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A way to send money via online banking, e-Transfers are simple and secure. They use the safeguards of your banking system and the closed access of both phone and email when you send the money. The process is simple, regardless of your experience level with online banking. 

How Do e-Transfers Work? 

To send an e-Transfer, there are a few pieces of information you need beforehand. First, you need access to your bank account online. All major banks offer this service. You need to know the amount to send, and the contact details of the recipient (cell phone number or email). 

Setting Up An e-Transfer

Setting up an e-Transfer is straightforward. Navigate to the Interac e-Transfer section of your online banking. You will be prompted to create a new recipient (the person you want to send money to). You can give them a nickname if you plan to use it multiple times. You will be asked to provide a mode of contact, either through phone or email. You’ll need to indicate how much money you want to send and choose the account the money should be withdrawn from. The final step is creating a security question and answer. This adds a level of security since the recipient can’t deposit the money without the proper security answer. 

Find out how to transfer money to a bank account

Receiving The e-Transfer

After you send the money, the recipient will receive a notification on the chosen communication platform (text message or email). Keep in mind that this can take up to 30 minutes to go through. They click on the notification and navigate to their preferred online banking platform. The recipient is prompted to answer the security question. Once they input the correct answer, the bank inquiries which account to deposit it into and the opportunity to leave a message to the sender. 

Depositing The e-Transfer

Once the money is deposited, the sender gets a notification that the funds have been received along with any message from the sender. The transfer is officially complete. Bear in mind that, while the communication goes through email or phone, the transfer itself does not. The email is a method of relaying the information, not the funds. E-Transfers are highly secure; and, so long as you communicate well and use reliable security questions, there is little concern. 

Need to send money internationally? Check out the best money transfer providers in Canada

Can I Reverse An e-Transfer After It’s Been Deposited?

In short, no, you cannot reverse an e-Transfer after it’s been deposited. However, if you realize that you sent the deposit in error, you can cancel the transaction before it is accepted by the recipient. You can do this either through online banking or by contacting your financial institution directly. 

If there is an issue, such as overpayment to a vendor, the best route is to contact the recipient directly. Note your mistake and request that they cancel the transfer on their end. Especially when you’re dealing with a long-term client or vendor, there is usually no issue. The recipient is able to cancel it on their end and you can reissue the transfer in the correct amount. 

Can You Cancel An e-Transfer?

If the amount isn’t yet deposited, you can cancel the e-Transfer through your banking portal. Keep in mind that there are different procedures for each financial institution. If you are in doubt, reach out to the help section of your bank or call them directly. 

How To Cancel An e-Transfer

Generally speaking, you should navigate to your online banking and go to your transaction history. Usually, the bank will combine your payments and transactions into the same section. From there, you simply click on the transfer you made. Once you click on the transaction, select cancel. 

Though there may be a nominal administrative fee for cancelling an e-Transfer, depending on the situation, it can be well worth the investment. It is important to take these steps immediately upon becoming aware of the issue. This gives you the best likelihood of cancelling the transfer before it is received. 

Find out if you can transfer money from your credit card to your bank account.

How Much Does It Cost To Cancel An Interact e-Transfer?

TD$5 (unless it is cancelled within 45 minutes of sending)
RBC$0 or $5 (a $5 fee will be charged if do not cancel within 15 days after being notified of its expiry)
BMO$5 ( if you cancel before 12 am on the day you sent it, you will not be charged a fee)

Worried about bank fees? Here are some bank fees to look out for. 

How Much Can You Send Through An E-Transfer? 

