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What is Interac Email and how can I pay you this way?

posted Jan 7, 2016, 11:16 AM by EZvoip Co   [ updated Jan 7, 2016, 1:30 PM ]
Interac Email is a service provided by Canadian banks to their customers allowing quick and easy payments via email. Consequently, this service is only available to Canadians.

There are numerous resources explaining what this is and how it works: Interac, Wikipedia, The Globe and Mail (tgm) and there is even a video:

Interac e-Transfer


To send us a payment this way, you need to login to your Canadian bank account or credit union (on your laptop or smartphone) and look for the "email money transfer" or "money transfer" option. Some banks may allow you to set up a recurring payment.You will then have to specify the email address (in our case, admin [at] ezVoIP [dot] co) as well as a security challenge. 

The security challenge is there to prevent someone who might intercept the email message to transfer the money into their own account. As such, it needs to be something only you and us know and nobody else does. Please do not send the answer to the security challenge by email, because if you do, you will have defeated the point of the security challenge.

For a recurring payment, you may use YourUserID (not the website login, i.e., your email, but rather what you used when setting up your softphone, in the form 10####_xoxoxo) as the answer to your challenge, which could be "my user name". Please do not use your website login, as that is your email address and it is easy to find.

If you elect to set up a one time payment and do not want to disclose YourUserID to your bank, another piece of information that should not be generally known by anyone other than us is your account balance at the moment you send the payment. Depending on your plan, your account balance may increase or decrease within the minute you are looking at it. To avoid that, please follow the following steps:
  1. Login to your EZvoip account or refresh the main page if you were already logged in
  2. Make note of the exact date and time in EST (Eastern Standard Time, our time zone)
  3. Set the challenge question as "my balance on 20xx-mm-dd at hh:mm"
  4. Set the answer to the question as "##.#" - i.e., the dollar amount without the dollar sign and rounded to one decimal. For example, if your balance is $0.5939 you would enter it as 00.6.
  5. Complete the transaction and wait for the bank confirmation that it was sent.
If you find it difficult to use your account balance as an answer to the security challenge, please use YourUserID which can be found under MyServices after login.


We do not have an automated way to process such payments, as we do with PayPal, so we have to process these payments manually. For this reason, such a payment will not be immediately reflected in your balance, as it is when paying with PayPal (or with a credit card via PayPal). We aim to process transactions within 48h, but we usually do so quicker than that, sometimes even within the hour.

We use the Interbank Credit Card exchange rate of the date we received the email as posted at Oanda, which is better than PayPal. For example, CN$10 sent on 2013-01-01 would thus appear as US$9.7471 in your account by 2013-01-03 at the latest.

Some banks charge for this service, while others provide it for free. The tgm article linked above states:
A free alternative has just arrived in the form of the e-mail money transfers being offered through ING Direct's new Thrive no-fee chequing account. ING seems motivated to wean people away from cheques, which are costly to process.
ING Direct (the "orange bank") was taken over by Scotiabank in 2012 and rebranded as Tangerine. They have recurrent promotions offering $25-50 as a gift (i.e., free money) to new customers who deposit $100 with them (and are able to withdraw all their money at any time) and have an Orange Key. One such Orange Key is 13727786S1 and you may use any other such key.