We just launched two innovative features that build upon the widely-used capabilities of the Interac e-Transfer service: Autodeposit, which allows a user to automatically accept, and deposit into their bank account, funds sent to them via Interac e-Transfer, and Request Money, which allows a user to send a request for money to another user, and immediately have access to the funds when sent back.
These features are important steps in a broader effort to modernize Canada’s payments system.
Over the past year, Payments Canada has been communicating its vision for making the movement of money faster, more convenient, and more secure – a payments infrastructure able to support and accelerate our twenty-first-century digital economy.
In its consultations with stakeholders, it identified a range of essential requirements for such a system, including near-real-time funds availability, easy and secure methods of transfer (such as being able to look up a recipient using only their email address), and interoperability across financial institutions.
As the leading payments platform in Canada, we’re bringing a similar vision to life. In fact, we’re already providing much of the functionality a leading-edge payments system requires – and our new features will bring us even closer to this goal.
Today, the Interac e-Transfer service allows an individual or business to send money to another individual or business using only an email address or mobile phone number. The money sent is made immediately accessible through our “good funds” model of removing funds from a sender’s account just before notifying the recipient that money has been sent – but the recipient has to accept and deposit the funds using their mobile or online banking applications.
The new Autodeposit feature, by contrast, will allow users to pre-authorize all deposits transferred into their accounts – so that, for example, an employee can grant Autodeposit permission to their employer, and can receive their semi-monthly salary payment directly into their account, on-time, without having to take action to accept and deposit the payment.
And while Autodeposit will make receiving money easier than ever, Request Money offers a powerful new way to prompt and facilitate a payment. If you paid the dinner bill for yourself and a friend while out on the town, you’ll be able to make a money request through Interac e-Transfer to that same friend straight away, and all they’ll need to do is accept the request in order to make the repayment happen instantly. Likewise a small business could request money from a customer to pay an outstanding invoice, and the customer could pay it immediately without needing cheques, credit cards, or cash – or even needing to pick up the phone.
These new features will have benefits all around: reducing the use of paper cheques and paper money, speeding processing times and reducing back-office effort, and making everyone more confident that they’ll get their money from those they do business with (or have fun with) exactly when they expect it.
In short, they’ll reduce friction in money movement, and give greater levels of control and choice to users. In doing so, they’ll represent yet another important step in the realization of a shared vision of convenient, reliable, and secure digital payments available to all Canadians.
See the press release here: Interac e-Transfer® Unveils New Features for Consumers and Small Businesses
To learn more about the guideposts we’re following in the development of our vision, read our white paper, Principles of a Modernized Payment System.