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Who Got The Valentine's Day Dollars?

Press release
19 February 2008


Who Got The Valentine's Day Dollars?

As florists had their bouquets at the ready for their busiest day of the year, figures from Paymark show loving Kiwis spent four times as much at florists this Valentine's Day than an ordinary Thursday.

Aside from flowers, it seems New Zealanders can be romantic in other ways too; gift store sales were up 14% by comparison to the week earlier, watch and jewellery stores saw a 52% increase in spending, bookshops were up 17%, and restaurants and cafes were up 29%. Motels saw a 40% increase week-on-week, and spending at travel companies was up 15% for Valentine's Day.

It seems DIY was not the way to hearts, with home decorating and hardware sales down 22% for the day.

Overall, New Zealanders spent a whopping $1.44 million at florists on 14 February, and over $1 million the day prior, in the build up to Valentine's Day. Restaurants netted $6.6 million, up $1.6 million year-on-year.
The Paymark system processes three quarters of all electronic transactions and nearly 90% of Kiwis have a debit card. That puts us ahead of any other country in the world in terms of EFTPOS use.

ENDS

About Paymark:
In 1989 three banks came together to form Electronic Transaction Services Limited. They had the vision of a national real time payment system. Through their commitment to the retail payments industry the company has developed what has arguably become the best EFTPOS system in the world.
EFTPOS appeared on the New Zealand retail scene in 1984, only five years after the country's first Bank ATM (cash dispenser) was installed. New Zealand's first EFTPOS system operated from a service station and a supermarket attached to a bank computer.
In March 1990 volumes through the network exceeded 1 Million transactions a month.
In 1994 the company increased its computer processing power to accommodate volumes exceeding 10 Million transactions a month. In 1996 Bank of New Zealand joined the network and EFTPOS as a payment mechanism entered a tremendous growth phase.
In 1998 ETSL passed another milestone - as the 1 Billionth EFTPOS transaction was processed. By the year 2000 EFTPOS was well and truly identified as a public utility. ETSL saw its 2 Billionth transaction pass through the system in November 2000 and 6 Billionth transaction mid way through 2007. The system, rebranded as the Paymark EFTPOS network, processes nearly 75% of all electronic transactions in the New Zealand retail market on behalf of more than 50 card issuers and acquirers. More than 65,000 merchants and 80,000 terminals are currently connected to the network that is now 3DES and EMV compliant.
The company offers services to merchants, card issuers and acquirers for eftpos, eCommerce, mCommerce and ATM payment and related transaction processing.

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