Bank Machines and Interac

Almost all branches of banks have bank machines. You will also see bank machines in some dépanneurs (convenience stores), restaurants, bars, and metro stations around the city. They are very convenient to withdraw (take out) cash, make deposits (put money in your account) and pay some bills (phone, hydro or credit card), 24 hours a day.

You can get a card from your bank, when you get an account. When you get your card, you get a PIN (personal identification number), which is a secret number you need to use your card. Don’t tell anyone your PIN, and don’t carry it with your card. You have to memorize it.


Recently there have been cases of dishonest businesses making copies of people’s debit cards.

1) Cover your hand when you put in your secret PIN number. Sometimes there are cameras that are watching your hand.

2) Make sure you always see your card when you give it to a person in a store.

3) If the person swipes the card two times on different machines, that may mean there is a problem.

4) On bank machines, check to make sure there isn’t an extra black extension over the card slot.

5) Check your bank account regularly, and if you notice something strange or lose your card, call your bank immediately.

You can use any machine from any bank if it has the symbol Interac on it. Most Canadian bank machines are on the Interac network. However, you must pay a service charge (usually 50¢ to $1.50) if you use a machine from a different bank, or a public ATM.

You can also use your bank card to buy things. In many stores that have an Interac sign, you can pay directly from your bank account at the cashier. It is convenient when you don’t want to carry a lot of cash with you. There are also service charges for debit cards from some banks. Ask your bank if there are fees for debit card transactions. They may be included in the transactions you pay for every month.

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