2023 was full of unpredictable and turbulent times for Canadians. From natural disasters to global conflicts and the rising cost of living, it was a year that tested our resilience and urged us to unite and aid communities in distress.
At Interac, we spent the year doubling down on our commitment to building financial confidence in Canadians and supporting our communities. Through purpose-driven initiatives, we empowered underserved groups to enhance their financial and digital literacy, helping them stay in control of their money. We introduced national educational programs designed to bolster financial confidence among Canadians and invested a record number of funds in our communities. Below is an overview of our impact in 2023:
Built learning tools to help Canadian entrepreneurs stay in charge
A recent survey from Interac showed Canadians are embracing side hustles for passion and profit. For 46% of entrepreneurs, their side hustle is driven by personal passions, while 56% find it more fulfilling than anticipated.
At Interac, we are committed to supporting small business owners, and during Small Business Month, we launched the Dollar One Hub, a resource dedicated to promoting financial empowerment, preventing burnout, and offering actionable guidance on leveraging Interac products like Interac e-Transfer to reach vital business milestones. Within the hub, small and medium-sized businesses can access tailored tools designed to boost their financial expertise and effectively launch and manage their enterprises. We’re dedicated to empowering entrepreneurs to thrive and prosper by harnessing the potential of Interac products.
Championed a national program that addressed gender parity in corporate Canada
Seven women leaders at Interac championed HeARTwork: Advancing Women in Leadership. Created by Conscious Economics and supported by the Government of Canada, HeARTwork delves into the pressing challenges faced by women in corporate Canada coming out of the pandemic. This new solutions-based framework addresses the intersectional barriers diverse women face in advancing their careers and provides recommendations on how corporate Canada can help address these issues to prevent the loss of these unique perspectives and enhance the future of work.
Interac Corp., is the lead corporate champion of this program and is joined by Cassels Brock & Blackwell, Canadian Tire Corporation, and Mackenzie Investments, among other corporate champions in Canada. The solutions presented in the HeARTwork framework are intended to spark dialogue and innovation through their application within corporate Canada.
Since its inception, our Interac HeARTwork champions, Citizenship, DEI, and Human Resources teams have evaluated our own programs and identified key strengths and areas of opportunity for improving the advancement of women within our walls. To date, we’ve implemented several HeARTwork solutions, including expanded wellness programs, annual public reporting on DEI targets and outcomes, and cultivating a culture of continuous learning and social awareness. Discover more about our HeARTwork initiatives here.
Supported 132,000 Canadians build their financial confidence
In 2023, we upheld our commitment to advancing financial and digital confidence among Canadians. Partnering with Conscious Economics, we introduced an award-winning comprehensive digital learning program, Mindfulness & Money, a free, foundational digital learning platform to support the development of financial wellbeing skills through the lens of mindfulness, to Canadians coast-to-coast-to-coast. Led by a diverse range of entrepreneurs, wellness advocates, and community experts, this initiative delves into themes such as overcoming self-doubt, preventing burnout, and integrating social change into business strategies. Over the past year, we have launched several iterations including a foundational module, diverse entrepreneurs, for women, and fraud prevention.
Most recently, we launched Mindfulness & Money for Newcomers & International Students, a new extension of the program that teaches financial literacy and fraud prevention techniques. The three-part course is available free and online to all newcomers who wish to participate, with subtitled modules available in a variety of languages. In addition, the program is now part of the international student’s orientation package at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU), so as more newcomers choose Canada as their educational destination, they have the supports to set themselves up with healthy financial habits.
To date, we’ve guided more than 132,000 participants to build their financial confidence and stay in control of their money.
Fostered community impact through volunteerism
We are committed to employee volunteerism and encourage members of our team to engage with their community and give back. Interac hosted National Volunteer Week from April 17 – 26 for the second year in a row and focused our efforts on learning, addressing, and understanding challenges affecting women and small businesses in our community through various programming.
Throughout the week, we collected 2500+ hygiene products and non-perishables, curating care packages for Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter. These donations offered crucial support to individuals, particularly women, children, youth, and many others fleeing violence and abuse. Over 80 employees joined forces for a shoreline cleanup in partnership with the Waterfront Business Improvement Association, cleaning Toronto’s streets for their Clean Streets Program. Finally, our partnership with ACCES Employment enabled 50 employees to mentor newcomers interested in fintech and offered insightful advice to qualified candidates actively seeking opportunities to enter the Canadian job market.
Cultivated employee engagement aimed at supporting newcomers to Canada and their families across borders
We’re committed to celebrating the diversity of our employees and the communities we serve. This year, we continued our 20-year tradition of Giving & Diversity Week, benefiting United Way. We focused on supporting newcomers to Canada and their families, extending our reach beyond borders.
Interac employees rallied together and raised more than $125,000 in one week, and to drive further impact, Interac proudly matched 100% of employee donations for a grand total of $250,000, making it our most successful employee-giving campaign to date. All contributions went towards supporting five local agencies to ensure the greatest impact from our contributions: Together Project, Rainbow Railroad, Unicef, Immigrant Women Services Ottawa (IWSO), & Centre d’appui aux communautés immigrantes (CACI).
Throughout the campaign, we had standout moments including a kick-off event with Rainbow Railroad that shed light on their incredible work and revealed the barriers newcomers from the LGTBQI+ community face when resettling in Canada. Other moments included a D&I employee panel where our newcomer colleagues shared their lived experiences, and a volunteer day at Holiday Helpers, where we packaged and wrapped gift donations for newcomer families.
In 2024, we look forward to continuing our charitable giving efforts and creating more opportunities for our employees to volunteer their time in our local communities.
Interested in joining a company where you can support local communities? Check out open positions at Interac here.
Interested in learning more about our community impact? Click here.