Sunova Credit Union first Credit Union to offer Interac Flash(TM)

TORONTO, Jan. 28, 2013 /CNW/ - Interac Association announced today that Manitoba's Sunova Credit Union is now issuing Interac Flash enabled debit cards to their members, making Sunova the first credit union nationwide to offer Canada's first and only contactless debit payment solution.

With Interac Flash, debit users can make small value purchases faster than ever before. Instead of inserting their chip card and entering their PIN, cardholders can hold their Interac chip debit card in front of a supporting point-of-sale reader to make quick and secure contactless transactions. By spending less time processing payments, particularly cash, merchants can help improve throughput at the point-of-sale, as well as the overall customer checkout experience.

"The Canadian credit union system continuously strives to provide their members with innovative, high value payment solutions that best meet their financial needs," said Mark O'Connell, president and CEO, Interac Association and Acxsys Corporation. "We're delighted Sunova Credit Union sees the value of contactless debit and we're proud to announce them as the first credit union in Canada to offer Interac Flash to their members."

Sunova Credit Union is a full-service financial institution with 11 branches and nearly 28,000 members throughout Manitoba.

"Offering leading edge technology is extremely important to Sunova," said Dallas Kostna, vice president and CIO of Sunova Credit Union. "By being the first credit union in Canada to offer Interac Flash enabled debit cards, our members can take advantage of this innovative technology to make quick and secure contactless Interac Debit transactions using funds withdrawn from their own accounts."

Starting today, Sunova members will be able to receive their fully personalized Interac Flash debit card upon request. In-branch card issuance will be managed by Everlink Payment Services Inc.

"A growing number of Canadian retailers are accepting Interac Flash contactless debit payment technology and it's fitting that a Canadian credit union sees the value in offering this technology to its members," added David Phillips, president and CEO, Credit Union Central of Canada.

About Interac Flash
Interac Flash, an enhancement of Interac Debit, gives cardholders the choice to pay for smaller value items faster than ever before by simply holding their card at a contactless point-of-sale reader that supports Interac Flash.

Interac Flash offers strong consumer protections and unique security features, which help protect cardholders from fraud tactics and "electronic pick-pocketing". It builds on the security of global EMVTM standards, the existing chip debit infrastructure and leverages the trusted Interac brand.  Cardholders are protected from unauthorized transactions under the Interac Zero Liability Policy* and merchants continue to receive the benefits of secure and non-refutable transactions associated with PIN-based Interac Debit.

Canadians can use their Interac Flash cards at an increasing number of merchants across Canada. To find an accepting merchant, visit: http://www.interac.ca/index.php/en/flash-locator.

About Interac Association
A recognized world leader in debit card services, Interac Association is responsible for the development and operations of the Interac network, a national payment network that allows Canadians to access their money through Interac Cash at 60,000 Automated Banking Machines and Interac Debit at 766,000 point-of-sale terminals across Canada. Interac Flash, a secure contactless enhancement of Interac Debit allows Canadians to pay for items instantly with their Interac chip debit card at a reader that supports Interac Flash.

Interac Association was founded in 1984 and is comprised of a diverse membership that includes banks, trust companies, credit unions, caisses populaires, merchants, and technology and payment related companies.

Other related services offered by Acxsys Corporation, whose shareholders are the architects of the Interac network, include: Interac Online, for secure online payments made directly from a bank account; Interac e-TransferTM, for the transfer of money from one person's bank account to another person's bank account using an email address or mobile phone number**; and international services, which provide Canadian cardholders with point-of-sale access at nearly 2 million U.S. retailers, and PULSE, Discover, Diners Club International and UnionPay cardholders access to ABMs in Canada.

About Credit Union Central of Canada (Canadian Central)
Credit Union Central of Canada is the national trade association for the Canadian credit union system. Canada's credit union system is a vital competitor in the financial services industry. Canadian Central represents five provincial/regional Centrals and one Federation representing 357 credit unions with more than $149.7 billion in assets and serving over 5.3 million members, outside of Quebec. For more information about Canada's credit union system and Canadian Central visit www.cucentral.ca.

About Sunova Credit Union
Incorporated in 1955 (then known as South Interlake Credit Union) Sunova has 11 branches and over 28,000 members throughout Winnipeg and rural Manitoba. Sunova is a vibrant, innovative and friendly full-service financial institution dedicated to providing outstanding service and developing life-long relationships built on mutual trust, financial expertise and a genuine desire to help members achieve their financial goals.

Interac, Interac Flash and Interac e-Transfer are trade-marks of Interac Inc. Used under license.

* All Interac cardholders are protected from losses resulting from circumstances beyond their control under the Interac Zero Liability Policy.  See your financial institution for details.

**The Interac e-Transfer service, for secure person-to-person payments, is currently available to customers of over 90 banks and credit unions including BMO Bank of Montreal, CIBC, President's Choice Financial, National Bank, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank and TD Canada Trust among others. Central 1, through participating credit unions, offers the option of using mobile phone numbers, in addition to email, to notify Interac e-Transfer recipients. Money never travels by email or text message. More information about the Interac e-Transfer service and a complete list of participating banks and credit unions can be found at www.interac.ca.

SOURCE: Interac Association

For further information:

Media contact:
Teri Murphy
Interac Association / Acxsys Corporation
tmurphy@interac.ca
416-869-7171