Interac simplifies the complex world of paying for stuff

In an effort to reintroduce its brand, the payment provider shows how it keeps things simple by "geeking out" over tech.


Interac is using the impenetrable jargon of payment systems to highlight its simple value proposition and how much it cares about its technology.

The third mass iteration of Interac’s “InLife” brand platform, “We Geek Out” features an Interac employee answering the simple question of how she’ll pay for dinner with an enthusiastic, in-depth description of the complicated technology that goes into a simple debit payment. The message: Interac “geeks out” over its technology to keep payments simple for everyone else.

Matt Houghton, director of digital and integrated marketing at Interac, says bringing that enthusiasm into the campaign, and shining more of a spotlight on itself this time around, reintroduces the brand in a way that underscores the importance of the suite of Interac products beyond bill payments.

This campaign also marks the introduction of a new sonic logo for the brand, part of a unique sonic ecosystem, developed by Sixieme Son.

Houghton explains to strategy that “InLife” has been used in an always on way since its launch. The foundation of the brand platform, he says, is that “when you’re in control of your money, you get more out of life.” This emotional connection, he says, is key to positioning the brand as its products can literally feel transactional. To that end, creative has largely focused on the ways Interac’s products can help Canadian pursue and achieve personal and professional dreams.

But while many Canadians are familiar with Interac products – using them an average of 18 million times a day – they don’t necessarily understand what it actually does.

The latest campaign wants to change that by reintroducing Interac as the digital authentication and payments tech company behind products like Interac Debit and Interac e-Transfer, and a suite of identity verification products.

During lockdowns, etransfer use has spiked, as people’s lives became upended and new usage occasions occurred. It was already used in significant numbers, Houghton says, and became every more useful, whether in retail environments or lessons or services provided online.

“We have seen those patterns shift and evolve,” Houghton says and use continue to be relevant.

The main campaign spot will be amplified by hidden camera stunts at select retail occasions using actors explaining the intricacies of payment systems. The extension, captured in both official languages, was created for TikTok and Instagram Reels, and will run later in May.

The campaign is led by creative agency partner Zulu Alpha Kilo with media buying partner Media Experts, with adaptations by The French Shop. Executions through TV, online video, social, display and an influencer program will run until June 19.

The total campaign investment is about $4 million dollars, Houghton says, and is broadly targeting 70% of the population. A large percentage of the buy is TV, and is able to capture audiences for playoff and regular-season sports, as well as season finales.