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Am I protected if I use Interac Online?
Yes, you are protected if you use Interac Online.
Interac Online allows you to pay for goods and services over the Internet directly from your bank account. With this payment method you do not need to provide personal financial details to the on-line merchant, and you do not need to create a separate on-line account for payment purposes.
When you select Interac Online as a method of payment, you are redirected from the merchant's Web site to your financial institution's on-line banking Web site. After logging in, you select an account from which to make the payment and confirm the transaction. You are then directed back to the merchant's Web site for final confirmation.
If you become a victim of fraud while paying through Interac Online and you are a client of a federally regulated financial institution, you are protected under the Canadian Code of Practice for Consumer Debit Card Services. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) monitors the compliance of federally regulated financial institutions with the Code.
The Code states that you will not be held liable for losses resulting from uncontrollable circumstances, such as technical problems or system malfunctions. This applies as long as you cooperate with the investigation of your case. However, you may be held liable if you contribute to the unauthorized use of your personal financial information — for example, by sharing your personal identification number (PIN) with someone else or using an easy-to-guess PIN, such as your birthdate.
Remember that you should never disclose personal information, such as an on-line password or your PIN, to anyone — not even a family member.
If you feel that your financial institution has not complied with the Code, ask to be directed to the financial institution's complaint-handling process and follow the steps specified. If you are unable to resolve the matter with your financial institution, you can contact the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments.
You should also contact FCAC. We can investigate to determine whether your financial institution has complied with its obligations.
In addition to the Canadian Code of Practice for Consumer Debit Card Services, consumers are protected through Interac Online's customer service rules. In a proven case of fraud, the rules guarantee that a consumer will receive reimbursement. The rules require financial institutions to provide information to consumers before they use Interac Online — in particular, consumers' responsibilities to protect their PIN and debit card, the possible implications of not protecting their PIN, who to contact if a problem occurs, and the potential extent of losses.