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Symbian Authors: Jack Newton, Kevin Benedict, Matthew Lobas, Shelly Palmer, RealWire News Distribution

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Two thirds of Canadians will set a holiday budget this year

Yet many would extend budget for the perfect gift, Interac® survey finds

TORONTO, Dec. 4, 2012 /CNW/ - According to a holiday spend survey commissioned by Interac Association, two thirds (66 per cent) of Canadians plan to set a budget for holiday spending, with 96 per cent of these consumers indicating that they will purchase items on sale to help them stay within their budget. However, among those who intend to purchase a gift for someone special, they would go beyond their budget if they were to find the perfect gift for their spouse or partner (90 percent), child (87 per cent), parent (83 per cent) or themselves (74 per cent).

Despite the temptation to overspend, holiday budgeters do have the best intentions to avoid going into the red. They plan to employ savvy budgeting tactics such as shopping early (79 per cent); shopping online (62 per cent); shopping less using credit cards (60 per cent); and making homemade gifts (38 per cent).

"As the holiday season approaches, many Canadians are thinking about what they can do to avoid the dreaded 'holiday hangover' in January when bill payments start arriving," said Caroline Hubberstey, Head of External Communications, Interac Association and Acxsys Corporation. "By choosing to pay with Interac products and services, Canadians can help stay within their budgets because they'll shop using money already in their bank accounts."

Shopping expectations for loved ones…and Rover

Being more selective about who receives gifts may also impact the overall holiday expenditure. One out of four Canadians said they will buy gifts for their pets, while less than one out of ten (8 per cent) will purchase a gift for their boss. More than one-third (35 per cent) of Canadian holiday shoppers will be buying gifts for themselves.

When asking what the estimated spend is for each recipient, Canadians said:

  • Spouse or partner: $203
  • Child/Children: $237
  • Yourself: $179
  • Pet(s): $63

When it comes to overall holiday shopping spend, more than one-in-four respondents (28 per cent) indicated they will spend between $250 and $499 in total, followed closely by those spending between $100 and $249 (22 per cent). Five per cent of respondents estimate that they will fork over $1500 or more for holiday shopping.

Shopping wisely using Interac products and services

The survey shows that 79 per cent of Canadians anticipate using Interac products and services to pay for some of their holiday purchases this season.

  • Interac Debit provides instant access to your money at merchants across the country, without having to worry about carrying cash or getting a credit card bill later. And, Interac FlashTM, the contactless enhancement of Interac Debit, gives cardholders the choice to pay for smaller value items quickly and securely by simply holding their Interac Debit card up to a contactless point-of-sale reader that supports Interac Flash. 
  • Interac Online payment allows Canadians to shop over the Internet at many online retailers immediately and securely. And since transactions are conducted through online banking, financial information is never shared with merchants or other third parties.
  • Interac e-TransferTM is a quick, secure and simple way to send money to friends and family, perfect for splitting the cost of holiday gifts or sending a cash gift to your niece who lives across the country.

"By setting realistic expectations, shopping within their limits, and spending money that they already have by using Interac products and services, Canadians can have a financially healthy holiday season," said Hubberstey.

About the Survey
The results cited in the 2012 Interac Holiday survey conducted by The Strategic Counsel  are compiled from a random sample of 1000 Canadians 18 years of age and over between November 6 and November 8, 2012. A probability sample of this size would yield results accurate to ± 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

About Interac Association and Acxsys Corporation
A recognized world leader in debit card services, Interac Association is responsible for the development and operations of the Interac network, a national payment network that allows Canadians to access their money through Interac Cash at 60,000 Automated Banking Machines and Interac Debit at 766,000 point-of-sale terminals across Canada. Interac Flash, a secure contactless enhancement of Interac Debit allows Canadians to pay for items instantly with their Interac chip debit card at a reader that supports Interac Flash.

Interac Association was founded in 1984 and is comprised of a diverse membership that includes banks, trust companies, credit unions, caisses populaires, merchants, and technology and payment related companies.

Other related services offered by Acxsys Corporation, whose shareholders are the architects of the Interac network, include: Interac Online, for secure online payments made directly from a bank account; Interac e-Transfer, for the transfer of money from one person's bank account to another person's bank account using an email address or mobile phone number*; and international services, which provide Canadian cardholders with point-of-sale access at nearly 2 million U.S. retailers, and PULSE, Discover, Diners Club International and UnionPay cardholders access to ABMs in Canada.

Interac, the Interac logo, Interac Flash and Interac e-Transfer are trade-marks of Interac Inc. Used under license.

*The Interac e-Transfer service, for secure person-to-person payments, is currently available to customers of over 100 banks and credit unions including BMO Bank of Montreal, CIBC, President's Choice Financial, National Bank, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank and TD Canada Trust among others. Central 1, through participating credit unions, offers the option of using mobile phone numbers, in addition to email, to notify Interac e-Transfer recipients. Money never travels by email or text message. More information about the Interac e- Transfer service and a complete list of participating banks and credit unions can be found at www.interac.ca.

SOURCE Interac Association

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