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How Long Does an e-Transfer Take?

How Long Does an e-Transfer Take?

Interac e-Transfer has revolutionized how Canadians move money to each other, reducing the number of cheques written by the millions. But how long do e-Transfers take, and is there a way to speed up the process?

In this article, I explain why some e-Transfers are almost instant, and others can take up to 30 minutes. I also share tips to help you send and receive e-Transfers faster than ever.

What Is an Interac e-Transfer?

Interac e-Transfer is a funds transfer service powered by Interac that allows you to move money almost instantly between bank accounts at most Canadian banks and credit unions, even online banks. As long as you have a person’s email or mobile phone number, you can send money from your bank account to theirs using your internet or mobile banking app.

In addition to the speed and convenience, e-Transfer transactions are more affordable than other forms of payment, like bank drafts or wire transfers. Most banks include free e-Transfers with your monthly chequing account service plan. Otherwise, the cost of sending one is around $1.50.

e-Transfer Statistics

To get an idea of how popular e-Transfers have become, let’s take a look at some recent statistics covering the 12 months from May 1, 2021, to April 30th, 2022 :

  • Canadians hit a record billion Interac e-Transfers
  • 88% of eligible Canadians used e-Transfer
  • Canadians moved $338 billion via e-Transfer
  • Small business transactions grew by 38%
  • Over $625 billion in e-Transfer volume since the COVID-19 pandemic began

How Long Does an Interac e-Transfer Transaction Take?

In most cases, e-Transfers are almost instant, but they can take up to 30 minutes, depending on the bank or credit union processing the transfer. Other reasons for delay are errors, such as inputting the incorrect payee info or the recipient waiting before accepting the funds.

How to Register for Interac e-Transfer

You can register for Interac e-Transfer using your internet banking. After you log in, look for the e-Transfer button in the menu. While the process will look a little different for every bank, there will be an option to register. Enter the email address or mobile phone number you wish to use.

Once registered, you will have the opportunity to add payees to your e-Transfer profile. You can add payees at any time if you have their names and email address.

How to Send an e-Transfer

Once registered, you can send an e-Transfer using these three steps:

  1. Log in to your online banking via your desktop or mobile banking app.
  2. Locate the e-Transfer menu, and add your recipient’s email address to your contacts list (There should be an option to “add a payee.”)
  3. Enter the amount you are sending and a security question. Hit send.

If your recipient has Autodeposit set up, you won’t need to add the security question.

How to Receive an e-Transfer

The funds will go into your account instantly if you receive an e-Transfer and are signed up with Autodeposit. If not, you’ll receive an email notification shortly after the funds are sent. Log in to your internet banking, and follow the prompts. Once you’ve answered the security question, you can accept the funds into your account.

Ways to Speed Up e-Transfer Processing

You can send and receive e-Transfers almost instantly. But delays can occur due to errors, or the institution’s time to process the e-Transfer. Here are some helpful tips to ensure a smooth e-Transfer process.

Register for Autodeposit

This is the most significant time-saver regarding receiving money via e-Transfer. A few years ago, Interac added the Autodeposit feature, eliminating the need to log in to your online banking to receive e-Transfers.

If you have Autodeposit, the funds will move into your account automatically – no need to log in and answer the security question. You will receive an email informing you that funds have been deposited into your account.

Prompt the Sender Using the Request Money Feature

Are you tired of waiting for that friend to send you the money they owe you for the concert tickets? Use the Interac Request Money feature. It’s less awkward than calling them to ask for cash.

Ensure You Have the Correct Payee Information

Before pressing send, ensure you have the correct email address and name of the person you’re sending money to. Otherwise, your e-Transfer may be rejected, causing unnecessary delays.

Don’t Exceed the Transfer Limit.

Every institution has daily, weekly, and monthly limits on how much money you can send via e-Transfer. Most banks have a daily limit of $3000, although some are higher. Find out your limits to avoid rejection.

Interac e-Transfer Fees

e-Transfer is not only convenient, but it’s also affordable. If you are required to pay for an e-Transfer, the average cost is between $1.00 and $1.50, depending on the institution. That said, most banks and credit unions offer monthly account service plans that include e-Transfers. Some will give you a limited number of free transfers per month, say 4 or 5, others are unlimited.

Interac e-Transfer FAQs

E-Transfers are very straightforward once you get the hang of them, but the process can be confusing initially, especially when something goes wrong. These FAQs answer some commonly asked e-Transfer-related questions:

Can I cancel an e-Transfer?

You can cancel a pending e-Transfer by logging into your online banking and selecting the e-Transfer you wish to cancel. Depending on how quickly you cancel the transaction and the financial institution you’re dealing with, you may have to pay a fee, as their rules vary.

What Happens if I Can’t Answer the Security Question?

If you don’t know the answer to the security question, contact the sender for clarification. If you answer the security question incorrectly three times, the transaction will be cancelled, and the sender will need to initiate a new e-Transfer.

Is e-Transfer Safe?

Yes, e-Transfer is one of the safest ways in the world to move money. Banks never transfer funds over email or text – it’s only used to send instructions and notify the senders and recipients. Banks receive instructions and execute the transfers via the same secure electronic channels they’ve used for years.

How Do I Change the Email Address I’m Using for e-Transfer?

If you wish to change your email address, you can log into the settings area of your online banking and update your email address from there. Every bank’s app will differ slightly.

Do All Financial Institutions Offer Interac e-Transfer Autodeposit?

No. Not all financial institutions have Autodeposit. If you don’t see the option in your internet banking app, contact your bank or credit union to find out if Autodeposit is available.

Can a Recipient Decline an e-Transfer?

There are three ways to decline an e-Transfer. First, you could contact the sender and ask them to cancel the transaction. Second, you can log into your online banking, select the e-Transfer transaction, and press cancel IF your bank or credit union gives you that option. If not, you can wait for 30-days, and the e-Transfer will automatically be cancelled.

Is e-Transfer The Best Way to Transfer Money in Canada?

Interac e-Transfer is the best option for sending money quickly and securely (and cheaply) within Canada. Almost all financial institutions offer the service, but if you’re unsure, check with your bank or credit union. If you plan to use e-Transfer regularly, ensure it’s included with your bank account service plan. Lastly, for the fastest possible experience, sign up for Autodeposit.

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