank.

“Fast, efficient payments are critical to the operational success of a business in a digital, always-on economy. By introducing greater speed, flexibility and valuable insights within the payments process, Interac e-Transfer for Business helps businesses optimize their cash flow, shift from expensive and time-intensive paper cheques, and drastically simplifies the accounting reconciliation process for them.” – Ramesh Siromani, Senior Vice-President, Enterprise Payments at RBC.


*About the Interac Commercial Payments Research
Interac commissioned Phase 5 Consulting to conduct an online survey of 152 financial decision-makers in Canadian mid-sized businesses with 100-499 employees. Participants were recruited via an online research panel. Fieldwork was conducted in English and French in May 2021.

Interac Corp. empowers Canadians to transact digitally with confidence by providing payment and value exchange services. Through our world-class privacy, fraud mitigation, governance and digital identity and authentication expertise, we help keep Canadian customers safe and secure when transacting. With nearly 300 financial institutions connected to our network, Canadians choose Interac products an average of 18 million times a day to pay and exchange money.

Millions of Canadians already use Interac e-Transfer in their personal lives, and now businesses can streamline paper-based accounting processes to maximize working capital and reduce the operational inefficiencies associated with traditional payment options including cheques and EFTs – all through Interac e-Transfer for Business

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.

Foto credit: hannamariah/123RF

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Mihai Draghici – CEO PayByFace

„Dupa ce oamenii creeaza un cont PayByFace si au adaugat cardul, selfi-ul si PIN-ul, si au avut un pic de curaj sa se duca sa incerce, daca au incercat o data plata prin recunoastere faciala nu mai folosesc altceva (n.r. ca modalitate de plata). 80% dintre ei numai asta folosesc. Le place la nebunie.” 

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In 23 septembrie 2019, BNR a anuntat infiintarea unui Fintech Innovation Hub pentru a sustine inovatia in domeniul serviciilor financiare si de plata. In acest sens, care credeti ca ar trebui sa fie urmatorul pas al bancii centrale?