As part of its commitment to providing the safest and most secure payment network, Interac Association announced the completion of Canada’s first INTERAC debit card transaction at the point-of-sale terminal using chip technology. The transaction was processed today by TD Merchant Services using a BMO Bank of Montreal chip debit card at Mercato Giovanni’s Fresh Food located in downtown Toronto. The chip debit card transaction was conducted in preparation for the Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario market trial of chip technology which will begin in fall 2007.
“The successful processing of the first INTERAC chip debit card transaction represents great progress and brings Canada one step closer to the chip migration,” said Mark O’Connell, President and CEO, Interac Association. “We look forward to working with our members and partners throughout the Kitchener-Waterloo market trial towards a smooth transition to chip technology across Canada.”
Chip technology will provide increased protection against debit and credit card fraud. The transition to chip technology represents an evolution of electronic payments systems designed to make an already safe system even more secure. The foundation of chip technology is based on the global technical standard known as “EMV”(TM), which is already in use in many countries around the world.
“Processing the first INTERAC chip debit transaction is a milestone that we’re proud of as it takes us one step closer to introducing our banking and merchant customers to chip technology,” said Jeff van Duynhoven, Vice President, TD Bank Financial Group. “We have made great progress internally to ready TD for the migration to chip technology, both at TD Green Machines and at the point-of-sale, and with the support of Interac Association we are well-positioned to begin our chip roll-out later this year.”
Beginning in fall 2007, merchants and cardholders will start to see the introduction of cards, Automated Banking Machines and merchant terminals that feature chip technology, and within three years, it is expected that the majority of Canadians will be able to fully benefit from this new technology.
“Ensuring the security of our customers’ information and accounts is an absolute priority for BMO Bank of Montreal,” said Michel Chalifoux, Vice President, BMO Card and Retail Payments. “Processing the first retail transaction on a chip-secure BMO debit card represents an important milestone and reassures our customers that BMO is at the forefront of adapting tools and technology that help them make day-to-day purchases conveniently and securely in Canada. BMO customers will enjoy the benefit of this enhanced security from an extensive network of BMO Automated Banking Machines across Canada immediately upon the national roll-out of this chip card technology.”
The complete migration to chip technology will take a number of years, given the vast number of Automated Banking Machines, point-of-sale terminals and banking cards across Canada which must be upgraded. Each financial institution has its own timetable in place, so the introduction of chip technology will vary from one participant to another.
Chip cards will continue to carry a magnetic stripe, which remains a safe payment method, not only to facilitate the chip transition period, but also to allow cardholders to use their debit cards in other countries that do not use chip technology.
About BMO Bank of Montreal
BMO was established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal and served as Canada’s central bank until 1935. It was also the first Canadian bank to open branches abroad, in London and New York, in 1818. Today, BMO operates around the world, providing 24-hour banking services through a sophisticated electronic network. In Canada, BMO has a cross-country network of 1,211 bank branches and 1,954 ABMs, which provide customers with convenient and secure access to their accounts 24 hour a day, seven days a week.
About TD Bank Financial Group
The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Financial Group. The Bank serves more than 14 million customers in four key businesses operating in a number of locations in key financial centres around the globe: Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Canada Trust as well as the Bank’s global insurance operations (excluding the U.S.); Wealth Management, including TD Waterhouse Canada, TD Waterhouse U.K. and the Bank’s investment in TD Ameritrade; U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking through TD Banknorth; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. The Bank also ranks among the world’s leading on-line financial services firms, with more than 4.5 million on-line customers. The Bank had $404 billion in assets as at July 31, 2007. The Bank is headquartered in Toronto, Canada. The Bank’s common stock is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange under symbol: TD, as well as on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
About Interac Association
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 Automated Banking Machines and point-of-sale terminals across Canada. Interac Association was founded in 1984 and is composed of a diverse membership which includes banks, trust companies, credit unions, caisses populaires, merchants, and technology and payment related companies. Other INTERAC-branded and related services include: INTERAC Online, for secure online payments directly from a bank account, INTERAC Email Money Transfer, for the transfer of money from a bank account to anyone with an email address, and Cross Border Debit, for point-of-sale access at more than 1.5 million U.S. retailers.