We Canadians are digitally transferring money at record rates.
The Interac e-Transfer service had more than 371 million transactions in 2018, worth a total of more than $132 billion. This represents a 54% increase in volume and a 45% increase in value over 2017.
And it’s easy to understand why the service is so popular.
Interac e-Transfer is a fast and convenient way to send money to someone else electronically. You don’t have to share your banking information. You don’t need to fiddle with cash or cheques. Heck, you don’t even have to be in the same room in order to pay up.
While the service is secure and convenient, there are still some key things you can do to ensure that your e-Transfers are protected.
Here are eight tips to help you protect your e-Transfers.
1. Stick with the familiar
Only send e-Transfers to individuals or businesses that you know or trust, the same way you would with cash. It’s also a good idea to give the recipient a heads up, so they know to expect an incoming e-Transfer.
If you receive an unexpected e-Transfer, be sure to check the notification carefully for signs of phishing like an urgent or aggressive tone, request for personal information and suspicious links.
Online sale scammers often request payment through e-Transfer. However, once the payment is made, you may not get the item you paid for and your money will already be gone.
2. Use cellular data or a secure Wi-Fi connection
Use your cellular data connection when you are banking “on the go” and avoid defaulting to public Wi-Fi or hotpots, especially when you’re transmitting sensitive information.
3. Avoid shared computers
Avoid sending e-Transfers from shared computers, like those at libraries, internet cafes or even a friend’s computer or cell phone. You don’t know what the security settings are on these devices, plus if you forget to log off you could compromise your information.
4. Use a challenging security question
Your security question shouldn’t be easy to guess or search online, and someone shouldn’t be able to find the answer in your email or social media posts. Use a challenging question that only you and the recipient will know that answer to.
5. Be careful sharing the answer
Don’t share the answer to the security question by email and don’t put any hints about the answer to your security question in the message area of the e-Transfer. Call the recipient with the password if needed.
6. Review carefully
Always review and verify all the information very carefully before sending an e-Transfer. Make sure to double check both the sender and recipient contact information (phone number and/or email) as well as the transfer amount.
7. Register for Autodeposit
Autodeposit is a feature of the Interac e-Transfer service that let’s you register to have funds directly deposited into your bank account without having to answer a security question. Learn how to set up Autodeposit at Vancity.
8. Practice Internet safety
There are many things you can do to increase your overall security on the internet:
- When possible, use two-factor authentication for email.
- Use strong passwords and never share them.
- Don’t use the same password across various accounts.
- Be careful not to click on any phishing links.
- Ensure that you are only transacting with trusted websites, vendors and people.
If you are suspicious of any transaction, you should immediately notify your financial institution. Here’s how to contact Vancity.