INTERAC(R) Celebrates 25 Years of Connecting Canadians to their Money

    - From in-store to online; from magnetic stripe to chip; from contact
    to contactless; INTERAC continues to evolve -

TORONTO, Nov. 9 /CNW/ - INTERAC marks 25 years of providing Canadians secure access to their money from coast to coast to coast. On November 9, 1984, a single national PIN-based network was born out of a vision to connect Canadians to their money anywhere, anytime. INTERAC's growth and evolution took off from that point and today, both consumer awareness and usage levels are almost unmatched worldwide.

"INTERAC is a world-class debit system and a made-in-Canada success story," said Mark O'Connell, President and CEO, Interac Association/Acxsys Corporation. "With its 24/7 convenience, reliability and security, Canadians have embraced INTERAC to become some of the highest users of debit per capita globally. It has truly changed the way we live our daily lives and we can all share in and be proud of its success."

INTERAC has become Canada's preferred method of payment, surpassing cash and credit, and today it not only connects Canadians to their money at the ABM and at the store, but also online through Web-based services: INTERAC Online, for online purchases and INTERAC Email Money Transfer, for person-to-person money transfers.

New features and products continue to be developed and implemented to meet the needs of Canadians and the marketplace, including the movement to chip on debit in Canada, which INTERAC is driving. A contactless INTERAC debit payment option is also on the way that will provide customers a fast and convenient payment alternative to cash for everyday small purchases.

"We operate true to our Canadian roots, and we leverage what makes us different than the competition," said O'Connell. "We will continue to offer Canadians the best payment products available and the value-add of being a low-cost payment option. That is what has made us successful and will drive our success over the next 25 years and beyond."

    INTERAC milestones... for 25 years, proudly Canadian

    1984  Five financial institutions envision one national PIN-based network
          to connect Canadians to their money anywhere, anytime.
    1986  Financial institutions link their ABM networks to give cardholders
          broader access to cash withdrawals at ABMs across Canada.
    1990  INTERAC Direct Payment launches in Ottawa/Hull.
    1994  INTERAC Direct Payment launches nationally.
    1996  First non-financial institution offers cash withdrawals at ABMs.
    1997  One billion INTERAC Direct Payment transactions processed.
    1998  Canada marks the highest number of point-of-sale transactions
          compared to other countries around the world, with 44.7
          transactions per inhabitant.
    2000  INTERAC Direct Payment surpasses cash as Canadians' preferred
          method of payment.
    2004  INTERAC Email Money Transfer service launches.
    2005  INTERAC Online launches.
    2007  Canada's first INTERAC chip debit card transaction conducted.
    2008  Chip technology begins to roll out across Canada.
    2008  Nearly 4 billion INTERAC Direct Payment transactions processed,
          worth $168 billion.
    2009  INTERAC partners with global leader INSIDE Contactless to bring
          contactless debit to Canada.

    INTERAC...Canada's leading payment network

    -   35 million cards in circulation; 3.7 billion INTERAC Direct Payment
        transactions (Source: Interac Association, 2008).
    -   630,534 store terminals; 57,864 ABMs (Source: Interac Association,
    -   Canada has 1,748 ABMs per one million inhabitants - the highest
        number of ABMs compared to any other country in the world (Source:
        Bank of International Settlements, 2007).
    -   Canada is among the highest users of debit compared to other
        countries around the world with 104 transactions per inhabitant,
        second to Sweden with 125 transactions per inhabitant (Source: Bank
        of International Settlements, 2007).
    -   INTERAC Direct Payment is the preferred method of payment in Canada,
        with 45 per cent of Canadians choosing INTERAC Direct Payment,
        compared to 22 per cent who choose cash and 31 per cent who choose
        credit (Source: Strategic Counsel, 2008).
    -   Almost 60 per cent of all card payment transactions in Canada are
        debit (Source: The Nilson Report).

    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.

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.

(R) Trade-mark of INTERAC Inc. used under license.

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at Images are free to accredited members of the media/

SOURCE Interac Association

For further information: For further information: or to book an interview with an Interac Association/Acxsys Corporation spokesperson, please contact: David Weinstein at Strategic Objectives at (416) 366-7735 or; Tina Romano at Interac Association/Acxsys Corporation at (416) 869-5062 or

Organization Profile

Interac Association

More on this organization

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890