INTERAC Direct Payment Tops 15.6 Million Transactions During the Year's Busiest Shopping Day



    - Canada's favourite way to pay continues to lead the way -

    TORONTO, Dec. 26 /CNW/ - INTERAC Direct Payment - Canada's national debit
service and favourite way to pay - saw December 21 as this year's busiest
shopping day, with 15.6 million transactions processed on a single day.
Convenient, reliable and trusted, INTERAC Direct Payment continues to be the
preferred method of payment for one out of two Canadians.
    Having a final weekend to shop this year, strong volumes were seen
between Friday, December 21st and Sunday, December 23rd, as Canadians swiped
their cards more than 41.7 million times.
    "Canadians are among the highest users of debit worldwide," said Tina
Romano, Public Relations Manager, Interac Association. "Last year, Canadians
made more than three billion INTERAC Direct Payment transactions worth
$148 billion, and each year this number continues to rise."

    Busiest Shopping Day by Retail Sector
    -------------------------------------
    Canadians were hitting grocery stores on December 21st, purchasing food
and beverage and the final touches needed to entertain family and friends.
    "Whether you're purchasing presents at a department store, buying
groceries for a holiday feast or filling up your car with gas, with INTERAC,
your money is always with you," said Romano. "Canadians continue to rely on
INTERAC Direct Payment everyday."
    Following are the sectors where Canadians were shopping on December 21,
2007, the busiest shopping day of the year:

    
    -   Supermarkets: 2,844,891 transactions (a value of more than
        $186.7 million), representing 18.17% of all transactions;
    -   Specialty clothing: 2,776,373 transactions (a value of more than
        $186.9 million), representing 17.73% of all transactions;
    -   Department Stores: 1,680,081 transactions (a value of more than
        $109 million), representing 10.73% of all transactions;
    -   Gas stations/Auto: 1,602,131 transactions (a value of more than
        $78.6 million), representing 10.23% of all transactions;
    -   Restaurants/Bars/Fast Food: 1,920,867 transactions (a value of more
        than $39.5 million), representing 12.27% of all transactions;
    -   Beer/Liquor/Wine: 901,408 transactions (a value of more than
        $52.7 million), representing 5.76% of all transactions.

    INTERAC Direct Payment Transaction Volumes Across Canada
    --------------------------------------------------------
    There are more than 35 million debit cards in circulation in Canada.
Following is how the provinces were shopping on December 21, 2007, the busiest
shopping day of the year:

    -   Ontario: 5,566,818 transactions ($314.2 million);
    -   Quebec: 3,179,884 transactions ($174.3 million);
    -   British Columbia/N.W.T./Yukon: 2,202,976 transactions
        ($113.2 million);
    -   Alberta: 2,076,393 transactions ($119.2 million);
    -   Manitoba: 591,985 transactions ($33.1 million);
    -   Nova Scotia: 520,989 transactions ($27 million);
    -   Saskatchewan: 496,921 transactions ($28.7 million);
    -   New Brunswick: 382,795 transactions ($19.3 million);
    -   Newfoundland-Labrador:  288,559 transactions ($15 million);
    -   Prince Edward Island: 75,971 transactions ($3.56 million).
    

    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 composed of a diverse
membership which includes banks, trust companies, credit unions, caisses
populaires, merchants, and technology and payment related companies.
    Other INTERAC-branded and related services include: INTERAC Online, for
secure online payments directly from a bank account, INTERAC Email Money
Transfer, for the transfer of money from a bank account to anyone with an
email address, and Cross Border Debit, for point-of-sale access at more than
1.5 million U.S. retailers.

    Additional statistics and research facts, as well as photos, previous
news releases, videos and fact sheets are available in the Media section on
the www.interac.ca website.





For further information:

For further information: or to speak with an Interac Association
spokesperson, please contact: Tina Romano, Acxsys Corporation/Interac
Association, (416) 869-5062, Cell: (416) 576-4709, tromano@interac.ca;
Catherine Héroux, Strategic Objectives, (416) 366-7735, ext. 222, Cell: (647)
294-5743, cheroux@strategicobjectives.com


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