Woman on a laptop at desk with cat and a question mark

Well, since you asked...

If you have a question for us, we have an answer. To help you find the information you’re looking for more quickly, we compiled answers to the most common questions we receive about banking with Motive as a first point of reference. If your question is not addressed here, contact us.

On This Page:

About Motive CDIC Coverage Opening a Motive account Opening a Joint account Online banking Transfers RRSPs TFSAs Maintaining a Motive account

About Motive

I have an account at Motive™. Motive is a division of Canadian Western Bank. Can I do my banking at a CWB branch?

No, CWB branches do not have access to Motive accounts.

Where are you located?
As an online-only bank, we don't have physical branches. Motive staff are based in CWB’s corporate headquarters in Edmonton, Alberta and can be reached by phone or email.

CDIC Coverage

Is my deposit eligible for deposit insurance?

CDIC logo

As a Motive client, your chequing, savings and investments are eligible for deposit insurance through Canadian Western Bank, a member of Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation. In the case where a person has eligible deposits through Motive, the $100,000 coverage limit is applied to the aggregate eligible deposits of that person with Motive and CWB.

For a list of CWB and Motive deposit products that are eligible for CDIC insurance, please review the CWB Deposit Register.

CDIC's "Protecting Your Deposits" brochure further outlines the details of CDIC coverage, including the maximum coverage limitation.

How is my money protected?

Your chequing, savings and investments are eligible for deposit insurance through CDIC up to a maximum basic protection limit of $100,000 per customer with each separate CDIC member institution.

CDIC also provides protection for joint deposits up to a maximum of $100,000, over and above deposits held under your name only. The protection limit applies to deposits with the same joint owners, held at each member institution.

If you’re also a CWB client, it’s important to know that your deposits at CWB will be combined with your deposits at Motive when considering your maximum coverage limitation. 

If you want to know more about CDIC coverage, refer to their website and contact them directly for more information.

Opening a Motive account

What kind of account(s) can I open online?
Prospective Motive clients can open a Motive® Savvy Savings Account or a Motive® Cha-Ching Chequing Account.

What do I need to become a client?
To become a client, you'll need your personal details and a driver's license to complete the account opening process within minutes.

How long do I have to complete an application?
Don't worry, no need to rush. You can complete your application over multiple sessions or days, as the information you input saves automatically.
We'll prompt you to complete your application after 30 days.

What is my security question for?

Safety first! We use your security question as a way to verify it's you.

How do I find the email to resume my application?
You'll receive an email from us when you save your application - and you can use the link in that email to resume when you're ready. Please check your junk mail if you can't find the email (it's definitely not junk!).

Will I receive spam email if I provide my email address?

 No one likes to receive spam. That's why we'll only send you information in accordance with our  CWB Financial Group Privacy Statement.

Is my credit score affected by a credit check?
No, the check will show up as a "deposit inquiry" and will not impact your credit score.

How is my personal information used/shared?
The primary purpose for our collection and use of your personal information is so that we may deliver the products and services you request, and that are suited for your needs.  Please review our CWB Financial Group Privacy Statement for more information.

I am currently retired/unemployed/ a student, can I still open an account? What do I select as my current occupation?
Yes, we're happy to offer retirees, students and folks currently unemployed accounts at Motive.

How long does it take to hear from Motive if my application is under review?
Please call Motive Financial at 1 (877) 441-2249 or email [email protected] and we will be happy to help you complete your application.

The address on my Driver's License is not my current address, can I still use it to scan my ID and open an account?
Yes, you can still use your drivers license for the initial scene. You'll need to manually update your address once your ID has been scanned.

The ID scan did not work, what do I do now?
Don't worry, you can skip the ID scan and enter your information manually instead.

Can I open an account for my child?
All account holders MUST be 18 or older to open an account with Motive Financial.

Can I open an account if I file taxes in another Country (other than Canada)?
No, applicants must file their taxes in Canada.
I'm a Quebec resident. Can I bank with Motive?

Not at this time. Motive doesn't provide services in French, so we can’t offer our products or services to Quebec residents.

Motive clients can still have accounts while in Quebec though, through online banking, points of sale and ATM networks.

