July 13, 2010

HMV attracts Canadian youth with Interac Online

By Robin Arnfield, News Editor

HMV Canada is offering Interac Online as a payment method on hmvdigital.ca, its new transactional music download site, which was launched on July 5th.

According to HMV, the site is the only Canadian digital music store to accept Interac’s Internet payment system. The company is hoping that the payment method will help attract its core customer base of young shoppers.

Interac Online enables a shopper to set up an Internet transfer from their bank account to a merchant, with payment taking place over Interac’s infrastructure.

“We have a lot of young customers who are not eligible to hold credit cards,” Dave Marien, HMV Canada’s Vice President of Information Technology, tells Payments Business. “But they are eligible to have bank accounts and debit cards and they can use these to make purchases from our site using Interac Online.”

With music downloads costing 99 cents and average payments of under C$10, HMV is proving the viability of online micro-payments. The hmvdigital.ca site also accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express and PayPal.

HMV is using Vancouver, British Columbia-based Beanstream Electronic Payment Processing to process its Interac Online payments. “We have been PCI-compliant for four years,” Marien says, “and accepting Interac online does not pose a heightened security risk to either shoppers or to HMV. Neither we nor Beanstream store card information.”

The cost of the processing Interac Online transactions is no different to that of processing credit card payments, says Marien, though the customer might have to pay an Interac-usage charge to their bank.

Marien gained experience of Interac Online in 2006 with the HMV.ca site, which at that point was transactional. “It was early days for Interac Online and it was cumbersome to build it into your website,” he says. HMV.ca was later turned into an information-only site.

Since hmvdigital.ca has just been launched, it is too soon to say how popular Interac Online is likely to be. “It (the site) has been fairly busy, with Visa, MasterCard and PayPal fairly evenly split,” says Marien.

Within the last month, HMV Canada has also launched purehmv.ca, a new customer rewards program that enables members to collect and redeem points earned on purchases made at HMV stores or hmvdigital.ca.






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