Newcomers to Canada Series: How Interac e-Transfer Works

Guide to Interac e-transfers. How to send and receive money in Canada.

This post is part of a series of short articles on the things all newcomers to Canada should know to make their settlement easier.

If you’re new to Canada and wondering how Interac e-Transfer works, this post is for you.

Interac e-Transfer is the quickest way to send and receive money in Canada. This post covers everything you need to get started and keep your money and information safe.

What Is Interac e-Transfer?

Interac e-Transfer is a convenient way to send money to anyone that has a mobile phone or email address, and a bank account with a participating financial institution in Canada.

It is fast, secure, and easily accessible through your financial institution’s banking app.

Interac is available at most Canadian financial institutions (Banks and Credit Unions). You can find a list of over 250 Interac participating institutions here.

Interac e-Transfer Autodeposit

This feature allows you to receive money transferred to you automatically into your bank account, without the need to enter a security answer.

You can easily set it up through your bank’s mobile or online app.

How Does Interac e-Transfer Work?

To get started with using Interac to send or receive money in Canada, here are the things you need:

  • Bank Account with a participating financial institution
  • Email or phone number
  • A mobile phone or computer

How to Send Interac e-Transfer

Sending Interac e-transfers can be done in simple easy-to-use steps.

The exact steps will vary from one financial institution to the other, but these are the general steps

  1. Login to your account

    Through the financial institution’s mobile or online app

  2. Select Interac e-Transfer

    From the list of available transfer options

  3. Provide the transfer details

    The amount, security question and security answer. The security question is not required for recipients that are registered for Interac autodeposit.

The transfer notification will be sent to the recipient. If you entered a security question, share the answer using a secure means of communication with the recipient.

Note that there are daily, weekly and monthly limits on how much you can send. Learn more about Interac e-transfer limits in this post.

How To Receive Interac e-Transfer

Receiving Interac e-Transfers are also straight-forward.

Here are the general steps:

  1. Check your email or text message for the transfer notification
  2. Click on the link to login to your bank account
  3. Provide the security answer (if you’re not already registered for Interac autodeposit) and deposit the money into your bank account

Is Interac e-Transfer Secure?

Interac transfers are done using some of the most secure transfer procedures in the world. Each transfer goes through multiple layers of security using authentications and encryption.

But it is still important to be careful and keep your banking information safe.

If you received a notification for money you’re not expecting or suspect to be fraudulent, don’t click the links until you’ve spoken to the sender through a different channel.

The email could be a phishing email from fraudsters trying to get access to your account and banking information.

Read more about common scams here.

Simple Tips to Keep Your Transfers Safe And Secure

  1. Only use Interac e-Transfers to send payments to people you know.
  2. Never include the security answer in the question
  3. Share the answer to the security question through secure channels like over the phone
  4. Don’t share the answer through the same medium the notification will be sent to the recipient, for example email or text.
  5. Use a unique security question that only you and the fund’s recipient can know. Don’t use a question that anyone can easily guess
  6. Don’t use the same security question and answer for multiple recipients

Some FAQs


Are there limits on the transfer amounts?

Each financial institution sets its own daily and monthly limits.
For example, CIBC has a daily limit of $3,000, $10,000 for a 7-day period and $30,000 over a 30-day period. BMO has a lower monthly limit of $20,000.
So check with your bank.

Are there charges for using Interac e-Transfers?

Receiving Interac e-Transfers is always free, but there could be charges for sending. Some financial institutions don’t charge while others charge for all transfers or after a limit is reached monthly.
Fortunately, free Interac transfers should be included in all NewComers Bank Account offerings from the big banks.

What do you need to send or receive Interac e-Transfers?

You need an account at a participating Canadian financial institution and access to its mobile or online banking app to send an Interac e-Transfer.
To receive, you need an email address or mobile phone to receive the notification and a Canadian bank account to deposit the money into.

How long does Interac e-Transfers take?

It depends on the bank. Transfers are sent and received immediately with some banks, while others may take up to 30 minutes to an hour to process.


Other Features of Interac e-Transfer

Interac e-Transfer® Request Money enables you to request for money from a sender through the Interac system. The sender will receive a notification with the details. Once they make the transfer, it will be deposited in your account and you will get a notification.

International Transfer by MasterCard and Interac is a safe and cost-effective way for Canadians to send international money transfers from a bank account in Canada to bank accounts worldwide.

Most transfers will get to the recipients in 1-2 days.

To learn more about Interac and the other services like international money transfers, check out the Interac e-Transfer FAQ here.

Other Posts for Newcomers to Canada:

Simon is a CPA by day and a Personal Finance Blogger by night. With over a decade experience in financial services, he's passionate about personal finance, investing and helping people take control of their financial life.

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