Updated July 7, 2023
The July 8, 2022 Rogers Communications network outage led to the unavailability of Interac services and as a result, Interac made several commitments regarding the resiliency of our network to ensure Canadians can use Interac products to transact with confidence.
We committed to strengthening our existing resiliency by creating fail safes and building additional redundancy into our platforms and network to avoid future potential service interruptions.
Our resiliency actions are now complete:
- Carrier diversity: In collaboration with our financial institution partners, Interac added a secondary network carrier, alongside the installation of a third link, as an additional back-up with capacity to manage the Interac network volume should an outage occur. This project was completed in June 2023.
- Private network enablement: Alongside our financial institution partners, a secure backup alternative mode of connectivity for Interac e-Transfer participants has also been implemented as an additional fail safe. This project was completed in January 2023.
- Improved business continuity practices: Key learnings from the July 8th Crisis Management Response process are now embedded in our Enterprise Business Continuity Management practices, ensuring we are better positioned to respond to any future service interruptions.
Our completion of these remediation projects within a year of the Rogers outage was made possible through unwavering collaboration across the network and the efforts of each partner in the Interac ecosystem. We do not take the trust that Canadians place in Interac lightly and network resiliency remains a key focus of our regular business operations.
Updated May 1, 2023
In July 2022, a Rogers Communications outage caused widespread impact to all wireless and wireline services in Canada, impacting Interac’s availability. While this wasn’t our technology failure, we have made significant strides to strengthen our resiliency so that Canadians can continue to transact with confidence.
We committed to Canadians that we would strengthen our existing resiliency by creating fail safes and building additional redundancy into our platforms and network to avoid future potential service interruptions.
To date we have completed significant portions of this work, including implementing a redundancy project for the Interac e-Transfer platform, which will permit Interac to restore the availability of the Interac e-Transfer platform quickly in the rare case that a similar Canada-wide telecommunications outage occurs again, even while the telecommunications outage persists.
We are also focused on adding carrier and additional circuit diversity for both the Interac Debit inter-member network and the Interac e-Transfer platform. This work is well underway, with an additional supplier onboarded, adding carrier redundancy to our existing circuit diversity. To date,13 financial institutions are already enabled for connectivity with the secondary carrier. This important work will continue into the summer and we will share an update once it is completed.
We committed to Canadians that we would strengthen our internal processes and procedures to enhance our capability to respond to any future external disruptions.
To date, we have improved our business continuity management capabilities across the organization and revamped our crisis response plans and procedures to respond to any future service interruptions that may arise.
Updated October 19, 2022
As a result of the Rogers outage on July 8, Interac committed to diversifying our telecommunication suppliers and enhancing the processes that enable Canadians to transact despite system-wide telecommunications outages.
We made a public commitment to strengthen our existing resiliency and that is reflected in our mandate to:
- Create additional redundancy for both the Interac Debit inter-member network and the Interac e-Transfer platform
- Review and strengthen our internal processes and procedures to enhance our capability to respond to any future external service disruptions
We’ve taken steps and made progress on these commitments:
- Completed operations retrospective and strengthened our business continuity management processes and procedures.
- Identified and implemented a redundancy project using an alternative connectivity path to all participants on the Interac e-Transfer platform. Once completed, this will enable the Interac e-Transfer platform to remain available to participants despite any telecommunications outages. Completion is expected in 2022.
- Begun full-scale supplier diversity onboarding projects for both the Interac Debit inter-member network and the Interac e-Transfer platform. Collaboration among the financial institution participants will be key to completing the implementation of supplementary diversity solutions. This work will continue throughout 2022 and into 2023.
We will work closely with our customers and partners to ensure we maintain the trust that Canadians have in the availability of Interac services:
- Interac maintains world-class reliability with Canadians using its services 20 million times a day.
- We have made continual improvements to our transaction experiences across Interac Debit and Interac e-Transfer, including the raising of limits for contactless debit transactions to $250.
- Interac Debit remains a competitive solution for merchants, as the most cost-effective payment solution in Canada.
We will continue to share updates as we make further progress on these commitments.
Rogers outage – Initial Interac statement
Posted on July 12, 2022
The system-wide outage at Rogers Communications created widespread impact, including the unavailability of Interac Debit and Interac e-Transfer services. Interac facilitates the transfer of money and information between Canadians millions of times per day – nearly 25 million transactions on a day like July 8th. We understand this resulted in tremendous frustration and impacted the ability for many Canadians to meet their needs on that day.
Based on the experience, Interac is taking immediate action. We are:
- adding supplier diversity to strengthen our existing network redundancy so Canadians can continue to rely on our services daily
- strengthening our emergency business continuity plans
Each of our platforms, both Interac Debit and Interac e-Transfer, have redundant networks, including circuit diversity. These networks include 24/7 availability commitments from our suppliers, however the events of July 8th clearly revealed that these commitments could not be fulfilled. These redundant networks with circuit diversity should not have been so vulnerable to the Rogers core maintenance activity.
Once this vulnerability was revealed, it resulted in an immediate decision by the Interac executive team to source additional, diverse redundancy solutions. We will also continue to work with our existing suppliers to strengthen commitments. To enhance our emergency business continuity plans, we are also conducting a fulsome review of our processes, tools and technical plans.
“While this was not an Interac technology failure, the unforeseen system-wide outage for Rogers had a direct impact on our ability to deliver for our customers. We carry the responsibility and accountability of ensuring that Canadians can transact with confidence every day for their essentials – to buy groceries, put gas in the car, send money for rent, or authenticate their information for digital services,” says Mark O’Connell, CEO and President of Interac Corp. “We do not take the trust Canadians place in us for granted. We will do better.”