Do you offer US dollar accounts?

No. We don't currently offer US dollar accounts.

Can I open an account for my business or not-for-profit organization?

No, we currently only offer products and services for personal clients.

Can I open a trust account that names more than one beneficiary?

No, Motive can't accept multi-beneficiary trust accounts.

What if I need help with my application?

Contact us. We’ll walk you through the process and answer any questions you have.

What do I need to open a Motive Chequing, Savings or GIC account?

You'll need to fill out a Savings or Chequing application form. Visit our Investments page to select a GIC account that best fits your needs. Be sure to include your Social Insurance Number (SIN), address and occupation to confirm your identity.

How do I fund my new account?

Great news - you can fund your account right away! You'll have the option to fund your new Motive account through the following methods:


  • From your other bank - Sign into another bank or financial institution to transfer funds to your new account (funds may be held for 5 business days).
  • Interac® e-transfer - Sign into your new account and transfer funds instantly using email or a mobile phone.
  • From your CWB account - If you have an account with CWB, you can sign into it through online banking, and transfer funds instantly to your new Motive account.
  • By cheque


And if you're not ready to fund at this time you may simply choose to skip this step.

Whats my Social Insurance number (SIN) used for?

We use your SIN for income tax reporting on interest earned on your account. We also use your SIN to verify your identity by running an Equifax® deposit inquiry. Under The Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act, your deposit inquiry acts as a second piece of identification. To get this report, your SIN is used for accuracy in matching personal information.

When you apply for an account you can opt out of using your SIN for identification purposes. If opt out, Motive will obtain a deposit inquiry to verify your identify using other information in your application.

Without your SIN, the credit report may not be complete or accurate and may affect our decision to open your account.

Opening a Joint account

Can I open a joint account online?
Absolutely! You can open a joint account using our online application. A couple of notes about this:


  • To open a joint account using the online application, both applicants must be new to Motive.
  • If either you or your co-applicant is already a Motive client, please contact Motive for assistance.
  • Since you’ll be sharing one or more accounts with another person, we'll need to know a little about that person. During the application process we'll ask you for their first and last name, as well as their email address and mobile phone number. We’ll use this information to contact your co-applicant about this application, as per our CWB Financial Group Privacy Statement.
  • Joint accounts will be treated as individual accounts until your co-applicant has completed their application and been approved by Motive Financial. Until this happens, you will be solely responsible for these accounts.
What if my co-applicant is already a Motive client?
To open a joint account through our online application, both applicants must be new to Motive. If either of you are Motive clients, please contact Motive for assistance.
What if I'm already a Motive client, but my co-applicant isn't?
To open a joint account through our online application, both applicants must be new to Motive. If either of you are Motive clients, please contact Motive for assistance.

Online banking

I received a suspicious email about my account. What should I do?

If you've received an email asking you to provide your account numbers, passwords or any other personal information, it's fraudulent. Don't respond or click any of the links contained in the email.

We may from time to time send you email notices. We'll never send you requests to provide us with your account information or passwords via email. Be suspicious of links sent to you via email and always check that the URL is one you know to be correct.

If you're unsure about an email you've received, forward it to us at [email protected]

Find out more about security and protecting yourself online.

Can I pay bills online?

Yes, and it's easy and secure. Just set up the bill you want to pay through online banking, input the amount and select the date you want to pay the bill and the account you want to pay it from.


Can I transfer money between my Motive accounts?

Yes - all of your Motive accounts will automatically show up as transfer options underneath the Transfer feature in Motive Online Banking.
You can transfer money between your Motive accounts by selecting the account you would like to transfer the money from and to using the dropdown options under the Transfers tab.
Please note, transfers to your Motive Tax Free Savings Account must be set-up by one of our banking agents by phoning 1-877-441-2249.

