INTERAC(R) sees principles of Government of Canada's proposed Code of Conduct
as a positive framework to build on

TORONTO, Nov. 19 /CNW/ - Interac Association is pleased to see the importance federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is placing on addressing the significant concerns that have been raised about changes in the debit card marketplace in Canada. The Association will work with the Government through the consultation process to help fill in key details in the Code and to explore the feasibility of the merchant routing proposal to ensure that the goals of transparency and choice are fully achieved.

INTERAC is a low-cost, world-class debit system and has served Canadians well. Millions of Canadians depend on debit every day. Almost 60 per cent of all card payment transactions in Canada are debit. In 2008, consumers carried out nearly 4 billion debit transactions.

"Changes taking place in the Canadian debit market today are creating significant issues that cannot be ignored if Canadian merchants and consumers are to have a debit marketplace that continues to work for them," said Mark O'Connell, President and CEO, Interac Association/Acxsys Corporation. "By taking this step, Finance Minister Flaherty is recognizing the importance of debit payments in Canada and the concerns that have been raised, particularly by merchants."

Canada now has a multi-network debit environment and all competitors should play by the same transparent rules that provide adequate protection for merchants and consumers. This, however, is not happening and Canada's INTERAC is operating at a distinct disadvantage to its US-based multinational competitors.

"While the principles of the proposed Code provide a solid framework on which to build, we will work with the Government to fill in the specifics and to ensure that certain proposals are feasible and achieve the goals of choice and transparency, which we support," added Mr. O'Connell.

With its 24/7 convenience, reliability and security, Canadians have embraced INTERAC to become some of the highest users of debit per capita globally. INTERAC securely connects Canadians to their money at the ABM, at retailers, and online through Web based services: INTERAC Online, for online purchases, and INTERAC Email Money Transfer, for person-to-person money transfers. INTERAC is also a leader in the prevention and detection of debit card fraud, and consumers are fully protected from fraudulent transactions. A new 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.

    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.

SOURCE Interac Association

For further information: For further information: Tina Romano, Interac Association, at (416) 869-5062 or

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