Interac e-Transfer and Sending Money Abroad

What is Interac e-Transfer?

Interac e-Transfer is a fund transferring service that allows users to transfer money between personal or business accounts within Canada. There are over 250 financial institutions in Canada that participate, including RBC, Scotiabank, Tangerine, TD and CIBC.

Anyone who uses online banking in Canada can use make e-Transfers and funds are transferred almost instantly. Certain banks and credit unions may take up to 30 minutes, but this is rare. Different banks place different Interac transfer limits on the amount of money you can send, so check with your institution if you need to send a larger amount.

Interac transfers are secure, fast, reliable and convenient.

How does Interac e-Transfer work?

Interac e-Transfers are similar to e-checks with the exception that only the instructions to transfer funds are sent via email instead of actual money.

Step 1: The sender starts by initiating an online banking session and selecting the recipient, the amount of money to send and a security question and answer.

Step 2. The funds are debited from the senders’ accounts immediately.

Step 3. The recipient then receives a text message or email that contains instructions on how to receive the money along with the security question. They have three chances to answer the security question correctly and instantly deposited. If the password isn't inputted correctly after 3 tries, the funds are returned to the sender and the e-Transfer is cancelled.

As long as both financial institutions participate in the Interac e-Transfer system, funds are transferred instantly. If the recipients’ account is not at a participating institution, there is a small Interac transfer fee assessed and the funds take between three and five business days to be deposited.

How to cancel Interac e-Transfer

If you have sent a transfer to the wrong person or you want to cancel for another reason, start by logging onto your bank account online. Select the transaction that you would like to cancel and then follow the instructions your bank provides. The process will look different at various financial institutions, and some may charge a fee to stop an Interac e-Transfer.

Contact your individual credit union or bank to get more information about this process if an error has been made. Make sure that your security questions are specific to you and the person you are sending money to as well. This will make it more difficult for someone to guess the answer if you select the wrong recipient.

Can I use Interac e-Transfer to send funds abroad?

While Interac e-Transfers are typically used in Canada, users can send money abroad by paying a fee to money transfers via the Interac e-Transfer system. The benefit of this method is recipients in other countries can pick up the money faster. Some transfers take longer, and the time will vary depending on where you are sending your money. This information should be available from your bank as well.

While there are fees associated with this process, it can be more convenient than other money transfer options for people who don’t have a bank account or aren’t able to get to their bank easily since they are able to pick up cash. Make sure you research the fees associated with your transfer from your institution before initiating one so you aren’t caught off guard once you send the money.

Most banks have a sender fee of $9.00 plus 1% of the amount being sent. There may also be fees for currency exchange or fees from the other institutions involved in transferring the funds. As with transfers made within Canada, different banks set different daily, weekly and monthly money transfer limits.

Make sure you check what the limits are for sending money abroad with your own bank before trying to process your e-Transfer as well. Most banks have a daily limit of $999.99, while some have a monthly limit just below $7,000.

Sometimes, sending via e-transfer can be expensive but we strive to keep our fees as low as possible and don’t have hidden conversion fees that pop up later in the transaction. Since we were founded by immigrants sending money home to family in other countries, we are uniquely situated to understand the position you are in and we want to partner with you to make the process as easy as possible.