When we first opened our No Fee chequing account at PC Financial, we filled out paperwork to link the account to one of our chequing accounts at a Big Canadian Bank. Later, I found out that only the Principal Account Holder could see this electronic link and use it! I was told that to link the account to another bank would require mailing in some more forms, so I didn’t bother. Fast forward to December 2015 and the PC Financial website has gone through a major upgrade. Today I noticed that there may be a new easier way to link our PC Financial No Fee chequing account to our chequing account at yet another Big 5 Bank, so I decided to try it out…and I discovered a “downer.”
What Do I Need to Know Before I Start Trying to Link Bank Accounts for Transfers?
Before I started I made sure for the existing bank account at a Big Bank I had handy
- the institution number / bank number
- the transit number and
- the account number
for that chequing account.
This info is usually encoded on your cheques for a chequing account but you may have to phone and ask your bank for it for a savings only account.
(You can read how to get the three numbers from your cheque in my article on How to Find Your Bank Number which is part of How to Connect a Tangerine Account.)
What Accounts Can Be Linked to Your PC Financial Account?
You can NOT link
- business accounts
- accounts which require more than one signature to complete a transaction, which are usually high security accounts for things like schools and businesses
- non-Canadian bank accounts
- Canadian bank accounts which are not denominated in Canadian dollars, such as US dollar accounts
to your PCF account.
Only your own personal accounts, for which both accounts have the exact same owner’s name, can be linked. The account has to be at a Canadian bank and in Canadian dollars.
What Downer Did I Discover
Only after I started the online process for linking the accounts did the sad truth come out: PC Financial still requires me to mail something in. Not a huge form, printed at my own expense, anymore. But I still have to mail in a VOID cheque for the account I want to link to or one of those bank-stamped paper letters describing the account. Rats.
Which Is Better for Linking Bank Accounts: Tangerine or PC Financial?
So Tangerine is still better than PC Financial for linking accounts.
At Tangerine all of the required steps can be completed online without mailing anything anywhere. I even make a few cents when Tangerine tests the link by sending small sums to my other bank account.
With PC Financial I have to pay for a stamp ($1 if bought individually), an envelope, and wasting a cheque or waste time lining up at my bank to get a “bank-stamped” authorization letter instead. And I have to wait for the letter to be received by CIBC and processed before the linkage is completed.
Adding an Electronic Link to Push and Pull Money from Our Big Bank Account to Our PC Financial Account
- Sign on to your PC Financial account/s.
- From the list of links down the left side of the screen, click on Transfers.
- A new list opens underneath it. Click on the link: Add Accounts
Add Accounts Terms and Conditions Page
The first screen asks you to read the agreement before “adding your account from another financial institution to your account list in ‘online banking’ for bank-to-bank transfers.”
The terms are those for a pre-authorized debit or P.A.D. agreement. If you’re not sure what you are agreeing to, phone PC Financial and discuss it BEFORE you agree to it!
- If it makes sense and you can accept the rules, in the “Do you accept the Terms and Conditions above”” text box type your password for online banking.
- Click on the Continue button.
Add Accounts Step 1 Page
Read the information on the screen, especially about how to determine your Bank Number.
Uh oh. Bad news. You must mail in
- a cheque from the other bank account with void written on it or
- a “customized account confirmation form” with your name printed on it by the bank and stamped by the other bank
to finish linking the accounts.
You must have opened both accounts with the exact same name, too. I guess this is to avoid someone linking to their relative’s account who has a similar name?
In the text boxes, type your
- Transit Number
- Bank Number
- Account Number
then click on the continue button.
Add Accounts Verification Window
A window will popup with your bank branch’s name and address. If it is correct click on the Confirm button.
Add Accounts Step 2 Page
Now for the non-electronic part.
Get an envelope and a stamp. Sigh.
- Get a cheque for the account you are trying to link up.
- The cheque must be pre-printed with your name and account number.
- Write VOID across the cheque.
- On the memo line, write “add account” and your customer number. They will tell you your customer number on the screen. Your customer number is NOT your PC Financial card number. It’s the number they display when they say “welcome” when you first sign in to your online banking.
- you’ll have to get a “customized account confirmation form” from your other financial institution.
- It has to be an original, not a photocopy.
- It has to be stamped with the bank’s stamp.
- It must include your name, bank number, account number and transit number.
Mail your cheque or confirmation form to
President’s Choice Financial Services
P.O. Box 603, Stn. Agincourt
Scarborough, ON, M1S 5K9
(This address is posted on the website on Dec 18 2015. Please ensure it is still correct before mailing anything!)
And now you wait.
How Long Will It Take to Link My Bank Accounts?
PC Financial estimates it will take several business days.
I bet the clock doesn’t start ticking, though, until after you put that letter in the mail. Then you have to wait while Canada Post does it thing. Then someone at PC Financial will have to open the letter and handle the documentation.
They don’t send you an email when the account is linked. You have to keep checking your account list till it appears.
I’ll track how long it takes for my account to be linked and report it when it happens.
UPDATE: Well as of December 24 my accounts are linked. I mailed the letter in a big red Canada Post mailbox on Saturday December 19. So it took only 4 business days, after I mailed the letter, to complete the link. That’s actually pretty good!
How Do I Rate the Linking Process?
I’d say C minus. There is nothing automated or online about this linking process. Although you can type in the account number, transit and bank number, the exact same info has to be mailed to PC Financial before anything happens. I had hoped for an automated process like Tangerine’s but I guess I’ll have to keep waiting.
- How to Connect a Tangerine Account to a Bank Account at Another Big Bank for Transfers
- Do You Transfer Your Money to Get the Best Interest Rate?
Have you linked your PC Financial account to another bank? Was it handled quickly and efficiently? Please share your experience with a comment.