How can I transfer funds to other financial institutions?
  • One-time transfers – link your Motive account to your account at another Canadian financial institution and transfer money between your accounts as you need to. Simply fill out the authorization form and fax, email, or mail it to us with a void cheque for the account you want to link. Once we have received your signed authorization form and verified your account details you will need to contact Motive and confirm the nominal transfers made into your linked bank accounts. Once confirmed, you can start transferring money to and from your linked bank accounts within Motive online banking.
  • Future date or recurring transfers – Reach your savings goals faster by setting up transfers between your Motive account and your account at another Canadian financial institution.
  • Interac e-Transfer – Transfer money to anyone with an account at a Canadian financial institution using their email and/or mobile phone number.
  • You can complete all one-time transfers to other banks or internal transfers using the Transfers feature in Motive online banking.
  • For transfers you want to take place in the future, use the future dated/recurring external bank transfers feature located underneath the Transfers tab.
Do the agreements to link my Motive account with my other bank accounts need more than one customer signature?
If your other financial institution account(s) you are wishing to link is a joint account, we will need the signatures of all account holders on your Me-to-Me Money Transfer Authorization or EFT agreement. For example, if you have a single account at Motive and you and your spouse have a joint account at the other financial institution you want to link, we will need both signatures on your agreement.
I've submitted my request. What's my confirmation number?

For future dated or recurring EFTs, you will receive an email confirmation sent to your email address on file.

One-time transfers will not generate confirmation emails.

How long until my transfer is processed?

One-time transfers

Typically, outgoing transfers are processed to your account the next business day but can take up to 3 business days depending on the time you process your transfer and the institution you are transferring to.

For incoming transfers, Your money will be deposited into your Motive account immediately. However, your money may be held for five (5) business days to ensure your other financial institution authorizes the transfer as per Motive hold funds policy. Your money may not come out of your account at the other financial institution for up to 3 business days.

Note: You must ensure that your linked bank account at the other financial institution has enough money in it. If you do not have enough money in your linked bank account, the transfer will be cancelled and you may be charged a service fee. Transferring money to and from your Motive accounts is free. However, you may incur a service charge from your other financial institution.

Future dated or recurring transfers

Typically, our EFT timeline is scheduled for two days (if the request is made within our operating hours from Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., MDT.). Processing details will be outlined in your confirmation email.

I would like to change/cancel a transfer – is it too late?

One-time transfers cannot be cancelled once they are submitted. Please ensure you confirm the details of your transfer before you submit. If you require the money in your Motive account, you can initiate another one-time transfer, selecting the account you're transferring from as the account that your previously transferred the money to.

Our banking agents may be able to adjust or cancel recurring or future dated transfers. If you need to make any changes, contact us toll-free at 1-877-441-2249 as soon as possible.

How many external bank accounts can I link to my Motive account?

You can link up to five (5) external Canadian financial institution accounts with your Motive account.

How can I remove a linked account?

One-time transfers and recurring/future dated transfers: Log in to online banking and go to Transfers in the left hand side navigation. Go to Link External Accounts and select the Delete link on the account you would like to remove. Please note this may take up to 3 business days to complete.

I have a broker account, can I link that account to my Motive account and do transfers?

Not at this time. We can only link your Motive account to chequing accounts at other financial institutions.

I applied for an account and sent a personalized deposit cheque. Do I still need to send a void personalized cheque to link my Motive account to an account at another financial institution?

No. If you want to link your Motive account to the account that your initial deposit came from you don’t need to include an additional VOID cheque with your agreement. We already have that cheque on file.


What types of RRSPs are available at Motive?

We offer both regular and spousal RRSPs.

Regular RRSPs are registered in the contributor's own name. The tax receipt issued for the RRSP is an allowable deduction on the contributor’s own tax return.

A spousal RRSP is purchased by the contributor but registered in the name of his or her spouse for the benefit of income splitting upon retirement. Income splitting means that the higher-earning spouse can make contributions to the lower-earning spouse’s RRSP to help equalize their income streams at retirement and save in income taxes. The spouse owns the plan, but the contributions made are an allowable deduction on the contributor’s tax return.

Who is eligible to invest in a Motive RRSP?

Canadian taxpayers of the age of majority in their province of residence, excluding residents of Quebec, with earned income are eligible to apply for a Motive RRSP up to the end of the year in which they turn 71.

How can I set up an RRSP at Motive?

