Interac Money Transfer Service Grows in More Ways than One

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Interac, a leading Canadian debit and money transfer service that is jointly run by Interac Association and Acxsys Corporation, has been making headlines lately for a couple of reasons.  First off, it plans to use its world-renowned expertise in fraud detection and prevention to help Canada’s big banks secure their new digital identity network.  Secondly, its bulk electronic payment service for businesses, known as Interac e-Transfer® Bulk Disbursement, was recently adopted by global payments giant MoneyGram.

Interac to Help Secure Bank Transactions  

The Digital Identity and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC) was spawned by the federal government to address the country’s growing problem of identity theft and fraud.  A non-profit coalition of public and private sector leaders—including representatives of major banks like Toronto Dominion and Bank of Montreal—the DIACC aims to ensure Canada’s “full and secure participation in the global digital economy.”  

As a member of the board of directors of the DIACC, Interac looks forward to playing an important role in the development of a better digital identity system.  According to Neil Butters, director of Interac’s products and platforms, “Current digital identities don’t provide a sufficient level of identity and authentication. There needs to be a digital variant of existing physical identities.  We’re trying to spur the digital economy in Canada.”  Interac’s national payment network and tokenization service, which uses a proxy identifier to separate a person’s identity from sensitive financial information, would provide a solid foundation for the new system.

MoneyGram Integrates Interac e-Transfer® Bulk Disbursement

Interac’s e-Transfer service is a quick, reliable, and safe way for Canadians to send money online.  All users need is online access to their bank account at a participating financial institution and an email address or mobile phone number for the recipient.  The recipient is not required to disclose any personal financial information to the sender, which reduces exposure to identity theft or other risks.  Once the transfer completes, recipients are notified that the funds are available.  Then they click on an emailed link and enter details of the bank account to which they’d like the funds deposited.

Hundreds of financial institutions and millions of consumers and businesses in Canada rely on Interac e-Transfer to send and receive money domestically.  The platform has experienced rapid growth recently, with twice as many transactions in 2016 (158 million) than in 2015, and it keeps incorporating new features and functionality.  Bulk Disbursement is an offshoot of e-Transfer that lets businesses send out multiple payments for processing through a single file upload.

Interac Money Transfer Service Grows

As the first international money transfer provider to adopt Bulk Disbursement, MoneyGram hopes to gain an edge with Canadian businesses.  Kent Ulrich, Head of Business Development Canada for MoneyGram said that the new partnership allows them to increase ease-of-use for Canadian customers.  In addition, "Interac's fraud detection capabilities means we can add another layer of security for those transfers in a cost-effective and administratively efficient way."

MoneyGram’s closest competitor, Western Union (read our review), has a pre-existing relationship with Interac, but for a different purpose.  Consumers can use Interac e-Transfer to send money to almost half a million Western Union Agent locations in over 200 countries and territories worldwide.  It’s not exactly the pinnacle of money transfer technology, especially for recipients who have to physically show up somewhere in order to get their money, but it’s another significant foray for Interac into the cross-border payments space.


Marisa Fasciano
Content Specialist
Marisa is a communications consultant based in New York with a background in social research, diversity education, and nonprofit development.  She has lived and traveled abroad extensively… Read more

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