Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Interac’s new feature tracks Canadians expenses with a musical twist

Spending money can be music to your ears with Interac’s latest feature, the Sound of Spending, which sets shopping trends in Canada during the pandemic to music.

Whether it was money spent on a good meal, home-related expenses, entertainment, travel, or pandemic-induced online purchases, spending was mapped using a variety of musical instruments that revealed the ebbs and flows in Canadian spending habits.

The Sound of Spending uses a combination of creativity, collected data and unique technology to represent spending through music. Interac‘s soundtrack, generated from national data it collected over the past year, allows users to hear how spending levels translated into a catchy tune.

When the pandemic broke out in March 2020, Canadians spent a lot on food, with grocery expenses increasing by 15 per cent. A month later, in April 2020, Canadians’ spending hit a low note because of the declared state of emergency causing spending frequency on restaurants, travel, and entertainment to plummet by 35 per cent.

But staying at home meant more time to spruce up living spaces and Canadians hit the high notes in May 2020, with spending on home accessories and DIY projects up 186 per cent.

After the holidays, COVID-19 cases were rising, and spending decreased exponentially in January 2021, with the frequency of spending associated with shopping down by more than 50 per cent.

Now that the economy is opening up and vaccination rates are rising, Canadians are going out, and the frequency of spending related to shopping and entertainment is hitting a high note once again, with increases of 37 per cent and 14 per cent respectively.

Interac’s Sound of Spending tool doesn’t just rock to national spending data, though; the company encourages Canadians to try it for themselves by uploading their own spending statistics to generate a song that reflects them. They can also compare their songs with national data.

Go to “interac.ca/soundofspending”, enter the dollar amount spent each month in each category, and Interac’s digital tool will generate a personal soundtrack that reflects your past year.

Check out the ITWC Sound of Spending soundtrack, created, just for fun, from random values.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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