Canada’s national payment scheme ‘Interac’, which facilitates electronic financial transactions between financial institutions and other enterprises, has evolved its product proposition beyond debit cards in light of the fast-changing electronic payments landscape, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
GlobalData’s latest report, ‘Payments Landscape in Canada: Opportunities and Risks to 2022’, states that while credit cards dominate Canada’s well developed payment cards market in terms of total spending, debit cards are more frequently used for card payments, reflecting their growing use for low-value cash payments.
With 29.9 million debit cards in circulation in 2018, Interac dominates the Canadian debit card market. These cards are also co-badged with international schemes, including Visa and Mastercard to ensure global acceptance.
Shivani Gupta, Payments Analyst at GlobalData, explains: “Interac has been instrumental in accelerating the adoption of debit cards in Canada. Its debit cards are widely accepted across 500,000 merchants in the country due to their cost-effective zero interchange fee model.”
Interac has branched out beyond debit cards, with services being offered across the entire payment value chain. These include Interac e-Transfer (fund transfers), Interac Online (online payments) and Interac Flash (contactless payments).
With more than 371 million transactions processed in 2018, Interac e-Transfer has positioned itself as Canada’s most preferred digital money transfer service. According to GlobalData’s 2018 Consumer Payments Insight Survey, 30.3% of Canadians, who made domestic peer-to-peer transfers in the last 12 months, had used the Interact e-Transfer tool.
Gupta concludes: “Interac is expected to maintain its stronghold in Canada’s digital payment space, with continued expansion and diversification of its payment portfolio.”