Direct Payment now in Ontario

Interac Association will introduce its Direct Payment Service to Ontario residents on April 26 during a press conference in Toronto.The service, which enables consumers to pay for purchases electronically using a bar-coded debit card, has already been launched everywhere in Canada...

Interac Association will introduce its Direct Payment Service to Ontario residents on April 26 during a press conference in Toronto.

The service, which enables consumers to pay for purchases electronically using a bar-coded debit card, has already been launched everywhere in Canada except Ontario and the Maritimes.

Funds transferred

The way it works is the debit card – which is identical to the bank card used to withdraw money from an automated banking machine – is run through an electronic device at the cash register and funds are automatically transferred from the consumer’s account to the merchant’s account.

Marc-Andre Lacombe, public affairs and legal council for Toronto-based Interac, says the program launch will be supported by a 10-week newspaper ad campaign beginning April 27.

The campaign, created by Kelley Advertising of Toronto, will consist of twice weekly ads in two Toronto newspapers and 10 other newspapers elsewhere in the province.

Member financial institutions will advertise as well.

Interac Association has 28 member financial institutions across Canada, including all the major banks and credit unions.

Lacombe says 14 of the members have already joined Direct Payment Service.

In September, the Maritime provinces will be the last region of the country to be connected.

For the program to work, retailers must install specialized electronic equipment, which is hooked up to the system.

Monthly fee

The financial institutions supply the equipment for a monthly fee ranging between $30 and $50.

Each transaction costs the consumer between 25 cents and 60 cents.

Lacombe says that after the Maritime launch, Interac intends to streamline its management structure and review its ad agency needs, possibly holding a review and assigning the account to an agency-of-record.

Currently, the association is using Kelley for launch campaigns, while two additional agencies have been handling post-launch project work.

Promo Marketing of Toronto is working on projects in English Canada. bcp of Montreal is handling the Quebec market.