To apply for an RRSP online at Motive, complete the RRSP online application form. You can also complete the Deposit Application for Retirement Savings Plan. Simply print, sign and mail your application to us  with:

  • A cheque for your first contribution, or
  • To transfer your RRSP from another financial institution, complete, sign and mail in page four of your application to Motive along with a recent RRSP statement.

Your application will be processed and a Personal Access Number/Client Card will be sent to you within five to seven business days of receipt at Motive. Your Motive RRSP GIC deposit and interest rate will be value dated for the date your completed application and funds are received at Motive.

How do I transfer my existing RRSP to Motive?

If you’re applying for a new RRSP at Motive:

If you’re transferring into your existing RRSP at Motive:

How can I make a contribution to my Motive RRSP?

Contributions can be made in any of the following ways:

For Motive RRSP GICs your deposit and interest rate will be value dated for the date we get your completed application and funds. A written confirmation will be sent to your mailing address within five to seven business days.

Can I contribute to my spouse's RRSP?

Yes. Using a spousal plan you can contribute to your spouse’s RRSP, however your combined total contributions to spousal and regular plans can’t exceed your contribution limit for the year.

Will I receive tax receipts and statements

For contributions made during the first 60 days of the year a tax receipt will be mailed to you in the third week of March.

A tax receipt for your remaining contributions made up to December 31 will be mailed to you in mid-February.

Annual statements as of December 31 will be mailed to you in mid-January.

How much can I contribute to my RRSP

The best way to find your exact contribution limit is to check your Notice of Assessment issued by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) or to call CRA’s “Tips Line” at 1-800-267-6999. You will need to have your birth date, social insurance number and previous year’s income ready when you call in.

The basic rule for calculating your contribution limit is 18% of your previous year’s earned income less pension adjustments to a maximum contribution limit for that year.

The maximum RRSP contribution limits are:

  • 2012 - $22,970
  • 2013 - $23,820
  • 2014 - $24,270
  • 2015 - $24,930
  • 2016 - $25,370
  • 2017 - $26,010
  • 2018 - $26,230
  • 2019 - $26,500
  • 2020 - $26,230

Unused contributions can be carried forward and added to the current year's contribution limit.

You can contribute to your RRSP until December 31 of the year you turn 71.
For more information on contribution limits and other RRSP information, please visit the CRA website.

What if I over-contribute to my RRSP?

CRA allows the option of over-contributing to a total, lifetime maximum of $2,000.
If you over contribute, CRA may charge a tax penalty on your excess contribution until the funds are withdrawn from the plan.

For more information on contribution limits and excess contributions, please visit the CRA website.

What is a withholding tax?

When you deregister, or withdraw, funds from your RRSP, those funds become earned income in the year they were withdrawn and are subject to taxation. CRA requires that Motive withhold tax upon deregistration of an RRSP. The withholding tax rate is determined by your province or country of residence at the time funds are withdrawn, not where the funds were deposited. For information on CRA’s withholding tax rates please visit their website.

What is the deadline for contributing my RRSP?

You can contribute to your RRSP anytime during the year. Any contributions made during the first 60 days of the calendar year are deductible in either the previous or current year’s tax return. If the 60th day falls on a weekend, the contribution deadline is extended to the following Monday.

The RRSP contribution deadline for the 2019 tax year is: March 2, 2020.


What is a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)?

A TFSA is a registered account that allows taxpayers to earn interest, investment income and capital gains tax-free. A TFSA can be a faster way to save for a family vacation, home renovation, your retirement, your children’s education or other needs such as a new car.

Who is eligible to open a TFSA at Motive?

Canadian residents (excluding residents of Quebec) of the age of majority in their province or territory of residence can open a Motive TFSA.

How is a TFSA different from an RRSP

Contribution – minimum age Age 18* None*
Contribution – maximum age None  71
2020 contribution room $6,000 for 2020, up to a maximum of $69,500 18% of earned income up from previous year, up to a maximum of $27,230
Carry-forward of unused contribution room Yes Yes
Over-contribution penalty 1% per month 1% per month
Tax-deduction for contributions No Yes
Taxation on withdrawals No Yes
Impact of withdrawals None** Taxed as income
*Motive products are only available to Canadian residents of the age of majority in their province of residence.
**Note: Amounts withdrawn in the current year cannot be re-contributed until the following calendar year.

