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Canadian debit cards to be accepted at U.S. retailers

01 April 2004  |  477 views  |  0

Acxsys Corporation, the architects of the INTERAC national PIN debit network in Canada, and NYCE Corporation, one of the leading debit networks in the United States, today announced an agreement that will provide Canadian debit cardholders from participating financial institutions, the convenience of using their cards at U.S. retailers supporting NYCE PIN POS payments. This cross border service, the first of its kind to offer widespread U.S. PIN POS access to the debit- smart Canadian consumer, is planned to launch in fall 2004.

Under the agreement, Acxsys will rely on the NYCE Network to link Canadian debit cardholders to U.S. retailers by offering a gateway service. Debit cardholders of Canadian financial institutions that sign up for the service will gain access to PIN POS for payments at U.S. retailers.

Canadians are among the highest users of debit payments in the world on a per capita basis, using debit cards with a PIN at virtually every type of retailer. In fact, one-in-two Canadians prefer to pay by debit rather than cash, credit card or cheque, according to research conducted by Interac Association, providers of INTERAC Direct Payment, Canada's national debit service. Now, with NYCE and Acxsys working together, Canadian debit cardholders will be able to use the same debit cards they have in hand today to pay for purchases in the United States (and obtain cash back, where available) without having to make a separate trip to an ATM to get cash or convert Canadian dollars before shopping in the United States.

NYCE has demonstrated a product philosophy of continual improvement with respect to PIN POS with its historical focus on product performance and the best approval rates of any U.S. debit network - a philosophy that benefits retailers and issuers alike. This new agreement brings millions of new debit-mature consumers to U.S. retailers, unlocking immediate, secure, on-line real-time access to funds on deposit in Canada, accompanied by the substantial bottom line retailer benefits of larger average purchases (versus cash) and lower all-in payment expense (versus credit card).

The Canadian debit marketplace is significant, with Canadians logging more than 2.6 billion debit transactions in 2003. Unlike in the U.S. market, Canadian financial institutions have not embraced signature debit card products, having developed the highly successful INTERAC Direct Payment service, which is available at more than 360,000 merchants across Canada as an online, real-time process.

"Every year, millions of Canadians are welcomed in the United States as they vacation, visit family and friends, or conduct business. We are proud to be working with Acxsys on this groundbreaking initiative to bring Canadians widespread access to the security and convenience of NYCE POS when making purchases at U.S. retailers," said Dennis F. Lynch, President and Chief Executive Officer, NYCE Corporation. "Through our partnership with Acxsys Corporation, we are delivering significant value to retailers and consumers alike as Canadian debit cardholders gain access to the nearly one million locations that accept NYCE throughout the U.S. and its territories."

Judith Wolfson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Acxsys Corporation said "We are pleased to offer Canadians the opportunity to pay with debit in the United States through our agreement with NYCE Corporation. We selected NYCE to work with us because of its comprehensive retailer reach, service quality and reputation. We are excited about working together to implement this innovative service for Canadian consumers."

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