Interac says the COVID-19 pandemic is helping to accelerate the move to digital payments across Canada.
Canadians used a record 61.3 million Interac e-Transfers in April for sending and receiving money and are choosing digital payments over cash and cheques. Since the middle of March, first time e-Transfer users increased by 43%, while averages transactions were up compared to a year ago at 9%.
Interac Debit for In-App and In-Browser Payments also increased in mid-March, while contactless Interac Flash transactions also increased at a rate of 5%.
“This digital shift isn’t unexpected, but crisis situations compress timelines and Canadians are quickly seeking out secure and convenient digital payment options adhering to physical distancing recommendations,” said William Keliehor, Chief Commercial Officer, Interac Corp., in a statement.
As for businesses, they have been receiving 35% more Interac e-Transfers since mid-March, whether for paying suppliers or receiving payments from customers.
“COVID-19 is accelerating a new era in payments driven by the changing needs of Canadians and Canadian businesses, and for many, these convenient ways to pay will have a stickiness factor that will influence a long-term shift in behaviour,” added Keliehor.
It’s no surprise digital payments increased during COVID-19 quarantine measures, as people and businesses reduced the use of cash.
Back in April, Interac told iPhone in Canada its tap limits for Interac would remain unchanged at $100 per transaction, as limits are “complex and unique to our Canadian financial ecosystem.” This limit means Canadians spending more than $100 can’t tap to pay with Interac Flash, but rather touch the dreaded PIN pad terminal at businesses. Visa, MasterCard and American Express have increased their tap limits to $250 during the COVID-19 pandemic.