COVID-19 has changed the way Canadians shop, work and socialize. Shifts in consumer behaviour have led to accelerated adoption and use of the Interac e-Transfer platform to move money securely. Over 64.2 million Interac e-Transfer transactions took place in June. Canadians also set a new record for average transactions per day in a single month at 2.14 million.
The ever-present need for secure, convenient digital transactions is intensified during a crisis, when having real-time access to your money is imperative. Layer on physical distancing requirements and the desire for contactless payment and shopping experiences, and it’s no wonder COVID-19 is accelerating Canadians’ shift to digital transactions.
Because consumer behaviour has changed since the start of the pandemic in Canada, certain Interac e-Transfer use cases have naturally decreased – paying your babysitter, splitting a night out, paying a friend back for concert tickets. However, Canadians have begun using the Interac e-Transfer service in new ways – and some for the first time.
Canadians seeking fast, safe money transfer solutions
Quicker access to your money is especially valuable when managing finances during a crisis. Since mid-March, more than 40 per cent of all Interac e-Transfer transactions have been deposited via Interac e-Transfer Autodeposit, a five per cent increase compared to February. When using Interac e-Transfer Autodeposit, funds are deposited directly into your bank account, without the extra step of answering a security question. Today, there are 10 million Canadians registered for Interac e-Transfer Autodeposit, a figure that continues to grow.
More Canadians 65+ using the Interac e-Transfer platform to transfer money during COVID-19
The use of digital tools among Canadians 65+ gradually increases every year, with internet usage more than doubling since 20071. As seniors in Canada become more accustomed to online tools, they also become more comfortable with online money transfers and digital transactions. In 2020, the number of Interac e-Transfer users aged 65+ increased 29.8% year-over-year2.
The rate of growth has increased quickly during the pandemic in Canada. Since mid-March, the number of Canadians 65+ using the Interac e-Transfer platform increased 40 per cent compared to the same period last year3. This follows similar trends across other online solutions, such as digital banking, which saw a 250 per cent increase in registrations by senior clients in April 20204.
This exponential growth can be attributed to seniors in Canada adapting to imposed COVID-19 restrictions. For example, friends, family and neighbours may do the grocery shopping, helping seniors avoid the grocery store crowds. To maintain the contactless payment and shopping experience and avoid high-touch surfaces, they’ll pay the shopper back using an Interac e-Transfer transaction instead of cash.
Increase in Canadians aged 18-24 using Interac e-Transfer
First-time Interac e-Transfer users aged 18-24 may begin using the Interac e-Transfer service to pay back friends, receive support from family or split rent with roommates when they start working or attending post-secondary school.
Canadians in provinces with lifted restrictions may be once again splitting restaurant tabs or fees for their sports leagues via online money transfer. They may also receive Interac e-Transfer transactions in return for running errands or grocery shopping for family and friends. Plus, as more businesses offer virtual and contactless experiences, Canadians 18-24 are more likely to choose digital transaction options5 such as Interac e-Transfer, Interac Flash or Interac Debit for In-App and In-Browser Payments.
Canadians are adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic, choosing Interac Flash for curbside pickup and contactless payments, Interac Debit for In-App and In-Browser Payments to replicate their favourite restaurant experiences, and Interac e-Transfer for safe money transfers at home and in their businesses. As Canadians’ needs change, the convenience of Interac solutions will influence a long-term shift in consumer behaviour.
2 Based on Interac e-Transfer Q&A users from January 1, 2019 – July 1, 2019 and January 1, 2020 – July 1, 2020
3 Based on Interac e-Transfer Q&A users from March 17-May 6, 2020