What’s So Special About Interac Flash? Let Me Tell You… #PayInAFlash

Recently I was invited to an event at Chef Lynn Crawford’s restaurant in Toronto, Ruby Watchco. This was an event where I’d have the opportunity to learn all about the newest technology from Interac which lets you pay in a “Flash”.


Rarely do I have cash above $10 in my wallet, this has proven to be a very bad thing over time as I’ve been known to resort to borrowing from the kids or driving all the way across town to take money out of the bank when I am running around town and want to grab something and don’t have the cash to do so.

It was a wonderful evening with fantastic food, fun people and loads of interesting information which I’m very pleased to be bringing to you all today.

Interac Flash Features

Interac Flash is all that Interac Debit is but more! Your smaller purchases can be made even quicker, with the same security features you’re used to.  Cards that are enabled with Interac Flash will feature this contactless WAVE symbol. When you are purchasing products or services which are under $100, these are the simple steps you’d use to make the transaction with Interac Flash:

  1. Hold your card  no more than 4 cm in front of the reader
  2. A beep and/or “approved” message on the terminal will acknowledge your transaction is complete.

That’s it, you’ve just made a transaction directly from your bank account!

Curb that Spending

Interac had people such as myself in mind when they developed this technology. They have set a spending threshold at $100, this means you can use the Interac Flash technology repeatedly for small purchases until you hit the $100 mark. After that point you must insert your card into a card reader and enter your personal PIN number to reset it to zero.

Example: I go to a grocery story and spend $72, then I get $20 of gas and head to the movies where I find that my $30 purchase is not allowed using Interac Flash. This is because I spent $92 on groceries and gas and the $30 at the movies will bring me over $100. No worries, I’ll just insert my card into the reader and complete the transaction using debit. Now my card has been reset and I can use Flash for another $100.

This is a great feature! If ever my card is stolen, the thief won’t have my PIN and can’t spend over $100.

Let’s Talk Security

I went into this evening ready to ask all kinds of questions about security. I’m an online banker and have done my research over time, to make sure that our money is safe and frankly I was hesitant with this new technology because I didn’t quite understand the ins and outs. Convenience is one thing but I need to know that security is tight. Interac answered all of my questions and more, they’ve put security measures at the top of the the list and I feel comfortable using the Flash technology now.

Highlights of Interac Security

This infographic from Interac says it all more clearly than I can.

interac infographic

Highlights of security which appeal to me

  • Interac Flash isn’t a strip technology. There is no way someone can “read” your card without being 4cm away from it
  • Payments are direct from bank account, you can see purchase real-time looking at your account
  • Card number on front is simply an identifier, it cannot be used to access your account
  • Purchase data is instantly recorded in your bank account so bad guys cannot replay the data to fake a transaction
  • Small transaction limit of $100, after which one must resent the spending by using a pin
  • Interac Zero liability for the card holder in the event of a theft

Since my evening at Ruby Watchco with the folks at Interac, I’ve updated my card and have been using Interac Flash. It’s super simple, quick and I have the confidence in the security to know that my transactions are safe. I suggest you check it out, it’s a product I’d recommend.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post but as always, my opinions and findings are my own.

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2 Responses

  1. I love this option but unfortunately haven’t been able to use it as not one of the stores here have it active/available yet. Great way to help people with over spending too!

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