Interac says it has temporarily taken its e-Transfer service off-line to address an "internal technical issue" that has caused service disruptions for a number of customers trying to transfer money online.
"Financial institutions will not be able to process any transactions while we have the system off-line, nor will consumers be able to send or receive any Interac e-Transfer transactions," Interac spokesperson Colleen Harasymchuk said.
"The system and data remains secure," she added.
The email money transfer service ferries funds between personal and business accounts at participating banks as well as other financial institutions.
The company first announced the problem Thursday evening via Twitter, saying the service was unavailable and that teams were working to resolve the issue.
Interac announced about an hour later that the service had been restored, but then followed up with another tweet several hours after that saying that it was continuing to experience a problem.
By Friday morning, many people were reporting they weren't able to use the service through several Canadian banks, including Scotiabank, BMO, CIBC, TD Bank and RBC.
Several customers took to Twitter in search of answers, with some saying they were unable to pay their rent for the next month.
Any eta for a resolution? Waiting to pay my rent.— @labradorookpik
Perfect timing when were all trying to send rent to our Landlords.— @jazzjcook
this is so frustrating. I need this to work to have money for food. I wonder if there are any other ways of receiving money better....— @MakoDalin
do you guys care to explain exactly what the issue was? considering this is the one day where everyone is tryna pay rent/bills w ur service— @Mhamilton69
In April, Interac said that Canadians made more than 158 million e-Transfers last year — up more than 50 per cent from 2015 — with a total value of more than $63 billion.
Interac said that usually 65 per cent of transfer notifications are received "instantly." Almost 70 per cent are received on a mobile device.
On Friday, Interac said its other products and services were unaffected by the technical issues.