How do I open a Motive TFSA

To apply for a TFSA online at Motive, complete the TFSA online application form or complete the Application for Tax-Free Savings Account, print, sign and mail it to us along with:

  • a cheque for your first contribution; or
  • to transfer your TFSA from another financial institution, complete, sign and mail page four of your application to Motive along with a recent TFSA statement.

Your application will be processed and a Personal Access Number/Client Card will be sent to you within five to seven business days of receipt at Motive. Motive TFSA deposits and interest rates will be value dated for the date the funds are received at Motive.

How much can I contribute? Are my contributions tax deductible?

The 2020 contribution limit for each individual is set at $6,000, up to a total contribution of $69,500.The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will track your contribution room. CRA reports this amount to individuals through the "My Account" function on the CRA website.

The contribution limit is indexed to inflation, meaning it will rise with the cost of living. TFSA contributions are not tax deductible nor is any interest on money borrowed to invest in a TFSA.


How do I make a contribution to my Motive TFSA?

Contributions can be made in any of the following 4 ways:

Motive TFSA deposits and interest rates will be value dated for the date the funds are received at Motive Financial. For Motive TFSA GICs, a deposit acknowledgement will be sent to your mailing address within 5 to 7 business days.

What happens if I over-contribute?

Similar to an RRSP, you will be charged an over-contribution penalty of 1% per month by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on your excess contribution amount. The maximum contribution room is set per person not per TFSA; for example, in 2020 the maximum contribution room for an individual was $6,000 regardless of how many TFSAs that individual opened.

If I am unable to contribute in a given year, can I use my unused contribution in a future year?

Yes. Any unused contribution room can be carried into future years indefinitely. Making regular monthly or periodic contributions to your TFSA is a great way to grow your savings and reduce the impact of one large lump-sum contribution.

If I am not earning income can I still make contributions to my TFSA?

Yes, if you are eligible, you will accumulate contribution room each year even if you have not earned income.

How do I withdraw funds from my Motive TFSA? Do I have to pay income tax on the amount I withdraw?

You can withdraw funds from your Motive TFSA in the following ways. You don’t have to pay tax on the amount you withdraw as it is not considered taxable income.

If I withdraw money from my TFSA, can I re-contribute the withdrawn amount later in the tax year?

No. Amounts withdrawn cannot be re-contributed until the following calendar year. For example, you contributed $5,000 to your TFSA in January 2011. In August the same year, you withdrew $2,000 to pay for a holiday. You cannot re-contribute that $2,000 in 2011. But in 2012 it will be added to your contribution room, meaning you could contribute up to $7,000.

Can I open a joint TFSA?

No. Similar to RRSPs, only individual TFSAs can be opened.

Can I contribute to my spouse or common-law partner's TFSA? If I give my spouse or common-law partner money for their TFSA who will get the income?

You can’t contribute directly to your spouse or common-law partner’s TFSA as you can with a spousal RRSP. You can give money to your spouse or common-law partner and they can then contribute to their own TFSA. As plan holder your spouse or common-law partner owns the TFSA and any investment income and/or capital gains in the account.

Will a TFSA affect my federal income-tested benefits?

A TFSA will not affect eligibility for federal income-tested benefits such as the Canadian Child Tax Benefit, the Goods & Services Tax Credit, Old Age Security benefits or Employment Insurance benefits.

What happens to my TFSA when I die?

You can appoint your spouse or common-law partner as the successor holder or sole beneficiary of your TFSA. That means that upon death, the surviving spouse or common-law partner takes the TFSA as the successor holder. They can then continue with the TFSA or transfer it to another TFSA held by the successor holder without tax consequences. There’s no impact on the successor’s existing contribution room.

If your spouse or common-law partner is not named in your TFSA but is entitled under your will to the amounts paid under your TFSA or is the sole beneficiary of your estate, the spouse or common-law partner becomes your survivor for the TFSA and may transfer the TFSA to another TFSA held by the survivor without impact on the survivor’s existing TFSA contribution room for a period of up to one calendar year following the year of death.

