If you’re a financial decision-maker looking to ditch paper cheques in your business, here’s your sign: Interac e-Transfer® for Business is ready to propel your payment processes into the future.
This paperless money moving solution offers businesses a slew of useful features, including real-time confirmations, higher transaction limits, flexible routing options and rich remittance data attached directly to each transaction.
Interac Corp. (Interac) AVP of money movement products, Anurag Kar, says with all of these features put together, Interac e-Transfer for Business can save Canadian businesses time and money by helping them better manage their cash flow.
“We know businesses have to move higher dollar values, so Interac e-Transfer for Business has higher limits,” he says, adding that businesses can now send up to $25,000 CAD per transaction, up from the common personal limits of $3,000 to $10,000 per transaction, depending on the customer and their financial institution. Those transactions are also processed faster and with more flexibility than a traditional Interac e-Transfer transaction.
“You can use an identifier like an email address or mobile number to route the transaction, but a business also has the option to route an Interac e-Transfer directly to an account number,” says Mr. Kar. “It’s also processed in a matter of seconds, so businesses can leverage that speed of transaction to manage their cash flow and have some assurance that the money is actually delivered.”
By adopting the ISO 20022 standard for data and messages, Interac e-Transfer for Business also allows customers to include structured remittance data to help them more easily identify what the payment is for. Unlike unstructured data — like the memo field available in a traditional Interac e-Transfer transaction — the structured data allows businesses to use defined fields to assist with record keeping.
Crucially, in a more digital business landscape, it also makes it easier for accounting software platforms to file transactions automatically.
“The money has to reconcile with some kind of invoice or data just for a business’ books to balance. Now they can do all of that with just one transaction, streamlining their administrative processes, and the associated cost savings ends up being one of the biggest value-adds,” Mr. Kar says. “As long as businesses have an ability to automate their payment processes, they’re reducing their administrative burden.”
Mr. Kar explains that Interac e-Transfer for Business was designed in response to specific challenges identified by businesses regarding more traditional payment solutions. Its business-friendly features were developed to replace more costly, time consuming or burdensome payment methods like cheques, wire transfers and electronic funds transfers (EFTs).
“We surveyed finance executives, and most said that by eliminating the manual cheque preparation, signing, mailing, reconciliation process, there is opportunity to save time and minimize their cost of capital, but also to save costs overall,” says Mr. Kar.
The survey also found that cost-savings and ease of use are the primary motivating factors for business leaders in making the transition from analogue to digital payment solutions.
Interac e-Transfer has been widely used by Canadians for over two decades, but Mr. Kar says the transition to digital transactions during the pandemic created new use-cases for the well-established solution.
“Coming out of the pandemic, there was massive pressure across all industries and essentially all businesses to digitize their operations, leverage technology and streamline how you process things,” he says. “Interac e-Transfer for Business not only improves the traditional payment methods like cheques, but it also provides an opportunity for businesses to modernize their operations.”
Digitization efforts can be costly and time consuming, requiring significant onboard and education prior to adoption. Given its popularity and familiarity among Canadian consumers, Mr. Kar says Interac e-Transfer presented an opportunity for organizations to easily digitize elements of their accounts payable or receivable operations; all it needed were a few business-friendly updates.
“Our hypothesis was that a business is still made up of individuals at the end of the day, and they’ve probably used Interac e-Transfer to send or receive money,” he says. “Interac e-Transfer for Business is essentially the exact same product that they’re already comfortable using, but with some additional features that are tailored to businesses.”
After years of testing and a gradual rollout among select clients, Interac e-Transfer for Business is now widely offered by many Canadian financial institutions, and Mr. Kar says adoption has quickly spread across industries and business types.
“We’re seeing small businesses using this capability to pay their employees, spending less time cutting cheques on a biweekly basis; we’re seeing franchises use it for just-in-time vendor payments; we’re seeing larger organizations, like insurance companies, leveraging the ability to disperse funds to thousands of individuals in a matter of seconds,” he says. “We’re starting to see quite a bit of adoption in many industries, and we expect this will become much more prevalent in the market in the coming years.”
The use of Interac e-Transfer for Business among businesses has been steadily climbing, with Statistics Canada recently noting that half of businesses (50.0%) accept it as a method of payment. As Canadians continue to widely adopt Interac e-Transfer for their digital payment needs, Interac is well positioned to drive new and innovative digital payment processes into the future.
Interac and Interac e-Transfer are registered trade-marks of Interac Corp.
Advertising feature produced by Globe Content Studio with Interac. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.