We are currently supporting a number of versions of the XML-based API used by financial institutions (FIs) to connect to Interac e-Transfer. Both the 1.x branch (1.0, 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3) and the 2.x branch (2.0, 2.1, 2.2) are now showing their age. Web technology has matured, so we have created API 3.4. It is still XML-based, but uses a SOAP interface which makes it easier to integrate. It no longer makes sense to keep the older versions of the API, so we are only supporting new capabilities of the Interac e-Transfer platform on the API 3.x stream. Over the next couple of years, the older 1.x and 2.x versions will be phased out.
We are preparing a migration guide to help FIs move from 1.x and 2.x to the new API 3.4. For the most part the migration is quite straightforward – replace each old message with a new message. API 3.4 does, at the same time, require an FI to support a few new options and consumer flows that we’ve added to create great user experiences for the ways people and businesses will use the platform over the coming years. And then beyond what API 3.4 requires for all FIs, it also allows each FI to take advantage of optional new features, customizations, and flexibility to provide innovative experiences for its customers.
API 3.4 of course supports the major new features of Money Request and Autodeposit. In addition, though, here are some of the new capabilities offered through API 3.4:
- Partial fulfillment of money requests (e.g. sending $80 in response to a $100 request)
- Setting up Autodeposit accounts using a unique identifier, not just an email address
- Providing a customer account number when sending to a business that is set up for Autodeposit, so the business will know which account to credit
- Sending transfers without a security question and answer
- Routing notifications to the FI (instead of, or in addition to, the email/SMS notifications to the consumers)
- Delegating the ability for a third party (e.g. an accounting software package) to issue money requests on behalf of a customer
- SHA2 hashing of the answer to the security question (to enhance security)
We’ll be telling you more about these new capabilities over the next little while.
Naturally, there will be many new things coming in API 3.x in the future. One obvious example: the API has been designed to make it easy to extend to cross border transfers.
Over the last few months we have been tweaking API 3.4 with the help of FIs who are integrating with it. Since the 4.6 release of Interac e-Transfer on September 25, API 3.4 is now stable, robust and in production.