Interac Survey Shows Most Canadian Businesses will Phase Out Cheques in Next Five Years

Nearly three quarters of businesses surveyed in Canada (74 per cent) are making plans to phase out the use of cheques within five years, according to a recent survey from Interac Corp. (Interac). Faster digital payment methods are taking their place, with half of businesses in Canada accepting Interac e-Transfer as a method of payment.

Interac has been a leader in near real-time payments exchange since the early 2000s. As Interac celebrates 20 years of Interac e-Transfer service in Canada, payments to, from or between businesses in Canada now account for nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of all Interac e-Transfer transactions, a trend that is up 24.7 per cent over last year.

“For the past 20 years, Interac e-Transfer has established itself as the standard in secure, digital alternatives to paper cheques for consumers. Now, we’re disrupting commercial payments in the same way,” said Anurag Kar, AVP, Money Movement Products at Interac. “We’re proud of the role we’re playing in helping financial decision makers replace costly legacy processes, including commercial cheques.”

Nearly six in 10 (59 per cent) financial decision makers polled are motivated to move away from cheques because of the potential cost-savings of digital payment methods, which are seen as being easier to use (53 per cent). These factors are contributing to a 29 per cent growth in business use of Interac e-Transfer since 2022.

Amid rising costs pressuring businesses to shed outdated practices and inefficiencies, the imperative of financial transformation is gaining prominence. The Interac research found:

  • Critical Challenges for Financial Leaders: As costs surge due to inflation, most financial leaders highlight the replacement of outdated business processes and the need for industry competitiveness as top priorities for growing their business. According to the survey, over half (53 per cent) of financial decision makers spend time overseeing transactional processes that could instead be used to support business growth.
  • Cashflow Management in High-Stakes Environment: With escalating costs, the significance of managing cashflow intensifies. Notably, three quarters (76 per cent) of financial decision makers polled agree that adept cash flow management becomes crucial amid high inflation, reflecting the environment’s demands.  
  • Digital Reconciliation Gains Momentum: Nearly seven in 10 (68 per cent) decision makers polled expressed desire for enhanced digital transaction reconciliation, aiming to reduce reliance on traditional paperwork, marking a strong drive towards digital efficiency.

“Challenges such as inflation, legacy business processes and staying competitive are pushing businesses to prioritize financial transformation. Incorporating Interac e-Transfer for Business can be a great place to start because it’s widely available through financial institutions, and it can help generate significant efficiencies for businesses as they move away from cheques,” added Kar. 

Interac e-Transfer for Business empowers seamless payments, from employees to vendors, reducing paperwork with rich remittance data. Canada’s leading financial institutions have already enabled the solution, unlocking the ability for their customers to transact on both retail and business platforms. Certain account types at each financial institution also offer access to enhanced Interac e-Transfer for Business features. Business leaders can talk to their financial institution about transacting with higher limits, rich remittance data, flexible routing options and real-time confirmations to access the account type that works best for their needs. 

Business leaders can learn more about the widespread trust in Interac e-Transfer and how businesses are using it to drive growth by visiting  The Interac survey was conducted by Leger and Hill+Knowlton Strategies, comprising a national online survey of 101 financial decision makers in Canada from June 9 to 12, 2023.