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October 5, 2022

Intentional spending on the rise: Interac

By Douglas Blakey

You will be familiar by now with the constant pitch from the BNPL outfits: consumers are more likely to buy something and spend more, and less likely to abandon their online shopping basket from companies that offer BNPL to its consumers.

Naturally, they omit to mention little stats such as the 41% of borrowers in the UK that had missed a payment in the first of this year (last year, it was 11%). Or the research by StepChange reporting that 87% of people with a BNPL loan also had at least one other consumer credit debt, nearly half had trouble keeping up with household bills and credit repayments, and 17% met the charity’s definition of being in severe financial difficulty.

So it was interesting to note research released yesterday from Interac, that rather goes against the grain of the essential need to offer consumers instant gratification. Specifically, Interac notes that 67% of Canadians are practicing ‘intentional spending’ – the action of making purposeful purchasing decisions that live up to their financial goals and personal values. And more than 6 in 10 of those who practice intentional spending (64%) pause and think about purchases before making them.

When it comes to making non-essential purchases, Interac research reveals that taking at least a one-day pause before completing a transaction often leads to increased satisfaction.

And at a time when money worries are rising, less than one in five Canadians (18%) link intentional spending with feeling restricted.

Instead, nearly eight in 10 (77%) have positive associations, including feeling in control, disciplined, thoughtful, empowered, happy and considerate.

With consumers now less likely to spend on impulse than they were before the cost-of-living crisis came to the fore, retailers might care to reconsider the recent drive to promote BNPL as an option at checkout.

I am not so convinced by the Interac launch of Sound Shopping, a music track that provides a balanced backdrop to the shopping experience. This is intended to promote mindful spending at a time of great financial pressure and unease.

Probably just an age thing on my part but it would probably just drive me up the wall.

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