If your spouse or common-law partner is not appointed as successor holder, upon death your TFSA account will be terminated and assets paid to the named beneficiaries. The payment will not impact the beneficiaries’ TFSA contribution room but the proceeds cannot be contributed directly to a TFSA. If the beneficiaries want to contribute any funds in the future to their own TFSA, it will be subject to their contribution room. Your spouse, minors or charitable organizations can be named as beneficiaries.

Note: The validity of a designation of a successor holder or beneficiary is subject to the laws of the jurisdiction where you reside permitting designation made otherwise than by way of a will.

Will I receive deposit acknowledgements and statements for my TFSA?

For Motive TFSA GICs, deposit acknowledgements will be sent to you by mail 5-7 business days from receipt of funds at Motive.

Annual statements as of December 31 will be mailed to you in mid-January.

Where can I get more information on TFSAs?

For more information on TFSAs, please visit the CRA website.

Maintaining a Motive account

When can I start using my new account?
Great news! You can start using your new account immediately after opening. You'll receive a link when you've successfully completed the onboarding process, and an email will be sent to you, too. Log-in via Motive's online banking with  your PAN and password (PAC).

How can I access my new account?
You'll receive a link when you've successfully complete the onboarding process. You'll get an email too!

Can I change my security question/answer? How?
Yes, please call Motive Financial at 1 (877) 441-2249 to update your security information.
I'm an existing client and want to open another account. Do I need to fill out another online application form?

No. To open another account, log in to online banking and select "Open an Account." Select the product you want to apply for and follow the instructions provided.

How do I add a joint account holder to my account?

Fill out the Add a Joint Account Holder form. Print the completed form and mail it to us. Send your form with a personalized cheque in the name of the joint applicant from an account at another Canadian financial institution, made payable to themselves for any amount. Don't mark the cheque VOID because it will be used as your first deposit.

The joint holder's application will be processed and the funds deposited into the account within two business days of when we get it.

Are there holds on my account?

Yes. We may need to hold your deposit up to a maximum of 7 business days to make sure it has cleared through the appropriate financial institution and the funds are available. Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) transactions may be held for up to 5 business days. Once the hold is lifted, your funds are fully accessible through online banking and ATM machines.

Don't worry. While your money may not immediately be withdrawn or moved, your deposit will begin to earn interest from the day it is deposited into your Motive account, so you won't lose any interest waiting for a deposited cheque to clear.

Learn more about our holds funds policy.

My Motive GIC is coming up for renewal. What do I do?

A maturity notice will be mailed to you approximately one month prior to your Motive GIC renewal date. The maturity notice advises you of:

  • The term maturity date; and
  • That your GIC will mature and renew/roll over at the posted rate for the date the term is specified to renew.

If we haven't received instructions from you on or before the maturity date, the amount deposited, together with the accrued and unpaid simple interest, will be automatically renewed for the same term. The renewed deposit will pay simple interest at our then posted rate of interest for that term. The renewed deposit will be subject to the same terms and conditions as the original deposit.

To provide us with your GIC maturity instructions or to find out more about your options, email us or call 1-877-441-2249.

When will I get my T5 slip?

T5 slips are mailed annually by February 28, in accordance with the Income Tax Act.

How do I order cheques for my new Motive Chequing account?

When you open a Motive Chequing account, we will include the personal cheque order form in your welcome email. You can also contact us to request the form by fax or email.

How do I re-order cheques?

If you’ve run out of cheques you can re-order through us or directly through Davis+Henderson® by calling 1.877.448.1294 or using ChequeCentral.

Is Overdraft Protection right for me?

Overdraft protection is a convenient and affordable way to protect against unexpected, temporary cash shortages. With it, you have the peace of mind knowing you can avoid the cost and inconvenience of having an item returned Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF).

You may qualify for an overdraft protection limit of up to $3,000. There are no service charges, interest or payments until you actually use your overdraft. If you do go into overdraft, you will need to deposit either the minimum required payment we disclose to you or bring your account balance back up to zero.