Digital Payment Solutions: Understanding Email Money Transfers (EMT) and More


Email Money Transfer (EMT) is a secure retail banking service in Canada, offered by Interac, that enables users to transfer funds between personal accounts using email and online banking. Learn how EMT works, its benefits, and cybersecurity considerations.

Email Money Transfer (EMT) definition

Email Money Transfer (EMT), often referred to as Interac e-Transfer, is a financial service widely used in Canada. It empowers individuals to seamlessly transfer money between personal accounts through email and online banking. This article explores the workings of EMT, its advantages, and important security considerations.

How an Email Money Transfer (EMT) works

EMT transactions begin within the sender’s online banking application. Users specify the transfer amount, choose the source account, and designate the recipient. Once confirmed, funds are immediately debited from the sender’s account. Interac e-Transfer offers convenient features like auto-deposit and the ability to request money.

The recipient receives an email notification containing a security question and instructions for accessing the funds through a secure website. If the recipient uses the same online banking institution, the funds are deposited instantly at no extra cost. Otherwise, it may take three to five business days for the transfer to complete.

Notably, Interac e-Transfer is not available in the United States. However, Canadians can send money to the U.S. via Interac’s partnership with MasterCard and Western Union.

Cybersecurity and EMT

As with any online banking transaction, EMT is susceptible to fraud, necessitating robust cybersecurity practices. EMT transfers the instructions for retrieving and depositing funds, not the money itself, via email.

It’s crucial for users to exercise caution when accepting email transfers from unfamiliar sources. If you receive an unexpected transfer, contact the sender directly to confirm its legitimacy. The use of email makes EMT vulnerable to phishing scams, emphasizing the importance of vigilance.

Who can use EMT for money transfers?

Email Money Transfers are primarily utilized by clients of Canada’s major banks and various other financial institutions, making it widely accessible to Canadians.

Is Email Money Transfer available for businesses?

Interac extends its email money transfer services to businesses, offering features such as bulk processing, receivables, payables, and invoicing capabilities to cater to business needs.

How does Interac keep transactions secure?

Interac prioritizes security through encryption technology, including confidential user IDs and passwords, a secure login process, security questions, and 128-bit browser encryption. These measures ensure the safety and confidentiality of EMT transactions.

Weigh the risks and benefits

Here is a list of the benefits and drawbacks to consider.

  • Secure and convenient money transfers
  • Wide availability in Canada
  • Business-friendly options
  • Not available to U.S. citizens
  • Potential for phishing scams

Frequently asked questions

What are the fees associated with Email Money Transfers (EMT)?

The fees for EMT can vary depending on the financial institution you use. Some banks may charge a flat fee per transfer, while others offer a certain number of free transfers per month. It’s essential to check with your bank or financial institution for their specific fee structure.

Is there a limit to the amount I can transfer through Email Money Transfers?

Yes, there are usually limits on the amount you can transfer using EMT. These limits can vary from bank to bank and may depend on your account type and transaction history. It’s advisable to check with your bank to determine your specific transfer limits.

How long does it take for an Email Money Transfer to be received?

The time it takes for an EMT to be received can vary. If the recipient uses the same bank or financial institution as the sender, the transfer is often processed instantly. However, if the recipient uses a different institution, it may take a few business days for the funds to be available in their account.

Can I cancel or reverse an Email Money Transfer?

In most cases, once an EMT is initiated, it cannot be canceled or reversed. It’s crucial to double-check all details, including the recipient’s email address and the transfer amount, before confirming the transaction. If you believe there has been an error or if you suspect fraudulent activity, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.

Are Email Money Transfers (EMT) secure?

Yes, EMTs are generally considered secure. Financial institutions that offer EMT services implement encryption and security measures to protect the transfer of funds and personal information. However, users should also be vigilant and cautious about phishing scams and unsolicited transfer requests from unknown sources.

Can I use Email Money Transfers for international transactions?

Email Money Transfers are primarily designed for domestic use within Canada. While it’s not typically available for international transactions, some financial institutions may have partnerships or alternative services for sending money abroad. It’s advisable to inquire with your bank about international money transfer options.

Key takeaways

  • Email Money Transfer (EMT) enables secure fund transfers via email and online banking.
  • EMT, provided by Interac, is not accessible to U.S. citizens.
  • Interac employs robust encryption technology to secure EMT transactions.
View article sources
  1. Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL) –
  2. Direct Deposit (Electronic Funds Transfer) – Treasury Department
  3. Fundamentals of the Funds Transfer Process – FinCEN