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Christmas spending still strong

December 24, 2012

Christmas spending still strong

Paymark figures released today show spending across the country last week was up 30.6 per cent on the first week of December, and up 3.4 per cent year-on-year for the 21 days ending the 23rd of December.

Simon Tong, Paymark CEO, says that the steady growth demonstrates that Kiwis have been organised with their shopping this year.

“We’re seeing a healthy finish to the Christmas period, with just over $1.3 billion through the tills last week. In the past few days we’ve seen the spending growth rate decelerate slightly to become more in line with the average growth rate over the past eleven months.

“This suggests that while spending is still up annually, many are avoiding taking the last minute shopping approach in the final days before Christmas.”

Paymark, which processes about 75 per cent of all electronic transactions in New Zealand, also saw particularly strong year-on-year growth in Canterbury and Gisborne in the week ending December 23, up 8 per cent and 6.9 per cent respectively.

Yet Auckland/Northland (+1.9%) and Wellington (-1.6%) both saw annual growth rates drop below the earlier trend, in the last week.

“Canterbury has really steamed ahead of the other regions in terms of spending growth in the lead up to Christmas. However, it appears Auckland/Northland and Wellington dropped off to some degree in the last weekend, presumably due to early travelling,” adds Tong.

PAYMARK Regional Data 21 days ending 23-Dec, 2012 versus 2011
Value of spending ($millions)
RegionLast YearCurrent YearAnnual ChangeValue Difference
Hawkes Bay$93.0$96.6$3.63.9%
Palmerston North$106.3$109.2$2.92.7%
West Coast$25.1$25.2$0.10.6%
South Canterbury$59.0$61.3$2.34.0%
New Zealand $3,324.8$3,437.0$112.33.4%

PAYMARK Regional Data week ending 23-Dec, 2012 versus 2011
Value of spending ($millions)
RegionLast YearCurrent YearAnnual ChangeValue Difference
Hawkes Bay$36.2$37.6$1.43.7%
Palmerston North$40.3$41.3$0.92.3%
West Coast$9.9$10.0$0.11.3%
South Canterbury$23.2$24.0$0.83.3%
New Zealand$1,292.8$1,325.8$33.02.6%

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About Paymark
In November 2009, Paymark honoured a significant business, retail, and economic milestone with the celebration of its 20th birthday. Since its inception in 1989 when three banks came together to form Electronic Transaction Services Limited (now known as Paymark Limited), Paymark has grown to become an integral part of New Zealand’s economic landscape with arguably the best EFTPOS system in the world.

Quick facts:
• By March 1990 volumes through the network exceeded 1 million transactions a month
• 1994 the company increased its computer processing power to accommodate volumes exceeding 10 million transactions a month
• 28 August 1996, Paymark makes history by installing an off-shore EFTPOS terminal at a general store, Scott Base, Antarctica
• In 1998 Paymark passed another milestone as the 1 billionth EFTPOS transaction was processed
• In February 2012, Paymark processed its 10 billionth transaction
• More than 74,000 merchants and 116,000 terminals are currently connected to the network that is now 3DES and EMV compliant. Today, the Paymark network processes over 75% of all electronic transactions in the New Zealand retail market on behalf of more than 50 card issuers and acquirers.


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