How does e-transfer in Canada work?



  • In Canada, people use something called 'e-transfer'. Is there a website for that, or does it only require an email to transfer? How does one transfer money from an e-transfer in Canada to an account outside Canada?



  • E-transfers are email money transfers and they're all processed by interac.ca. It's super popular and super convenient because all you need is a person's email address or cell phone number. You used to only be able to use email, but recently they added the text option.

    The way to send an e-transfer is through your own bank. Your bank has to partner with Interac in order to offer this service (and all Canadian banks do). In your banking website go to the e-transfer page, type in an email address of the recipient, the amount you want to send and optionally a note. You may also have to enter in a security question and answer if the recipient does not have auto-deposit enabled. Click send.

    If the recipient does not have auto deposit enabled, they receive an email (or text) with a link that takes them straight to their banking website where they're asked to answer the security question. (typically you would tell them ahead of time the answer to the security question or make it an easy question like "what country do we live in?") If they answer the question correctly the money is instantly deposited into their account.

    If the recipient has auto-deposit enabled then the money is deposited into their account the minute you send the transfer and they receive an email that informs them of the deposit.

    If the e-transfer is not accepted within a certain number of days (I think it's 30) then the transfer is automatically cancelled and returned to the sender's bank account.

    E-transfers can not be sent outside of Canada (last I checked) but I'd be surprised if they (interac) weren't working towards a more global system.


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