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Christmas Electronic Transaction Report

PAYMARK EFTPOS
Christmas Electronic Transaction Report

Media Release
12 December 2006

Plastic is Fantastic But Online May Be Divine
Increase in electronic and online transactions in November and early December

The Christmas shopping season got off to an encouraging start for retailers with a 12 percent increase in retail payment transactions on the Paymark network for the first week of December (4-10) and an 11 percent increase for the month of November, compared with the same period in 2005. Paymark processes around three quarters of New Zealand’s retail electronic payment transactions, both in store and online.

Key electronic transaction statistics:

- Over 14.7 million electronic transactions in the first week of December 2006 (December 4-10), worth $810 million

- 57.4 million electronic transactions in November worth over $3 billion

- A 63% increase in online transactions through the Paymark Virtual Internet Payment Gateway in November 2006 over November 2005

Simon Tong, Chief Executive Officer, Paymark, says New Zealanders have had a long love affair with eftpos but are now increasingly transacting online in the run up towards Christmas.

“New Zealanders have carried out more than five billion electronic transactions over the last 15 years. Around 90 percent of us have a debit card, and almost two thirds of all retail transactions take place electronically. While card-based transaction volumes have continued to rise, the interesting trend in 2006 is that kiwis are getting more comfortable with buying goods online if the marked increase in transactions through Paymark Virtual, our internet payment gateway, is anything to go by.

“In the past New Zealanders may have been a little behind other markets when it comes to shopping online, but it looks like we are catching up quickly. In the last year we have seen huge growth in the numbers of big and small retailers going online and a big push from well known brands with existing e-commerce capabilities.”

“Also of interest to us this year has been a small swing away from the number of credit card transactions processed through eftpos in November 2006 when compared to November last year. Despite all the hype around credit card spending at this time of year domestic debit cards continue to be the most preferred payment type accounting for over 75% of all payments made through our network. Maybe we should give kiwis their due, they seem to know how to manage their finances pretty well in this electronic age and clearly recognise the benefits of the debit system that is inexpensive for them and retailers alike.”

Paymark has tracked electronic transactions over the Christmas period for the last five years, and there is a clear pattern that is likely to be repeated in 2006.

“In the past there has been a steady week-by-week increase in electronic transactions in the lead up to Christmas, with a peak on Christmas Eve,” says Mr Tong. “The fact Christmas falls on a Monday this year is likely to mean huge transaction volumes for retailers on the 23rd and 24th. We estimate there will be over three million electronic transactions on Christmas Eve alone.

“Following Christmas we can expect to see another surge in electronic transactions with the now ‘traditional’ sales on Boxing Day, and then again around New Year.”

ENDS

Note: Paymark will be releasing electronic transaction statistics in the lead up to Christmas. Variations of these statistics, including regional breakdowns may be available on request.


Paymark Electronic Transaction Data

Regional Electronic Transactions Dec 4th-10th (Wk1)

Name / Transaction Volume / Transaction Value / Inc. Dec on Previous Year
Auckland/Northland / 5,632,135 / $326,182,325 / 10%
Waikato / 1,070,386 / $55,394,142 / 11%
Bay of Plenty / 951,924 / $51,227,564 / 12%
Gisborne / 140,238 / $6,820,252 / 12%
Taranaki & Taupo / 390,648 / $17,900,625 / 10%
Hawkes Bay / 443,054 / $22,920,047 / 11%
Wanganui / 171,684 / $8,307,580 / 10%
Palmerston North / 499,436 / $25,870,577 / 8%
Wairarapa / 142,940 / $7,241,340 / 9%
Wellington / 1,687,152 / $87,168,549 / 14%
Nelson / 292,004 / $16,326,996 / 11%
Marlborough / 180,034 / $10,177,686 / 10%
West Coast / 103,593 / $6,218,588 / 8%
Canterbury / 1,728,443 / $96,639,750 / 10%
South Canterbury / 228,229 / $12,347,963 / 9%
Otago / 720,075 / $40,514,380 / 7%
Southland / 336,566 / $18,921,994 / 7%
Total / 14,718,541 / $810,180,358 / 12%

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