More and more Canadians are embracing the convenience of using an email money transfer to send money quickly and easily to friends and family: from splitting the bill at a dinner party to chipping in for birthday and Christmas presents.

An email money transfer is a fast and secure way to send and receive money directly from one bank account to another.  The advantage of using an e-Transfer is the simplicity and convenience, compared with using other banking products like cheques, bank drafts and cash.

Related: Free Chequing Account Comparison

Sending an email money transfer

An email money transfer can be done in a few easy steps:

  1. Sign-up for online banking with your financial institution
  2. Register for Interac e-Transfers
  3. Add the recipients’ email address
  4. Login to your online banking platform and follow the instructions to send an email money transfer

*Sender and recipient must have a personal banking account with a participating financial institution

I spoke with Nino Di Teodoro, Senior Manager at TD Canada Trust, about the popularity of email money transfers, especially around the holiday season.

“During the holidays we see an increase in the rate at which Canadians use e-Transfers.  Demand for e-Transfers is also increasing each year: TD Canada Trust has seen more than a 40% increase in use within the last 12 months,” said Di Teodoro.

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The surge in email money transfers during the holidays comes from the same group of people who prefer giving gift cards.  Nino added that email money transfers – and cash, in general – are usually better received than gift cards because there is no chance the gift will be lost or go unused.

There is a popular misconception about the security of email money transfers because many people believe that the email itself is not secure.  This is far from the case.

An email money transfer is as safe as an online banking transaction.  The email is simply a notification that a transfer has been sent.  The recipient will more than likely be expecting the transfer, and the email is clear – not spam.

Related: Why Electronic Banking Is Safe

Check your bank account fees before sending an email money transfer.  E-Transfers are free for recipients, but most banks charge $1.50 per transfer.  Some accounts include one or two e-Transfers for free each month.

When I need to send money, I use the free email money transfer option with ING Direct.  It doesn’t transfer instantly, but at least I save a buck in the process.

Have you ever used an email money transfer to send money to friends or family?

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9 Comments

  1. Sheryl on January 1, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    I love email transfers! I’ve never written a check on my company account. I pay sub-contractors and all bills that I can’t put on a credit card by email bank transfer.

    • Echo on January 26, 2013 at 9:46 am

      @Sheryl – Yes, I use them all the time as well. I’d love it if more organizations would accept them (like my daughter’s preschool).

  2. Mark on January 2, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    I was excited to learn that my bank was recently adding the e-transfer service until I found out that there are (large) fees attached to it. I have used it once, just to try it, and I will not likely use it again unless the fees are significantly reduced or eliminated.
    Does it seem wrong that we are paying a fee for an automated service? I do realize there are companies that are providing a service (Interact) for the transfer of the money.
    I can write cheques for nothing, take money out of my ATM for nothing, or visit with my local teller; all of which require time and resources. Once the e-transfer service is set up, it should take very little in the way of resources to run it.
    It would seem the banks should be able to recoup the costs of e-transfers through decreased paper work or service.

    • Echo on January 26, 2013 at 9:51 am

      @Mark – It does seem like a bit of a cartel when all the big banks charge $1.50 to send an email money transfer.

      I have an ING account and they have a free way to email money to someone, but it’s not instant – it takes 48 hours to transfer.

      Cheques are expensive. I thought my free booklet would last me a lifetime but once my daughter started preschool and other activities I’m burning through them really quickly.

  3. Julie on January 21, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    I love email money transfers… especially when the money is coming my way 🙂 but in all seriousness I was a bit of a skeptic but have subsequently embraced the service offering and have almost made it my defacto money transfer process. Good bye (almost) to cheques.

    • Echo on January 26, 2013 at 9:54 am

      @Julie – I’m in a fantasy football league and when I asked my friends to just email me their league fees they were a little skeptical at first but now they love it too.

  4. peachy on January 23, 2013 at 6:41 am

    interesting that only in north america are people penalised financially for using automated services.

    have been positively harrassing people to use e-trans. its very hard work to convert but once they try it 95% are hooked. a drama queen screwed up an e-transfer once and i had to cancel it – was charged $45 to do so (insane). the sum was only $50. nearly gave up. i am trying to get my head around our inadequate banking system – dont understand how it got this bad. so much for education…

    • Echo on January 26, 2013 at 9:56 am

      @peachy – Interesting, I’ve never heard of a $45 penalty to cancel an email money transfer.

      Agree 100% on your other points.

  5. Billybob on October 25, 2013 at 10:56 am

    A little off-subject…..Telus has recently informed me that if I want to continue to receive my bill in the mail instead of on-line, I will be charged a $2 fee for the privelege. So my next bill to Telus will be paid by cheque so they will have to work for their money. (Even though it is going to cost me the price of the postage). I encourage other people who feel strongly about this to do likewise. There! Glad to get that off my chest!

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