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Santa May Be More Generous to Certain Sectors

Christmas Electronic Transaction Report

Media Release
14 December 2005

Santa May Be More Generous to Certain Sectors
Transaction data shows increase in spending and higher use of cards

New Zealanders are spending more in the lead up to Christmas than they did last year, but consumer goods retailers aren’t getting their full share according to electronic transaction network provider Paymark EFTPOS.

Total transactions on the Paymark EFTPOS network, which accounts for around 80% of all electronic transactions in New Zealand, were up 8% and 7% respectively for the first two weeks of December (November 28-December 12) when compared with the same period last year. Transactions worth almost $1.5 billion were processed by Paymark EFTPOS during this period.

Transactions by Region (full breakdown below)

Wanganui saw the biggest increase in electronic transaction volume versus other regions, up 10% on the same period in 2004. Electronic transaction volumes in the upper North Island were also strong with Auckland/Northland and Waikato up 9%. The volume of electronic transactions in the first two weeks of December increased to nearly 27 million, from 24.5 million in 2004.

Darryl Roots, Paymark spokesperson, says the figures are the result of an increase in both spending and use of electronic payments.

“People are relying on cash and cheques less these days, but the figures also indicate higher levels of spending in the lead up to this Christmas this year. The data shows that the volume of electronic transactions has increased less in the South Island than in the North Island. South Islanders may be leaving their Christmas shopping run later this year, or perhaps watching their spending more closely than North Islanders.”

John Albertson, Chief Executive of the New Zealand Retailers Association, agrees that it has been a slow start to the festive season.

“Consumer goods retailers are reporting that it has been a bit sluggish in December to date. But with the traditional Kiwi last minute Christmas shopping rush and the fact Christmas Eve falls on a Saturday this year, we are hopeful that things will pick up.”

Transactions by Industry

Electronic transaction figures broken down by industry sector for the month of November indicate that certain types of business are enjoying the lead up to Christmas more than others.

“The increase in electronic transactions amongst consumer goods retailers is lower on average than other New Zealand sectors, many of whom have developed greater electronic payment capabilities in the last year,” says Mr Roots. “The exception amongst retailers is supermarkets which have seen a rise of more than 10% in November 2005 versus November 2004 in both electronic transaction volume and value. In November 2005 more than $440 million was processed through supermarkets on the Paymark EFTPOS network.”

“The increase in electronic transactions in certain industry sectors is also an indicator of a change in how people manage their regular outgoings. The Paymark EFTPOS statistics show that consumers are using their debit and credit cards more because of their convenience. Over the years New Zealanders appear to have become more comfortable at managing their holiday spending using debit and credit cards rather than cash or cheques - we are very much an electronic payment society.”



1. More detailed electronic transaction data is included on the following pages
2. Update electronic transaction statistics will be released prior to Christmas

Paymark EFTPOS Transaction Data

28 Nov - 4th (Dec2005 Wk1)
Name Transaction Inc/Dec
Volume Value on Previous Year
Auckland/Northland 5,047,613 286,991,635 10%
Waikato 954,642 49,309,837 10%
Bay of Plenty 841,943 45,108,886 7%
Gisborne 123,600 5,844,259 4%
Taranaki & Taupo 350,521 15,957,671 2%
Hawkes Bay 392,784 19,774,796 6%
Wanganui 153,820 7,247,584 11%
Palmerston North 460,014 22,814,516 7%
Wairarapa 129,848 6,405,150 7%
Wellington 1,456,133 73,735,688 7%
Nelson 260,674 14,236,654 3%
Marlborough 161,657 8,881,652 5%
West Coast 95,058 5,640,267 9%
Canterbury 1,554,192 86,910,164 5%
South Canterbury 208,394 10,953,849 8%
Otago 668,348 37,091,181 6%
Southland 313,329 17,297,733 6%
Total 13,172,570 714,201,522 8%

5th - 11th (Dec2005 Wk2)
Name Transaction Inc/Dec
Volume Value on Previous Year
Auckland/Northland 5,183,628 296,275,405 8%
Waikato 979,162 50,284,234 9%
Bay of Plenty 867,646 46,298,572 4%
Gisborne 132,779 6,264,106 6%
Taranaki & Taupo 357,044 16,061,479 -1%
Hawkes Bay 415,536 21,062,117 6%
Wanganui 157,295 7,363,702 10%
Palmerston North 475,188 23,686,947 5%
Wairarapa 134,536 6,634,122 8%
Wellington 1,500,615 76,687,854 6%
Nelson 271,281 14,782,215 2%
Marlborough 171,110 9,372,819 6%
West Coast 96,139 5,764,303 7%
Canterbury 1,602,850 86,814,399 6%
South Canterbury 218,098 11,455,989 7%
Otago 688,956 38,014,929 5%
Southland 327,794 17,860,382 6%
Total 13,579,657 734,683,574 7%


Paymark EFTPOS has been issuing electronic transaction statistics for a number of years. The Paymark EFTPOS system processes approximately 80% of New Zealand’s electronic payment transactions (both debit and credit). Therefore, it is effectively able to measure fairly accurately the momentum of the retail marketplace.

The total electronic payment spend over the Christmas period is for the Paymark EFTPOS network only. It should be noted that the overall percentage change includes not only growth in retail spend, but also the growth of electronic payments as a payment mechanism over cash, cheque and other non-electronic forms of payment.

- The Paymark, is New Zealand’s mark of electronic payment security. It ensures a secure future for electronic payments in New Zealand.

- The Paymark is administered and developed by ETSL and owned by four major banks – ASB, Bank of New Zealand, ANZ National and Westpac. All leading electronic payment cards (debit and credit) use the Paymark system.

- The Paymark network connects approximately 65,000 retailers to their banks for payments processing.
Each day an average of 1.5 million transactions are processed by Paymark's processing systems on behalf of 3.5 million consumers and 65,000 retailers.

- The average time it takes a transaction to pass through the Paymark switch is 0.07 of a second.

- A point of payment marked with the Paymark means certification has taken place.

- The Paymark is a visible sign which means that consumers’ point of payment is safe.

- The Paymark is not associated with organisations that cannot offer the highest levels of security. This ensures the greatest protection for consumers and merchants.

- The terminal certification specification for Paymark EFTPOS in New Zealand is among the most stringent worldwide.

The Paymark network is among the most reliable worldwide. ETSL has been awarded the prestigious International Tandem User Group Award for systems availability for five of the past six years.

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