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Interac Association is a Canadian organization linking enterprises that have proprietary networks so that they may communicate with each other for the purpose of exchanging electronic financial transactions. The Association was founded in 1984 by five financial institutions. As of May, 2003 there are over 110 member organizations and membership continues to expand.
Interac Association is the organization responsible for the development of a national network of two shared electronic financial services:
- Shared Cash Dispensing (SCD): cash withdrawals from any ABM not belonging to a cardholder's financial institution. This is a similar, but Canada-specific service, to international systems like Plus or Cirrus. Virtually every ABM in Canada is on the Interac system.
- Interac Direct Payment (IDP): Canada's national debit service for purchasing of goods and services. Customers enter their personal identification number (PIN) and the amount paid is deducted from either their chequing or savings accounts. Since its national launch in 1994, Interac Direct Payment has become so widespread that, since 2001, more transactions in Canada were completed using debit cards than cash. Beginning in 2004, IDP purchases could also be made in the United States at merchants on the NYCE network. IDP is similar in nature to the EFTPOS systems in use in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.
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