Interac is a Canadian interbank network that allows consumers to pay for goods and services with a connected debit card, credit card, or mobile banking app. It was created by the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) in 1984 with exclusive rights to operate as a national network in Canada. The network has more than 300 members and over 50 million active users.
Interac is accepted at over 6 million locations across Canada including retailers like Walmart, Loblaws Grocery Store (Loblaws), and Shoppers Drug Mart Pharmacy (Shoppers Drug Mart). It’s accepted at most restaurants, including Tim Hortons Coffee, and online.
Interac works through bank networks and retailers who have been certified by the CBA as compliant with their rules and regulations. When a consumer makes an Interac purchase at one of these locations, money is transferred directly from the consumer’s bank account to the retailer's account through the bank network. This allows them to receive payment immediately without having to wait for checks to be processed or cash deposits on an ATM machine.
Interac provides card payment options, as well as an ewallet app that connects with both Apple Pay and Google Pay.
Interac charges merchants 2% per transaction (plus $0.50), and an additional 1% to allow consumers to use their mobile app to make payments—this fee helps cover the costs of maintenance and upgrades for the app itself.