More than eight billion eftpos transactions have been processed in New Zealand since Paymark launched its network in the 1980s.
The lucky eight billionth payment was processed at Pak’nSave in Albany, Auckland on Thursday afternoon. This is the company’s 20th year in operation.
Paymark chief executive Simon Tong said it was “no surprise” the transaction had been processed at a supermarket where millions were processed every year around the country.
Mr Tong said the eight billionth transaction was significant as it showed the important role eftpos plays in the lives of New Zealanders.
Mr Tong said the company processed on average 200 transactions per year for every New Zealander. He said in contrast the average was 80 transactions per person per year in Canada, which showed New Zealanders used eftpos far more than other countries.
The company processed its one billionth transaction after 10 years from 1989 to 1998. It took 14 months to December 10 for the transaction numbers to go from seven to eight billion.
Mr Tong said he expected it to take less than one year to reach the next billionth transaction. He added there were about 1.5 eftpos and credit cards for every New Zealander.
“We continue to grow around 6 – 7% year on year. It’s slowly replacing cash but cash will still be used for farmers markets and other events where electronic transactions would be too expensive.”
He said there had been a hike in cash transactions in recent year, which was due to immigration from Asian countries, where cash is used a lot more than electronic transactions for smaller payments. “In New Zealand (consumers) don’t think twice about using eftpos for smaller transactions such as for $1.
“For banks cash is expensive, as they need security and there are cash handling fees. It’s cheaper for banks (and consumers) to use electronic transitions.”
Mr Tong said the first two weeks of December had been good for retailers but it was difficult to compare year on year as weekend days performed better than week days. “The last few days people seem to be getting into the Christmas shopping.
Eftpos is up 6.4% for the year, while credit cards were up 2.7%.