Interac® Debit

for Consumers

Interac Debit is the leading payment choice, particularly for small purchases 

When Canadian consumers reach for a payment card in their wallets, 56 per cent* of the time they choose Interac Debit.  That’s compared against all credit card brands combined.  

Consumers across the country have made Interac Canada’s leading payment brand and a home-grown success story and part of our lives for nearly 20 years.  From the quick grocery store stops on the way home from work to filling up the gas tank on the way to the local hockey rink and a quick coffee run on route,  Interac Debit helps you make those everyday purchases securely, with ease and confidence, using your own money straight from your bank account.  Now, we’re even making it faster and more convenient with Interac Flash, the contactless enhancement of Interac Debit.

You can use Interac Debit at over 400 thousand merchant locations across Canada; from convenience stores to specialty clothing shops to gas stations and coffee shops. Check out the merchant locator for a growing list of Interac Flash acceptance points. 

*The Nilson Report March 2012



What does using Interac Debit mean to you?

Interac Debit and Interac Flash help 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.

Interac Debit and Interac Flash transactions occur  online (versus offline) and in real time so you can always keep track of your spending – all transactions must be card-present and approved by your financial institution (versus by the terminal and then sent to your financial institution for account posting) 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.

We know that security is important to you. Chip-enabled Interac Debit and Interac Flash cards are extremely secure and are protected from fraud tactics such as skimming, duplicating and electronic pick-pocketing.  Given the possible available data is payment transaction codes, not account-related details, and transactions are online and in real-time, no information can be captured by criminals to conduct fraudulent transactions or create identity theft.  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 70 per cent in the last two years to the lowest point since first recorded.  And, we’re not done yet.


How does choosing Interac Debit benefit merchants in communities across the country? 

Interac Debit is one of the lowest cost payment acceptance methods for Canadian merchants.  At pennies per transaction regardless of the size of your bill, you can help out your local merchants when you pay with Interac Debit.  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.



Cashback allows you to make a purchase using Interac Debit and also receive cash from your account, all in one 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 alone with the $40 in cash, for a total transaction amount of $60.



How Interac Debit works

When you make a purchase, the merchant or retailer will enter your sale amount into the Point-of-Sale (POS) terminal and hand the terminal to you. Once you insert or swipe your debit card in the card reader, prompts on the terminal screen will prompt you:

  • Okay the transaction amount
  • Select the chequing or savings account you wish your purchase to be debited from
  • Enter your Personal Identification Number (PIN)
  • Provide a final okay to send the transaction request for approval

In a matter of seconds your debit request is passed through the Inter-Member Network where your debit card, PIN, and required funds for purchase are verified by your financial institution.

Upon conclusion of a successful transaction the merchant or vendor will then hand you a debit 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.

Ever wonder what goes on when you put your Interac chip debit card in a Point-of-Sale (POS) terminal or an ABM, and what it means to you? Take a look at how it all works at a POS terminal.



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.

Interac Debit fees

Transaction charges

Interac Association does not set or collect fees from you. However, financial institutions often charge a transaction fee for making a debit on your account. Financial legislation regulates the setting and notice of these fees.


Interac Association does not set or regulate surcharge fees. Interac Association members may choose to apply a surcharge for transactions made using Interac services. A surcharge is a fee charged to you by the member responsible for the debit terminal.

If a surcharge fee applies, it is in addition to any transaction fee charges you may pay your financial institution for using the Interac services.

Interac Association maintains strict rules to ensure that surcharges are properly disclosed on the PIN pad. You’re always presented with a screen indicating the surcharge fee amount. The transaction will only proceed if you accept the disclosed surcharge amount.