Is cash old school? Try these electronic payment methods instead

Canada is increasingly becoming a cashless society, relying instead on contactless payments, mobile apps and electronic transfers. These days, we’re much more likely to ‘tap’ than dig around in our pockets or a coin purse for change. Learn the options you have to make payments in our new electronic reality.

In a survey published by the Angus Reid Institute in 2019, nearly two-thirds of Canadians (63 per cent) said they “hardly ever carry cash.” That doesn’t just apply to the usual suspects (aka Millennials). All age groups were cash-adverse, with 58 per cent of the 55-plus crowd also saying they hardly ever carry cash.

And Payments Canada reports that cash represents just 12 per cent of point-of-sale transactions, as “consumers opt for more convenient and digital methods of payments such as contactless, online transfers and in-app purchases.” Online transfers are also being used heavily, according to the report.

Make the most of these electronic payments options that ACU members have in this new cashless reality:

Tap with Interac Flash

electronic payment methods

Interac® Online is a quick way to make online purchases with your ACU debit card. Interac® Flash, also referred to as ‘tap,’ is embedded in new ACU debit cards, allowing you to pay for smaller purchases faster and easier without entering a PIN. Just hold your card against the payment terminal’s screen, and your payment will be complete. Use this feature for basic purchases up to $50 or gas/grocery purchases up to $100.

® Interac is a registered trademark of Interac Inc. used under license.

Mobile devices

Aside from debit cards, consumers are also using mobile devices — from smartphones to smartwatches — to pay for a wide range of goods and services. At ACU, you can manage your accounts and do most regular banking functions with ACU online banking, so long as you have a web-capable mobile device. Your account is password-protected and can only be accessed with the correct login credentials.

ACU mobile app

ACU Anytime: electronic payment methods

The ACU mobile app, available for Apple, Android and BlackBerry devices, allows you to check your account balances and history, transfer funds, pay bills, deposit cheques and perform Interac e-Transfers. Aside from making purchases, you can also conveniently and securely manage your personal finances whenever, and wherever. It’s like having a branch that never closes, right in the palm of your hand. You can even use the ACU mobile app (or online banking) to transfer funds to another ACU member’s account.

® ACU Anytime (word) is a registered trademark of The Assiniboine Credit Union Limited, used under license. 

Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay,  available to ACU members, is a mobile payment and digital wallet service from Samsung that lets you make debit payments from your Samsung device wherever Interac Flash is accepted in Canada.

Samsung Pay: electronic payment methods

Samsung Pay is available on Samsung phones, such as Galaxy S9 and S9+, but you can also make payments via your Galaxy Watch or Gear S3 — even if you don’t have your physical wallet or phone with you. Samsung Pay comes pre-installed on most recent Samsung phones, but if you don’t have the app you can download it from the Google Play store.

If you’re worried about identify theft, paying with your phone or watch is, in fact, highly secure. Samsung Pay uses Near Field Communication (NFC) and Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) technology for secure contactless payments, and you can authenticate your identity with a four-digit PIN code, fingerprint scanner or iris scanning technology.

Apple Pay

For those with an iPhone, ACU supports Apple Pay — a mobile payment and digital wallet service from Apple that lets you make payments using your iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch. Simply open the Wallet app to add your ACU debit card.

With an iPhone 6 or higher, or an iPhone 5 with Apple Watch, you can use your phone or watch to pay at any terminal that supports Interac® Flash. You can also use your ACU debit card to pay for in-app purchases. Similar to other mobile payment technologies, your card details are never shared during a transaction, so it’s highly secure.

Related: Tips and tricks for using Apple Pay

Interac Autodeposit & Interac Request Money

electronic payment methods

With Interac e-Transfer® Autodeposit, money can be deposited directly into your ACU account via Interac e-Transfer®, without having to answer a security question or share financial information.

And with Interac e-Transfer® Request Money, you can quickly and easily request money from others — the recipient is notified instantly. If they accept, the amount that you requested is automatically deposited into your account.

electronic payment methods

While cash isn’t going away, it’s no longer king. With so many quick, convenient and secure ways to make transactions — whether receiving an e-transfer or paying for a coffee with your smartwatch — it’s easier than ever to bank anytime, anywhere.

About Vawn Himmelsbach

Vawn Himmelsbach is a freelance writer and editor. She has covered technology and travel for 15 years, for media outlets such as, The Globe & Mail, Metro News, ITBusiness, PCworld Canada and Computerworld Canada. She also spent three years living abroad and working as an Asian correspondent.

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