Interac e-Transfer has established itself as a money transfer mechanism that Canadians can depend on for paying back family & friends, ad-hoc one time payments or as a method to send funds to someone as a continuous transfer for services or products. In order for Interac e-Transfer to enable additional use cases that decrease dependency of cheques and cash, functional enhancements need to be enabled, like scheduled transfers and money request. In order to penetrate key market use cases, such as the rental market, this level of functionality will be expected as status quo. For example, instead of a landlord requiring eleven post-dated cheques from a renter, they can set up a recurring request for funds. Some Financial Institutions have found opportunities to enable scheduled transfers on their own however, there is still consumer and FI demand for this functionality from Interac e-Transfer.
Scheduled transfers and requests are new product features that provide consumers with the ability to schedule a future-dated or a recurring schedule of transfers and requests. A schedule of transfers and/or requests can be set-up with a combination of frequency types (e.g., one-time, daily, weekly, monthly) and frequency rates (e.g., every 15 days, every 2 weeks, every 3 months). Consumers will be able to view, update or cancel the schedule at any time prior to any scheduled transactions being processed. Additionally, scheduled transfers will be compatible with the Autodeposit features (if the transfer recipient is registered for Autodeposit).
As Financial Institutions implement API 3.4. for other new product features – Request Money and Autodeposit – they now have the opportunity to implement an updated API 3.4.1. Additionally, with the API 3.4.1. specification, Financial Institutions will be required to implement the “Withdrawal” message for scheduled transfers and “Deposit” message for scheduled requests, as defined in the Interac Services Interface Guide. These messages will be utilized by Interac e-Transfer to withdraw funds from a consumer’s account for a outgoing transfer and credit the account for fulfillment of scheduled money requests.
By enabling this new functionality Financial Institution benefits include:
- Increase migration from cheques and cash to Interac e-Transfer;
- Cost savings from cheque processing;
- Minimize development efforts by allowing Interac e-Transfer to manage the schedule.
Consumer benefits will result in them having a seamless and richer payment experiences through value-adds such as:
- Notifications will be sent to a consumer a day prior to a scheduled transfer being debited from their account;
- Value-adds over existing AFTs such as the ability to cancel a transaction in real-time, receiving notifications if one end consumer creates / updates or cancels a series of transfers; and
- The capabilities enabled by scheduled transfers & requests can address consumer complaints from irritants such as bounced cheques or not knowing when someone isn’t going to pay you on the date they stated they would.
In today’s faster payments world, being able to schedule future-dated and recurring payments is a table stake and is vital for Financial Institutions to enable this base feature for their customers. These new features will allow the industry to migrate more use cases from cheques to Interac e-Transfer and allow Financial Institutions to generate additional revenues from digital payments. Multiple future possibilities are also present with the enablement of the Interac e-Transfer schedule transfer & requests functionality, such as creating smarter payments. For e.g. picture a consumer who doesn’t have enough funds for a scheduled transfer but the Financial Institution knows that they will be paid through Scheduled Requests in 2 weeks; the Financial Institition can provide the customer with a short-term loan and schedule a repayment of the loan for a future-date. These capabilities can also be extended to the Bulk Disbursements product to ensure the bill payment use cases are satisfied with the simplicity of scheduling transfers. For more information read the Scheduled Transfers API and Money Requests API.