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Press release from CNW Group

Canadian Economy Reaps the Benefits of Electronic Payments

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Canadian Economy Reaps the Benefits of Electronic Payments14:03 EDT Thursday, September 13, 2012e-Commerce posts higher than expected growth rate for 11th consecutive monthTORONTO, Sept. 13, 2012 /CNW/ - Today, MasterCard Canada released economic insights from the MasterCard AdvisorsSpendingPulsereport, indicating online spending grew more than 37% in August when compared to e-Commerce sales in August 2011. The 40th consecutive positive year-over-year monthly growth rate for e-Commerce demonstrates a significant shift in Canadians' spending habits."August is a busy month for many Canadians. Families and students are preparing for back to school and shopping is top of mind. Many of them like the convenience of online shopping and the added benefits of going cashless," says Richard McLaughlin, Senior Vice President, MasterCard Canada. "As more and more people embrace mobile payment options, we will continue to see the benefits of e-Commerce on the Canadian economy."There were substantially more e-Commerce sales recorded in August 2012 (in dollar terms) than in any other August in previous years. The three-month average growth rate moved above the 30% mark for the first time in 2012. The total Canadian retail sales for August 2012 increased to 3.6% versus August 2011."The growth of e-Commerce in Canada is significantly outpacing overall retail sales growth. Driving this trend are the financial advantages e-Commerce offers to retailers and consumers," said Michael McNamara, Vice President of Research and Analysis for MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse. "The lower costs often associated with operating online stores provides an opportunity for higher margin sales for retailers while potentially lower prices for consumers.  It offers a 'win-win' sales model for retailers and consumers alike."Other highlights from the August 2012 MasterCard Spending Pulse report include:August marked the 34th consecutive month of positive growth for total retail sales in Canada.Grocery sales for August 2012 were higher than average sales for August in the previous 5 yearsDepartment store sales were up over 10% in August when compared to August 2011.Gasoline sales saw a double-digit year-over-year growth in August.SpendingPulse launched in the United States in March 2006 and is one of the most frequently cited measures of the U.S. retail economy. In Canada, SpendingPulse began offering reports starting in January 2012 to subscribers, providing granular, industry-specific sales figures across all payment modes with accuracy and timeliness.SpendingPulse reports are available on a subscription basis, released monthly and track, month-over-month, year-over-year changes and other relevant breakouts. The insights help businesses better understand the economic environment in which they operate and make informed decisions. SpendingPulse reports can be shared within a corporation and are applicable to decision makers who operate within the investments, risk, media, consumer payments and merchant arenas.About MasterCardMasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com,is a global payments and technology company. It operates the world's fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard's products and solutions make everyday commerce activities - such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances - easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Cashless Conversations Blog and subscribe for the latest news.About MasterCard SpendingPulse A macro‐economic indicator, MasterCard SpendingPulse reports on national retail sales and is based on aggregate sales activity in the MasterCard payments network, coupled with survey-based estimates for certain other payment forms, including cash and cheque. MasterCard SpendingPulse does not represent MasterCard financial performance. SpendingPulse is provided by MasterCardAdvisors, the professional services arm of MasterCard International Incorporated. MasterCard SpendingPulse reports and content, including estimated forecasts of spending trends, do not in any way contain, reflect or relate to actual MasterCard operational or financial performance, or specific payment-card-issuer data.About MasterCard AdvisorsAs the professional services arm of MasterCard Worldwide, MasterCard Advisors is uniquely qualified to provide clients with insights and solutions that drive tangible impact and financial gain. MasterCard Advisors provides payments consulting, information, analytics, and customized services that deliver value to its customers. In doing so, the company uses information to create products and services in which privacy and security are fundamental to their design. A technology company that is an electronic payments leader, MasterCard is committed to the responsible use of information and pledges strong privacy protection for the transaction data the company processes. Its information management practices support the company's mission to make payments safe, simple and smart. For more information, go to www.mastercardadvisors.comSOURCE: MasterCard CanadaFor further information: MasterCard Canada Yuri Park, ypark@environicspr.com  416-969-3311