I have bank accounts with TD Canada Trust and I occasionally need to add a “personal payee”. One used to need to call them in order to do this, but now it appears that you can do this yourself using online banking as long as you know how. This might save you some effort, especially if you dislike banking over the phone.

Adding a Personal Payee

These instructions were correct as of August 2018.

  1. Ask your intended recipient for their TD Canada Trust banking information: transit number and account number.
  2. Log in to TD Canada Trust online banking.
  3. Under “Pay Bills”, look for “Pay Canadian Bills” and then select “Add Payee”.
  4. Choose the right Access Card, in case like me, you have both personal and business access cards.
  5. Search for a “Payee Name” of “personal payee”. This means that you’re adding an individual instead of a known vendor/company like your mobile phone provider. (I know; what a hack!)
  6. Don’t be put off by the menacing-looking “Account Number” field. I’ve explained how to format the account number below.
  7. Enter a human-friendly name in the “My Payee Name” field.
  8. Press “Next”, then confirm what you’ve entered and save it.

Now you can check the list of payees for the one that you’ve just added. If you see a mistake, then press “Edit” to fix it. Now you can send this person money overnight and not pay Interac e-mail Transfer fees.

Formatting the Account Number

Your recipient will probably give you the following information:

  • Account Holder Name: Arbitrary Human
  • Transit Number: 12345
  • Institution Number: 004
  • Account Number: 9876543
  1. Use the Institution Number unchanged as the “Bank Code”. It’s 004 because that represents TD Canada Trust.
  2. Drop the last digit of the Transit Number and add a 0 to the front, so in this example, that becomes 01234.
  3. Use the Account Number unchanged.
  4. Pick a “nickname”, which is up to 5 characters long and must start with a letter. Choose only letters and numbers. I chose HUMAN for this example.

Now put these four bits of text together and your personal payee “Account Number” is 004012349876543HUMAN.

If your recipient gives you an 11-digit account number, then use only the last 7 digits. For example, 0667 refers to a small business bank account (or at least it once did).

Why Not Just Use Interac E-mail Transfer?

I like Interac e-mail transfers in some ways, but a TD Canada Trust personal payee offers a few advantages:

  • No need to use a password with the transfer, since some people manage to stumble with passwords, especially if you send them money more than once.
  • No extra fees to pay nor to keep track of. I care more about the cost of the record-keeping than the cost of the transfer itself.
  • Higher transaction limits. I can send CAD 5000 per day with no limit over a 7-day nor 3-day period.

Of course, if you know something that I don’t about TD Canada Trust direct transfers and you want to share it with me, then contact me through the various means on this page, because I’d prefer not know than not to know.