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Last updated on 8th Feb 2018
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Considering that we’re currently living in an age in which everything seems to be incredibly interconnected, it’s fairly strange to see a service that’s catering to just a few millions of customers. However, that’s exactly what Instadebit is – a service that’s currently limiting itself to just a single country, Canada.
What if you’re living in Canada, however? Is the service worth a closer look in that case? Well, we definitely think that it is – but you should read on to find out more about it.
Instadebit is a fairly small Canadian company that’s trying to make online payments easier than ever by providing an alternative to credit cards. Although their chosen method isn’t incredibly innovative, it allows you to pay merchants directly from your personal bank account without you having to carry any cards around.
The company’s offices can be found in Toronto.
How It Works
Although we have to admit that we’ve already seen a few services that are slightly easier to use, we can’t really criticize Instadebit for how it works. In fact, once you get the hang of it, paying with Instadebit will always be just a matter of a few clicks.
First, you need to make an Instadebit account by filling in a few credentials, including your date of birth and the last four digits of your Social Insurance Number, and entering your bank account details. Once you get that done, you can start using Instadebit straight away by choosing it as your preferred payment method at your chosen merchant or online casino.
Payments are instantaneous, so there will never be any delays to prevent you from using your ordered products, which is yet another reason for which you might prefer Instadebit over regular bank transfers. And how much does it all cost? Well, you’ll be able to make an account for free, but making a payment to a merchant will always cost you a small fixed fee.
Please note that Instadebit will send a small amount of money to your bank account once you make your Instadebit one. Once it arrives, you’ll just confirm that you’ve received it – after this verification, you’ll be able to use Instadebit even for larger transactions.
Instadebit isn’t an online wallet per se, so you can’t really compare it with those services as far as additional features are concerned. That said, Instadebit isn’t a completely bare-bones service either. For example, it does allow merchants to issue refunds back to your Instadebit account, which means that you’ll never have to give a merchant your bank account details just to get a refund.
Additionally, it’s very easy to log into one’s account and check the transaction history or request a withdrawal of all refunds (for a small fixed fee).
Privacy and Security
If you’re looking for a service that would make your transactions more anonymous, you should probably look elsewhere, as Instadebit just isn’t anywhere near prepaid cards in the privacy department. However, some of you will certainly appreciate the fact that all the transactions that you make through Instadebit will be shown under that very name on your bank statement. It’s a small detail, of course, but one that could come in handy in a number of situations.
With this in mind, how well is Instadebit performing on the security front? Well, we do have some very good news for you here, as Instadebit is one of the safest services around. First of all, your banking details will never be shared with the merchant you’re sending money to. Secondly, the fact that you need to enter a few digits of your Social Insurance Number means that it’s nearly impossible for anyone to abuse your account. Thirdly, Instadebit is working directly with the supported banks and financial institutions, so that pretty much guarantees its trustworthiness. Finally, Instadebit are always keeping their security protocols updated, so there’s nothing to worry about in that particular department either.
The biggest gripe that we have with Instadebit is that it currently isn’t available outside Canada. And no, we aren’t talking about it being limited to customers that have an account at one of the bigger Canadian banks. We’re talking about you needing to be a resident of Canada in order to be able to use the service. On one hand, this allows Instadebit to be much more secure than most of the other similar services. On the other hand, it also means that the service is completely useless for the vast majority of us.
The aforementioned security also goes both ways. Many of you will naturally be happy about the transactions being as secure as they could possible be – however, we’re sure that some of you won’t be too happy about sharing so much data (like the digits of your Social Insurance Number) with a service that doesn’t have all that many additional features you could take advantage of.
And we could actually expand that point even further, as Instadebit will ask you for personal documents just to change your account information. At that point, you’ll probably find it easier to simply make an account elsewhere.
Finally, we also feel the need to inform you that your Instadebit payments won’t be treated in the same way as your credit card payments, so they won’t count for any of the various loyalty programs that you might be taking advantage of. Refunds could also take longer and be harder to achieve, as none of the usual credit card guarantees apply when paying with Instadebit.
If you’re a Canadian resident, you should definitely give Instadebit a go – chances are that you’ll fall in love with it right after your first transaction. There are plenty of similar services floating around, but Instadebit is the best of them all as far as we are concerned. For example, its security features are virtually unparalleled. However, if you don’t currently live in Canada, you can simply forget about it for now.