Interac is popular in Canada. And if you live in Canada, you know that that’s a huge understatement. The Canadian POS Corporation Blog has not only covered this phenomena extensively but it’s also covered the ongoing debate in our country about what type of payment option is most beneficial – credit cards or debit cards. With much of the information that we’ve found online, it would seem that credit cards are the clear winners.
However, on his website, marketing director and self-professed geek, Greg Poirier reveals that “only the Swedes conduct more debit transactions per person than Canadians”. In Canada, he writes, debit or Interac cards account for 45 per cent of all transactions. Credit cards, you may be interested to know, account for 32 per cent, while only 22 per cent of the transactions made in Canada are cash-based.
You would think then that Interac is actually the clear winner when it comes to the debate of what type of plastic is more beneficial to use. Credit cards, however, have one very distinct advantage over debit cards, it seems. Poirier points out that very few online retailers allow for Interac to be a payment option. With online shopping so hugely popular these days, this is a big disadvantage for people who prefer to pay with debit.
Poirier, by the way, happens to be one of those people. He goes on to write about how big a music fan he is and the fact that not being able to purchase music via iTunes using his Interac card is a big bummer. Not just for him, mind you, but for the music industry. As far as he’s concerned, iTunes not offering an Interac payment option is “knee-capping the music industry”. He goes on to explain exactly why.
“I love iTunes,” admits Poirier, “I love that with the click of a button I can download music, no messy attempts at trying to find high quality versions of the songs I want (or movies, or apps), no worries about viruses and its instantaneous, I don’t even have to put in my credit card info. What I hate about iTunes is that I have to bill my credit card (which I rarely use for anything) – that’s not how I want to pay.”
Poirier notes that the music industry is missing out on a major market by not allowing Interac as a payment option – most notably, teenagers. He points out that, for the most part, teens these days have a lot of disposable income, but their parents generally don’t allow them to have credit cards. Debit cards, on the other hand, are often quite acceptable. Perhaps, this is yet another reason why Interac is so huge in Canada.
Not to digress, iTunes’ indifference towards debit payments prevent young adults from making any purchases from its website. The only way they are able to do so, reveals Poirier, is to walk to the store to purchase an iTunes card. This defeats the entire purpose of shopping online, doesn’t it? According to Poirier, “the current situation pretty much ensures that Canada’s largest seller of music is an undesirable…choice for teens.”
He concludes with a very important message for both the Canadian music industry and Interac. “If you want more legal music sales in Canada, Interac online needs to be integrated into iTunes,” he insists, “Interac, if you want to stay relevant (and not have a new generation using credit cards in greater and greater numbers to buy online), you need to cut iTunes a deal they cannot refuse.”