Depending on the bank you’re banking with, the Interac e-Transfer limits will vary. Below is a list of the Interac e-Transfer limits by the financial institution: 

Interac e-Transfer Limit By Banks In Canada

Interac e-Transfer Limit at TD– $3,000 per e-Transfer every 24 hours
– $10,000 per 7 days
– $20,000 per 30 days
Interac e-Transfer Limit at RBCLimits are based on the client’s card’s daily access limit.
Interac e-Transfer Limit at ScotiabankLimits are based on the client’s limit set in their client card. 
Interac e-Transfer Limit at BMO– $2,500 – $3,000 every 24 hours
– $10,000 per 7 days
– $20,000 per 30 days
Interac e-Transfer Limit at CIBC– $3,000 per 24 hours
– $10,000 per 7 days
– $30,000 per 30 days

Interac e-Transfer Limit By Online Banks In Canada

Interac e-Transfer Limit at Simplii Financial– $3,000 per 24 hours
– $10,000 per 7 days
– $30,000 per 30 days
Interac e-Transfer Limit at EQ Bank Financial– $3,000 per 24 hours
– $10,000 per 7 days
– $20,000 per 30 days
Interac e-Transfer Limit at Tangerine– $3,000 per day
– $10,000 per week
– $20,000 per month

Tips On Sending And Receiving Interac e-Transfers

There are a few basic steps you can take to prevent issues with e-Transfers including

Set-Up Autodeposits

Some recipients have Autodeposit set up. By enabling Autodeposit, it removes the need for a security question and deposits the funds right into their account. In these cases, you can’t cancel the transaction and must contact the recipient directly. 

It does, however, make the payment process more secure. Autodeposit helps prevent e-Transfer frauds because it skips the email step of an e-Transfer and directly sends the funds to the chosen account.  

Use Strong Passwords

If you are going to use a password, make it a strong one, not something that is easy to guess. Consider using something specific to the relationship between you and the recipient. For added protection, use a different question each time. 

Only Send e-Transfer To People You Know 

With the fast pace of technology, it is important to take pause and consider whether those with whom you’re financially dealing are trustworthy. Be sure you are dealing with someone you trust to be ethical in the event of an issue. This alone can prevent a lot of issues down the line.

Learn how to pay your bills by setting up automatic payments.

Interact e-Transfer FAQs

How long does it take to receive an e-Transfer?

It can take up to 30 minutes for a recipient to receive either an email or a text message notifying them that they can deposit the money.

What happens if you send an e-Transfer to the wrong person?

If you send a transfer to the wrong person, check the status of the transfer right away. If it is still pending, you can cancel the transfer. But unfortunately, once the money had been deposited, there is no way to cancel the transfer. You will need to get in contact with the recipient directly.

I sent an e-Transfer to an invalid emails address, what do I do?

If you received a notification that the email address you provided was invalid, you can readdress and resend the transfer. To re-address and resend a transfer, follow these steps:
  • Navigate to the Interact e-Transfer section of your online banking
  • Find the transfer in question
  • Edit the recipient information
  • Navigate to pending transfers and select “resend”
  • Confirm your request

What should I do if I don’t know the answer to the security question for an e-Transfer?

Security questions should be unique to the sender and the recipient, this makes them more secure. If you don’t know the answer to a security question, you should get in contact with the sender. 

What happens to my e-Transfer if the receiver does not accept it? 

Generally, if the receiver declines the e-transfer, the sender will have the option to cancel the transaction or resend the payment. Similarly, if the receiver simply does not accept the payment within 30 days of receiving the e-transfer, it will expire. The sender will be notified and will have to cancel the e-transfer. Most banks will return the funds and charge the sender a small fee if they do not cancel the e-transfer within 15 days of being notified of the e-transfer’s expiry.  

Final Notes

Though there is a bit of a learning curve to online transfers, convenience and efficiency are incomparable. So long as you are diligent, take your time, and do your research beforehand, it can make your financial transactions much smoother. 

Corrina Murdoch avatar on Loans Canada
Corrina Murdoch

Corrina Murdoch has been a dedicated freelance writer and editor for several years. With an academic background in the sciences and a penchant for mathematics, she seeks to provide readers with accurate, reliable information on important topics. Working as a print journalist for several years, Corrina expanded her reach into the digital sphere to help more people gain insight into the realm of finances. When she's not writing, you can find Corrina swimming and spending time with family.

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