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Gold Country Hoodoos near Cache Creek - Don Weixl/TOTA
Bank hours are generally from 9:00-10:00 a.m. to 5:00-6:00 p.m. Monday to Friday (even later in larger cities) with many establishments now open on Saturdays. Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are found at and alongside banks and in retail areas, gas stations and some bars and restaurants. Surcharges for most ATMs range from $1 to $3CDN.
The monetary system in Canada is based on dollars and cents, though cents (pennies) have generally been phased out and goods and services are rounded up or down accordingly. To avoid problems, visitors are urged to convert their cash to Canadian dollars at a bank or a currency exchange outlet/service where they will receive the going rate of exchange. Fees applied will vary according to the bank or establishment. While some Canadian businesses have declined cash payments since the COVID-19 pandemic the Bank of Canada “strongly advocates that retailers continue to accept cash”.
Visa, MasterCard and American Express credit cards are widely accepted in Canada. ATMs showing the Interac (yellow and black) logo will accept major bank debit cards. (Interac is a Canadian interbank system that links financial institutions and other enterprises for the purpose of exchanging electronic financial transactions; it serves as Canada’s debit card system).
Chip-and-PIN authentication technology is used throughout Canada for a higher degree of security. Since COVID-19 more Canadian businesses have introduced the technology for a safer ‘no-touch’ method of payment, though some machines will default to the user having to key in the secure PIN for the card.
Another popular secure method of payment in the country is via Interac e-Transfer in which money can be sent or received via email or a mobile phone number. This can be done online through mobile banking or from a banking app. The technology is currently in use at over 250 financial institutions in Canada.