Interac Flash

How Does Flash Work?

Interac Flash is an enhancement of Interac Debit. It gives you the ability to quickly, conveniently and securely make small every day purchases at select merchants without having to insert your card or enter your personal identification number (PIN).  To find out more information about Interac Flash, you can watch this video, read this information or read the frequently asked questions below.


What Is It? How Does It Work?

What is Interac Flash technology?         

Interac Flash technology is a contactless way of paying with your debit card.  Now you can simply hold your card at a reader that supports the Interac Flash service to make a payment instantly from your credit union account. Over time, all of our Member Card debit cards will be replaced with cards that support contactless payment processing.

What are the benefits to consumers?  

The primary benefit is that the Interac Flash service is a fast and convenient way to pay for everyday purchases at point-of-sale terminals.  Interac Flash technology is built using the highest security available for contactless payments protecting it from electronic pickpocketing attacks.

Why is the industry moving to Interac Flash technology?           

The move to Interac Flash technology is the latest innovation in the rapidly changing payments environment, and demonstrates the industry’s responsiveness to consumer’s needs for convenience and security.


What Do I Do When I Get My New Card?

What do I do with my current card?

Your current Member Card debit card will continue to be accepted everywhere you use it today. When you receive your new card, please destroy your current card.  Note: your existing card will be deactivated by your credit union in due course.

What do I do with my new card?

When you receive the card in the mail, please read the accompanying letter; it contains important information.  Your new card will come equipped with the same information as your old card – personal identification number (PIN), MemberDirect Online Banking Personal Access Code (PAC), current alerts etc.  Please start using your new card, just as you use your current card now, as soon as you receive it.  This will avoid any inconvenience to you.

How do I change my PIN?           

Changing your PIN before using your new card is not a requirement, but if you would like to change your PIN, you can do so in person at your credit union branch or any ATM that participates in the ACCULINK® service.

Using My Card

Do I need to activate the Interac Flash feature on my card?      

Yes, the contactless payment feature is activated by a Chip and PIN transaction. This security feature helps ensure that the contactless feature is only used by the legitimate cardholder and is not usable while in transit.

How does the Interac Flash service work? 

The FLASH symbol on your Member Card debit card identifies it as one with Interac Flash technology.   An Interac Flash purchase involves two steps:

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

When you use the Interac Flash service, your purchase will automatically be debited from your credit union account.  You may complete any payment related transaction using the Contactless technology, including purchase, return, pre-authorized, purchase correction and return correction.

Do I get to choose whether or not I use the new contactless payment feature or my Chip and PIN?

Absolutely, you may choose which payment method you wish to use on any given transaction.  The contactless payment may be disabled on your card, however, disabling contactless payment processing is subject to a per card service fee.

Where can I use the Interac Flash service?       

You can pay for items using the Interac Flash service at any participating merchant.  The Interac Association has a growing list of participating merchant locations on their website.  Watch for the Interac Flash signage and/or the symbols below on the merchant terminal’s display screen to identify Interac Flash merchants.

FlashLogoVORFlashLogoH OR Flash Symbol

Will I be able to use the Interac Flash service outside of Canada?

Interac Flash technology is only supported at participating Canadian debit card merchants at this time. Outside Canada, use Chip and PIN or swipe transaction processing to make purchases or withdrawals.

How will I track purchases I’ve made using the Interac Flash service?

You will be able to get receipts just the way you do today with your Chip and PIN debit purchases. Each transaction will be itemized on your statement.

What should I do if a merchant refuses to allow me to use the Interac Flash contactless payment service, even though the terminal is Interac Flash-enabled?

Merchants are permitted to turn off the contactless feature if they do not wish to participate; however, they are not permitted to negatively discuss the product.  You may wish to report the issue to your credit union, providing details such as merchant name, address, date and time, and if possible, employee name. Interac Association will investigate.


Keeping My Card Secure

Is the Interac Flash service safe?

Yes, it is safe.  There are many myths about Interac Flash out there - find out why they are just myths or read about the security of Interac Flash here and here

Can someone copy my personal information with a scanner just by standing close to me?

The Interac Flash technology protects your card from being copied and counterfeited by using secure Near Field Contact (NFC) processing, which protects your information against skimming and counterfeiting. You don’t have to worry about someone watching or recording your PIN number when you are in a hurry. As well, NFC processing prevents transaction replay types of fraud, including electronic pick-pocketing – events you may have heard about in other countries or with other technologies such as Radio Frequency ID, or RFID processing.

The data that passes from the card to the terminal only contains payment codes related to that specific transaction. Your personal information is safe and secure.

What if someone steals my card – what will stop them from emptying my account?

Another layer of safety comes from limits set on your Member Card debit card enabled with the Interac Flash service.  The maximum amount per purchase using the Interac Flash service is $100. On top of that, there is also a cumulative spend limit. Once this limit is reached, you will be asked to insert your card and enter your PIN to complete the transaction.  In addition, Interac Flash terminals will randomly prompt cardholders to input their PIN to complete their transaction - another safeguard to prevent the use of a lost or stolen card.

Do I need to keep my card in an aluminium case or some type of card protector?              

No. The NFC technology inherent to the Interac Flash service protects your card from being copied and counterfeited. You can use and carry your card with confidence, knowing no one can pickpocket information or process fraudulent transactions.

Are there any other consumer protections in place?

Consumers are protected by the terms and conditions of your Member Card debit card PIN agreement, in addition to the Interac Zero Liability policy.

For your part, it is important that you:

  • Prevent others from using or accessing your card, by keeping it secure and within your control at all times.
  • Monitor your accounts and immediately report any suspicious activity.  Immediately report your card if it becomes lost or stolen.
  • Please refer to your Member Card debit card PIN Agreement for more information.