Interac acquires “key employees,” exclusive Canadian rights to payments personalizer Vouchr

Vouchr allows users to attach personalized multimedia notifications to money transfers.

Canadian payment services provider Interac has acquired the exclusive rights to use Toronto-based Vouchr’s payments personalization platform in Canada.

Interac said it invests into the Canadian FinTech ecosystem “to create a more accessible and secure digital economy.”  

An Interac spokesperson also told BetaKit that Interac has brought in several key Vouchr employees to integrate the technology as part of the deal. According to Vouchr co-founder and CEO Robert Balahura’s LinkedIn profile, he now holds a position in Interac’s product team to further develop the Vouchr platform. Balahura told BetaKit that Vouchr will continue its operations in the United States and internationally. 

“The company is still founder-led, but we are actively evaluating all options to advance our strategic goals,” Balahura said.

Interac said it intends to use the Vouchr platform to integrate personalized notifications, rewards, and merchant offerings for its product suite, including its e-transfer service. Vouchr says it aims to integrate “surprise, delight, and engagement” into everyday transactions.

“As Canadians show increased preference for digital-first experiences, this transaction will allow us to boost engagement on the platform while making transactions a more personalized extension of daily life,” Interac’s head of product for e-transfer, Anurag Kar, said in a statement. “Interac e-transfer users will be able to receive customized notifications, and send meaningful messages that feature eCards, videos, and GIFs embedded within the notification.”

Interac said the integration will also enable businesses in Canada to deliver company branded Interac e-transfer notifications to employees, customers, and suppliers. Interac claims usage of its e-transfer service has climbed over the past year to reach a record of 1.2 billion facilitated transactions, with payments to, from, or between businesses in Canada accounting for approximately 23 percent of that. 

RELATED: Wealthsimple to join Interac e-transfer system under expanded access guidelines 

BetaKit covered Vouchr’s launch back in 2012, where it secured $620,000 in seed funding for its peer-to-peer local recommendations service that allowed friends to pay for and pass along coupons to their favourite places. The company eventually pivoted to make money transfers an interactive experience by attaching eCards, GIFs, and videos, among other elements . 

The startup was the only Canadian company among the nine finalists at VentureClash in 2017, where it took home a $1-million USD prize. Vouchr later joined the Wells Fargo Startup Accelerator in early 2019 to help scale its platform globally. 

Interac said the acquisition is a continuation of its investment in the Canadian FinTech ecosystem “to create a more accessible and secure digital economy.”  Interac acquired Ottawa-based digital identity firm 2Keys in 2019 and the exclusive Canadian rights to Toronto-based authentication company SecureKey in 2021. Similar to Vouchr, SecureKey continued to operate its international business independently following the deal.

Toronto-based FinTech startup Wealthsimple secured provisional approval to join Interac’s e-transfer service last September, becoming the first participant under expanded access guidelines. At the time, Interac president and CEO Jeremy Wilmot, who took over the company last year, said that financial services were evolving, and that Interac was extending its platform to new organizations so consumers and businesses could carry out transactions in new ways. 

UPDATE (04/24/2024): This story was updated with additional commentary from Vouchr CEO Robert Balahura and context from Interac’s 2021 deal with SecureKey.

Disclosure: BetaKit Editor-in-Chief Douglas Soltys previously worked at Vouchr from 2012 to 2013.

Feature image courtesy Afif Ramdhasuma via Unsplash.

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl is a staff writer and newsletter curator at BetaKit with a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University. He's interested in tech, gaming, and sports. You can find out more about him at or @RiehlAlex99 on Twitter.

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