Desjardins successfully carries out its very first transactions using debit and credit cards equipped with microchips



    LEVIS, Nov. 8 /CNW Telbec/ - Desjardins Group, the largest financial
institution in Québec, announces the success of its very first electronic
payment transactions using credit cards and debit cards equipped with
microchip technology.
    "These historic transactions have been carried out with success. They
mark an important step in moving toward this new technology for electronic
payments and banking transactions. Desjardins thus confirms the commitment it
has made to its members and clients to offer them an improved and more secure
payment system," stated the vice-president of Desjardins Card Services, Jean
Yelle. The chip card effectively offers a higher level of security and better
protection against forgery and fraud committed with lost or stolen cards.
    As a new feature, transactions made with microchip-equipped credit cards
will now be validated using a PIN (personal identification number), so the
cardholder will no longer have to sign the receipt. For transactions made
using chip debit cards, the procedure will remain nearly unchanged, except
that the card will be left in the point-of-sale (POS) terminal reader during
the entire transaction instead of only being swiped.
    Desjardins is also participating in the trial currently taking place in
Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, which has brought the entire Canadian payment
industry together. This test will enable industry partners to verify the
interaction between their cards and devices to ensure that information is
properly exchanged between systems.
    Desjardins is making steady progress in its transition toward microchip
technology. Chip cards will be officially introduced by Desjardins next spring
in the Saint-Jérôme region, north of Montréal.

    About Desjardins Group

    Desjardins Group is the largest integrated cooperative financial group in
Canada, with overall assets of more than $143 billion, as of June 30, 2007. It
comprises a network of caisses, credit unions and business centres in Québec
and Ontario, and some twenty subsidiary companies in life and general
insurance, securities brokerage, venture capital and asset management, many of
which are active across the country. Drawing on the expertise of its 40,000
employees and the commitment of nearly 6,800 elected officers, Desjardins
offers its 5.8 million individual and corporate members and clients a full
range of financial products and services. Its physical distribution network is
complemented by leading-edge virtual access methods. To find out more, consult
www.desjardins.com.

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For further information:

For further information: (for journalists only): Nathalie Genest,
Advisor, Information and Media Relations, (514) 281-7275, (866) 866-7000, ext.
7275, nathalie.genest@desjardins.com


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