Can You Cancel or Reverse an e-Transfer After it’s Been Deposited?

Can You Cancel or Reverse an e-Transfer After it’s Been Deposited?

Written by Corrina Murdoch
Fact-checked by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated October 5, 2021

Especially in the era of social distancing and staying at home, e-Transfers have become increasingly popular. A way to send money via online banking, these transfers are simple and secure. It uses 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 or the recipient (cell phone number or email). 

When you go to send it, the bank will prompt you to create a new recipient. You can give them a nickname if you plan to use it multiple times. It will ask for a mode of contact, either through phone or email. The final step is including the security question and answer. This adds a level of security since the recipient can’t deposit the money without the proper security answer. 

After you send the money, the recipient will receive a notification on the chosen communication platform. 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. 

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. Generally speaking, you should navigate into 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. Keep in mind that this works best on a desktop PC or a laptop. Often, the controls are limited on smartphone applications. Once you click on the transaction, select cancel. 

Though there may be a nominal administrative fee, if you need to cancel the transfer, it is well worth the investment. If you have difficulty accessing the information through your bank, there are options via telephone. 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. 

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. 

Tips on Sending and Receiving e-Transfers

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

  • Set up auto-deposit: Some recipients are equipped for auto-deposit. 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 administratively efficient. 
  • Use strong passwords: If you are going to use a password, make it a quality 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. 
  • Send to those you know and trust: 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 who 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 re-address 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. 

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. 

Rating of 4/5 based on 11 votes.

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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