RBC to offer free Interac e-Transfers

Experts say it’s likely that other banks will follow suit

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If you’re one of those people who regularly use e-Transfer payments—from splitting restaurant bills with friends to reimbursing your sister for buying mom that great Mother’s Day gift—then you know that the fee can be up to $1.25 per transaction.  The good news is that RBC is the first bank in Canada to make it more cost effective for clients to send money by offering unlimited, free Interac e-Transfer payments from personal chequing accounts.

But while there may be something in it for you, RBC will also benefit from the change—and other banks may likely follow suit. That’s because paper cheques are costly to process, inefficient, as well as a magnet for fraud and theft. “I think the banks have a self-serving motivation here,” says Norm Rothery, MoneySense columnist, certified financial analyst and owner of stingyinvestor.com. “They’d like to save some money from processing paper cheques but e-Transfers between chequing accounts also reduces fraud for them–an area where banks lose revenue.”

But for now, what’s good for the bank’s bottom line is good for yours, too. After all, more money in your pocket is always a good thing.

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