In 2021, Interac remained resilient during continued global health and economic turbulence. As I reflect on the challenges faced by the Canadian consumers and business owners who use our products and services every day, I am reminded of how those challenges impacted Interac, both by slowing us down – to care for our families and ourselves – and by accelerating us forward to meet the needs of a transforming economy. People were at the centre of our business and culture – whether it be our employees who depended on our leading class benefits, the small business owners that relied on our low-cost services, and everyday Canadians who continued to pay with debit to stay in control of their finances during the pandemic.
The commitment we made this year to our shareholders is one we have made every year since the creation of our mandate in 1984: to provide payment and related services that adhere to world-class security and innovation. In 2021, Interac introduced new offerings to the market, from developing new business solutions and zeroing in on customer centricity through new partnerships, to advancing the digital ID industry in Canada. Interac kept Canadians transacting with confidence, and also obtained alignment from financial ecosystem participants to build a new e-Commerce solution that will give Canadians even more payment choice, making 2021 a critical year in our strategy to architect a future where Interac is a trusted digital value exchange in Canada.
The Interac e-Transfer service was designated as a Prominent Payments System by the Bank of Canada due to the service’s critical nature to the Canadian economy. As such, the launch of Interac e-Transfer for Business marked an important step in the Interac payments modernization roadmap. By facilitating access to secure, data-rich, and real-time payments, we offer businesses efficient ways of paying and managing finances to improve cash flow. And we ready ourselves to unlock new payment capabilities and help Payments Canada deliver the Real-Time Rail as the exchange solution provider.
A further marker of our transformation journey was the acquisition of all business contracts for, and the exclusive rights to, the Canadian digital ID services from SecureKey Technologies Inc., making Interac a digital ID leader in Canada and well positioned to connect the public and private sectors through comprehensive digital identification authentication services. Our Canadian advantage cannot be underestimated in what is a critically important space for Canada’s digital future.
Amid the considered placement of each building block of our future, Interac saw continued growth in digital payment transactions across all form factors and continued to meet the evolving needs of Canadians in an increasingly digital world.
At the forefront of these efforts was a commitment to our people. We continued to keep employee wellness at the centre of our decision making, doubling mental health coverage and implementing new ways to help support the adjustment to remote and hybrid work. We also strengthened our commitment to communities, investing in important social causes and supporting businesses hit hard by the pandemic. We’ve made great progress, and our efforts were recognized through our inclusion as a Greater Toronto Top Employer for 2022 and through our certification as an inclusive employer by Diversio.
I am proud we upheld our title as Canada’s most trusted financial services brand by the Gustavson Brand Trust Index and were named one of the country’s most trusted companies according to Leger. Key to these achievements was our operational excellence and resilience, backed by an infrastructure that remained reliable, available, and secure. These efforts will continue in 2022 and beyond as we begin to include faster data-rich payments, increased scalability, and new services. We are driving the evolution of security, privacy and inclusivity for all Canadians, and I am excited by what lies ahead.
I thank our team for their tremendous efforts and look forward to delivering continued value to our shareholders, our employees, and Canadians while continuing to confidently meet any challenges that come our way. If the past two years are any indication, it is clear that with our winning team and the invaluable counsel from the Board and our shareholders, Interac is well placed to advance the way Canadians exchange value in the digital economy today, and in the future.
Interested in learning more about how Interac opens doors for business in Canada? Read the 2021 Corporate Year in Review.