Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem has designated Interac e‑Transfer ® as a prominent payment system under the Payment Clearing and Settlement Act, effective August 10, 2020. This brings Bank oversight to this payment system and ensures it remains a safe, viable and effective method of payment for Canadians.
The Bank regularly monitors the evolution of new and existing payment systems to determine whether they warrant oversight because of their potential to cause systemic or payment system risk. Designating Interac e‑Transfer as a prominent payment system means it must adhere to the Bank’s risk management standards, including having risk controls in place to ensure continued resilience.
Interac e‑Transfer has become central to the Canadian payments system. In the 2019 fiscal year, the Interac system facilitated over 486 million transactions, totalling $ 169 billion. A disruption or failure of the Interac e‑Transfer system could cause a significant adverse effect on economic activity in Canada, potentially leading to a general loss of confidence in the overall Canadian payments system.
The Interac e‑Transfer system is operated by Interac Corp. Launched in 2003, Interac e‑Transfer enables individuals and businesses with a Canadian bank account at participating financial institutions to electronically send or receive payments within Canada—24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Under the Payment Clearing and Settlement Act, the Bank has formal responsibility for the designation and oversight of clearing and settlement systems that have the potential to pose systemic or payments system risk.
- With the designation of the Interac e‑Transfer system, the Bank now has oversight responsibility over five systemically important financial market infrastructures (FMIs) and two prominent payment systems.
- Systemically important FMIs are those that have the potential to pose systemic risk to Canada’s financial system. If one participant is unable to meet its obligations to an FMI, that could transmit financial problems through the FMI and cause other participants to be unable to meet their obligations.
- Prominent payment systems are those that have the potential to pose risks to Canadian economic activity through a disruption or failure that could affect general confidence in the payments system.
- For more information on how the Bank identifies prominent payment systems and how the designation protects them against risk, see the Criteria and Risk Management Standards for Prominent Payment Systems.
- The Bank’s oversight role does not extend to consumer protection. Victims of fraud should report the incident to their financial institution and alert the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.