Frequently Asked Questions

We are here for you - Member FAQs

We recognize uncertainty can be difficult. Here are some Frequently Asked Questions to provide you with some answers during this uncertain time.

What is Alterna doing to protect its members and staff from COVID-19? Expand/Collapse

The safety and wellbeing of our members and staff has always been our top priority. That is why we continue to have increased cleaning services to our branches, ABM machines, and offices, and our staff have easy access to sanitizers and disinfectant.  Anyone entering our branches is  required to wear  masks in accordance with public health guidelines and for  safety of our members, customers and staff. . We have installed plexiglass barriers throughout our branches, in order to provide an  enhanced level of protection when serving our members.

Our branches are open, and members are welcome to visit for their banking needs. By heeding the social distancing advice of our health officials, you can do your part. Allow for space between yourself, other members, and staff when visiting in person. Staff are encouraged to follow effective hygiene strategies like discouraging handshaking and encouraging frequent handwashing as directed by public health authorities. If you prefer, phone or virtual appointments are also available.

Online, mobile, or telephone banking are always available and are a safe, contact-free way  to complete your day-to-day banking.

How can I find a branch near me? Expand/Collapse

To locate the nearest available branch, you can use our Branch/ATM Finder.

Branch hours will be:

  • Monday – Friday from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm.
  • Saturday from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm.

What if I need cash? Expand/Collapse

Alterna members have access to the largest surcharge-free ATM network in Canada through THE EXCHANGE® Network, with over 3,700 ATMs to serve them. Find the one closest to you.

I’m not comfortable going into the branch, what can I do? Expand/Collapse

Your banking can be done anywhere and at anytime by using our

  • Online Banking service accessible through,
  • Mobile Banking App available for download through the Apple IOS App Store or the Google Play Store, and
  • Telephone Banking accessible by calling 1-877-560-0100 and press 2

These services allow you to:

  • Check balances
  • Pay bills
  • Send money (mobile and online only)
  • Transfer funds between accounts
  • Deposit cheques (mobile only)
  • Find the nearest Alterna or Exchange Network ABM (mobile and online only)

Not set-up for online or mobile banking? Give us a call at 1-877-560-0100 and we can help set you up.

For information and tips please refer to our Online Banking Demos.

How can I stay up to date on what’s happening? Expand/Collapse

For further Alterna updates on COVID-19 please click here. We’re constantly monitoring developments during this global health situation and will continue to update impacts to your banking experience and ways that we can help support you as the situation evolves.

Our main concern is the health and safety of our members and employees and we are working to ensure that our services continue while supporting your need for safety.

Should we need to contact you, we encourage you to update your contact information by logging into online banking, calling 1-877-560-0100 or by sending an email to

What are your Contact Centre hours? Expand/Collapse

New Contact Centre hours to better serve you are:

Monday to Friday           8:00am - 6:00pm EST
Saturday and Sunday    9:30am - 4:00pm EST

CRA Direct Deposit FAQs

What’s the benefit of enrolling for Direct Deposit with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)? Expand/Collapse

If you’re receiving payments from the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or other CRA benefits, signing up for direct deposit ensures that you’ll receive payments faster than traditional mail.

How do I set up Direct Deposit through Alterna Savings? Expand/Collapse

It’s easy! If you’re registered for Online Banking, simply log in and click “Setup CRA Direct Deposit” on the sidebar navigation. Click “Next” to proceed to the next page. Choose the account that you’d like the deposit to go into, and enter the personal information requested, including your first name, last name, date of birth, and Social Insurance Number, and accept the Terms & Conditions. A confirmation message will display that your enrolment is complete.

Important: You will need to login to your “CRA – My Account” the following business day to confirm that your direct deposit has been successfully set up.

Why do I need to provide my Social Insurance Number (SIN)? Expand/Collapse

Social Insurance Numbers provide a unique identifier for every Canadian with the CRA. Providing your SIN number ensures the payment is made to the right person.

