In today’s reality of COVID-19, physical distancing and ever-important hand hygiene, contactless payments are top-of-mind for Canadians. We continue to engage with our partners to examine how we can support a consistent experience across all the ways Canadians pay using their own money, including higher limits on Interac Flash and enabling contactless payments where it may not currently be accepted.
How Canadians transact today is becoming almost as important as where they transact. Contactless spending, for example, hit a high in mid-March coinciding with COVID-19 bulk buying behaviours. While less frequent trips to the store may mean larger transaction amounts for consumers, our data shows the average Interac Debit transaction is rapidly moving back to pre-emergency dollar amounts.
At Interac, our priority is maintaining the consistent, secure and reliable Interac network that millions of Canadians rely on to pay for essentials like groceries.
Why are Interac Flash Limits important?
Interac Flash transaction limits are set at $100 per transaction, and there’s a cumulative limit, typically $200, that is set by your bank or credit union. These limits are security measures to protect Canadians against theft and fraud through unauthorized use of their debit card. When a transaction is above either limit, the user is promoted to reset the limit with a Chip-and-PIN transaction, which confirms that the user is the authorized cardholder.
When using Interac Debit on mobile, the cumulative limit reset is completed on the device via passcode or biometric authentication, which will reduce the need to complete Chip-and-PIN transactions.
In general, contactless debit transaction limits in Canada are already higher than in other parts of the world.
Can Interac Flash limits be increased?
There are many players involved in processing an Interac Debit transaction, from the large banks and acquirers to the small payment processors, credit unions and independent businesses. Any changes to Interac Flash transaction limits require a coordinated approach where each player must align with and have the capacity to make any necessary changes, including fraud mitigation measures to protect cardholders.
How else are we helping Canadians transact safely and securely?
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 the option of in-app and in-browser Interac Debit payments to more Canadians so they can order in or order ahead using their own money.