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Interac expanding e-transfer service, Wealthsimple to join

Interac Corp. is broadening the range of financial institutions that can participate in its e-transfer service. The Interac logo is shown in Toronto on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Joe O'Connal

TORONTO — Interac Corp. is broadening the range of financial institutions that can participate in its e-transfer service, with financial services firm Wealthsimple as the first to become a new participant under the expansion.

The company, which announced provisional approval for Wealthsimple on Wednesday, said the move extends access beyond federally regulated banks and provincially regulated credit unions.

"I'm thrilled to accelerate our impact in the market by broadening access to the Interac e-Transfer service to an expanded category of financial institutions," Interac chief executive Jeremy Wilmot said in a statement. 

"Financial services are evolving, and an increasing number of Canadians are using innovative new offerings. By extending our trusted product and platform to new organizations, while maintaining high security standards, we will allow Canadian consumers and businesses to confidently transact in new ways."

Wealthsimple said it currently offers Interac e-transfer services, but by becoming a participant, it will be able to offer clients the same experience moving money as they would expect at a bank or credit union.

"Joining the Interac e-Transfer service is both a milestone for the company, and also a sign of our commitment to being a leader in Canadian financial services," Wealthsimple CEO Michael Katchen said in a statement.

Under the new rules, organizations that are both FINTRAC-regulated money service businesses and investment dealers regulated by the Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization can apply to become participants.

To join the e-transfer service, Interac says eligible financial institutions must meet all the same requirements and obligations as the existing participants. 

The Bank of Canada provides oversight of the service, which is designated as a prominent payment system under the Payment Clearing and Settlement Act.

Interac said the e-transfer service reached one billion transactions over a 12-month period in April 2022.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 27, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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