Interac Debit gives you access to your own money, straight from your bank account. For everyday purchases like your morning caffeine fix to the quick stop on your way home from work for dinner ingredients, using Interac Debit is like using cash, only more secure. Transactions are approved online and in real time as your money is exchanged electronically between your financial institution and the merchant. Interac Debit is available at over 500 thousand merchant locations across Canada, from convenience stores to specialty clothing shops to gas stations and restaurants.
Interac Debit helps you take control of your finances and can help you avoid overspending. It’s like using cash, only more secure, as the money is exchanged electronically between your bank and the merchant through the Interac network.
Interac Debit transactions occur online (versus offline) and in real time so you can always keep track of your spending. All transactions are approved by your financial institution and appear instantly on your personal banking account records, allowing you to monitor your account balance to see exactly how much money you have available.
Interac debit cards are extremely secure and are protected from fraud tactics such as counterfeiting, transaction replay and card-not-present transactions, thanks in large part to chip technology. All ABMs and Interac debit cards have been converted to chip, and all point-of-sale (POS) terminals will be converted by the end of 2015. You are also protected under Interac’s Zero Liability policy.
If you would like a little more proof about our commitment to security, just look at how successful we’ve been in tackling Interac debit card fraud - it’s plummeted by 88 per cent over the last five years to the lowest point since first recorded. And, we’re not done yet.
Interac Debit is a flat-fee, low cost payment acceptance option for Canadian merchants. Credit cards can result in higher costs as many have multiple fees and are percentage based, from 1.5 per cent to 5 per cent, of the total amount you are spending. It adds up and hits merchants’ bottom line, particularly small independent merchants, where every penny counts.
"Interac is a flat rate fee and it really saves across the board for the business."
Patrick McMurray - Owner, The Céilí Cottage
When you make a purchase using Interac Debit, the merchant will enter your purchase amount into the Point-of-Sale (POS) terminal and hand it to you. Once you insert your debit card in the chip card reader, prompts on the screen will prompt you.
In a matter of seconds your debit request is passed through the Interac network where your debit card is authenticated and required funds for purchase are verified by your financial institution. Upon successful completion of the transaction, the merchant staff will provide you with a debit payment receipt for your records.
Since Interac Debit is an online, real-time service, the debit is immediate. This means that the required funds must be available in your account at the time of purchase.
As an Interac cardholder, you will not be liable for losses resulting from circumstances beyond your control. This includes losses resulting from technical errors, system problems or fraud. In such cases, you must make a claim with your financial institution for losses incurred. If the claim is determined to be valid, you will be reimbursed by your financial institution.
Like purchases made with any other payment method, refunds and exchanges using Interac Debit are a matter of merchant policy. In order for a refund to be processed through the Point-of-Sale service, the cardholder who made the purchase must be present to authorize the transaction.
Merchants who offer Interac Debit as a payment option can also offer "cashback". It allows you to request additional cash to be debited from your account, on top of your purchase.
For example, if you make a purchase for $20 and tell the merchant you want an additional $40 cash back, you receive your $20 purchase along with $40 in cash, for a total debit transaction amount of $60.
Interac Association does not set or collect fees from you. However, financial institutions may charge a transaction fee for making a debit on your account.
Merchants may choose to apply a surcharge (additional fee) for transactions made using Interac services. This fee is not passed on to Interac Association. Read more on fees here.