Our number one priority at Interac is keeping our platforms, products and services running smoothly, especially during this time of uncertainty that COVID-19 has created for Canadians.
Canadians rely on Interac every day to pay for their groceries, rent and other essential needs. And we want to reassure all Canadians that they can continue to do so. Our services are running as usual and we’re committed to keeping our technology running smoothly so Canadians and Canadian businesses can continue to transact as normal.
Keeping Canadians’ Money Safe
One of the most important things that we do every day – the work that is hidden behind each and every transaction – is fraud detection, prevention and monitoring. We work with partners across the payment ecosystem, including financial institutions and law enforcement, to keep Canadians’ money safe and secure.
Fraudsters are notoriously opportunistic, and scams are particularly rampant now. From malicious links capitalizing on COVID-19 related search terms to donation requests for phony charities and relief efforts, Canadians need to guard their personal and financial information. It’s crucial to be cyber aware at this time, and we’re committed to arming Canadians with the right information. We’re also working with the industry to actively remove phishing sites.
Helping Canadians Transact
We understand that how Canadians transact today is almost as important as where they transact. Contactless spending, for example, hit a high in mid-March coinciding with COVID-19 bulk buying behaviours. With contactless payments like Interac Flash top-of-mind for both consumers and businesses, we’re in conversations with our partners to enhance payment options like enabling contactless payments where they may not currently be accepted.
As we spend more time at home practicing social distancing, our shopping habits are migrating online. Online delivery of food and goods are enablers of social distancing. Interac Debit for In-App and In-Browser, while still relatively new, have seen double digit growth over the past few months due to demand for merchants that offer in-app food delivery services. We’re working with merchants and financial institutions to bring Interac Debit for In-App and In-Browser to more Canadians so they can order in or order ahead using their own money.
Helping Canadians Move Funds
Canadians are looking for digital alternatives in situations where they traditionally use cash or cheques, allowing secure and near-real time access to money while still practicing physical distancing. Our analysis shows Canadians are using Interac e-Transfer in new ways, and many for the first time. Since the onset of rigorous physical distancing regulations associated with COVID-19, the platform saw a 62 per cent increase in first-time Interac e-Transfer users compared to the same time as last year. The month of April was also the first time the number of Interac e-Transfer transactions passed 60MM sends in a month, for a total of 61.3MM.
Another big opportunity for Interac to help during this time is through Interac e-Transfer Bulk Disbursements, a product allows businesses to send many payments through a single file upload. Governments, for example, could use this to distribute emergency aid relief quickly and securely to those who need funds fast. In 2016, Interac e-Transfer Bulk Disbursements was used by the Canadian Red Cross to rapidly transfer relief funds to those affected by the Fort McMurray wildfires. Conversations are ongoing with the industry on how we can deploy Interac e-Transfer Bulk during this unprecedented time.
Helping Merchants Keep costs down
From the gig economy entrepreneur to the small business owner to the large omnichannel retailer, Canadian businesses rely on Interac because our payment and money movement options are low-cost, secure, and based on good funds.
In these uncertain times, we remain committed to maintaining low-cost solutions for Canadian businesses, and staying focused on providing our customers with convenient ways to accept payments or move their money anytime, anywhere.