Interac Association remains optimistic that with other variations to the
Consent Order, a new competitive business model is achievable

TORONTO, Feb. 12 /CNW/ - Interac Association is disappointed with the Competition Bureau of Canada's decision regarding its not-for-profit status but remains optimistic that further discussions can result in other variations to the Consent Order that will enable Interac Association to more effectively respond to the realities of the changing competitive debit landscape.

"We have always believed that arriving at an effective business model requires a number of changes to the Consent Order beyond a for-profit status, particularly in the areas of governance, funding and our organizational structure," stated Mark O'Connell, President and CEO, Interac Association/Acxsys Corporation. "We are pleased that the Competition Bureau will engage in discussions with us regarding these critical issues."

Since 1996, Interac Association has operated under a Consent Order. The Order can only be amended or terminated by a further Order of the Competition Tribunal. The Consent Order prescribes in detail how Interac Association is structured, how it is governed and by whom, how it sets and collects fees, and the voting levels required to approve many initiatives.

INTERAC(R) is a low-cost, world-class debit system and has served Canadians well. Millions depend on debit every day. Almost 60 per cent of all card payment transactions in Canada are debit. In 2009, consumers carried out nearly 4 billion debit transactions. The Canadian payments marketplace, however, is undergoing significant shifts with a rapidly changing competitive landscape.

"Preserving a sustainable, domestic, low-cost debit option in today's dynamic marketplace is critical," emphasized Mr. O'Connell. "We are encouraged that the Competition Bureau has offered to work with us on other potential changes to the Order that will improve our ability to compete effectively moving forward."

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 Automated Banking Machines and point-of-sale terminals across Canada.

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.

(R) Trade-marks of Interac Inc. Used under licence.

SOURCE Interac Association

For further information: For further information: Caroline Hubberstey, Interac Association, at (416) 869-8320 or chubberstey@interac.ca


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