How long will it take for my account information to get to CRA? Expand/Collapse

Account information will be processed after a minimum of one business day. You may login to your “CRA – My Account” the following business day to confirm that your direct deposit has been successfully set up.

I’m already registered for Direct Deposit through the CRA. Do I need to set it up again? Expand/Collapse

If you’ve been using Direct Deposit through the CRA, you don’t need to sign up again. The most recent enrolment you have made will become the account on file with the CRA.

I’m currently signed up for direct deposit with another financial institution. Can I sign up to receive my direct deposits with Alterna Savings? Expand/Collapse

Yes, you will need to complete the online enrolment with Alterna Savings, and CRA will update your payment information accordingly. You may only have one account, at one financial institution registered with the CRA.

How do I know if I’m eligible to set up Direct Deposit with the CRA? Expand/Collapse

If you’ve previously filed a tax return with the Canada Revenue Agency, you are eligible to set up a Direct Deposit.

Is this enrolment option available for Business or Non-Profit members? Expand/Collapse

This tool is only available for personal members who are looking to receive the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

Can I use this service to receive other types of payments such as tax refunds, GST/HST credits or child benefit payments? Expand/Collapse

Yes. Any credit coming from the Canada Revenue Agency will be deposited to your account. For more information, please refer to the Canada Revenue Agency Direct Deposit website.

Who do I call if I don’t get my payment when expected? Expand/Collapse

As payments are administered through the Canada Revenue Agency, you will need to login to your “CRA – My Account” to ensure the information you have provided is accurate. You may call the CRA directly to inquire about your payment.

How do I get more information on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)? Expand/Collapse

Current information on the benefit can be found at the Government of Canada’s website.

Do you still have a question? Please call our Contact Centre at 1.877.560.0100.

What is the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)? Expand/Collapse

The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) provides income support to post-secondary students who experience financial hardship over the summer due to COVID-19.

I checked My Account on the CRA website for direct deposit and the connection to Alterna didn’t work. Why could that happen? Expand/Collapse

The legal name for members with CRA must match the name on the Alterna account or the connection to the CRA direct deposit system will not work.

Is there going to be a link to the CRA Direct Deposit service through the Alterna mobile app? Expand/Collapse

At this time, the link to the CRA Direct Deposit is not available through the Alterna mobile app. However, it is available through the desktop version or mobile web version. There is no in-person method for this process.

Business Relief FAQs

What is the EDC Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) Guarantee? Expand/Collapse

The EDC Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) Guarantee is an EDC-guaranteed business loan to help Canadian businesses impacted by COVID-19. Eligible applicants can access up to $6.25 million CAD in short-term liquidity to cover expenses which are critical to business continuity such as rent, payroll and other operational costs.

The EDC Program features:

  • Fixed 80% EDC guarantee for 1 year, with potential to renew for another 5 year.
  • Loan is repayable in full on the 12-month anniversary.
  • EDC guarantee fee of 1.8% on the authorized loan amount.
  • 6-month EDC Guarantee fee payment deferral.
  • For more details on the program, eligibility and application process, business members can contact their Alterna Account Manager.

Is the EDC BCAP Guarantee only available to export-oriented businesses? Expand/Collapse

No. The EDC BCAP Guarantee will also be available to non-export, domestic businesses.

What is the eligibility criteria? Expand/Collapse

To qualify for an EDC BCAP, the member must:

Apply for a new cash flow term loan up to $6.25million CAD to finance short-term operations in response to COVID-19.

The member must NOT be an:

  • Entity whose principal activities include the manufacturing, sale, distribution of arms, armaments, ammunition and/or related products.
  • Entity that promote violence, incite hatred or discriminate on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.
  • Entitity that operate any form of sexually exploitive business.
  • Entity operating rent-to-own firms, pay day loan or other similar quasi-financial institutions
  • For more details on the program, eligibility and application process, business members can contact their Alterna Account Manager.