eFunds announced this week record transaction volume for a single day on Dec. 23 at more than 12 million transactions. The company, whose award-winning software, processing, and gateway services handle 15 billion electronic funds transactions a year around the globe, also reports that ATMs and point-of-sale card devices made a smooth transition into the new millennium.
Compared to 1998, eFunds’ transaction volume showed a marked increase during the entire final week of 1999. From Dec. 23-31, eFunds’ EFT volume was up 25 percent, which includes processing for ATMs, point-of-sale debit cards and electronic benefits transfer transactions. The largest increases over 1998 were recorded Monday, Dec. 27, with a 55 percent increase and Thursday, Dec. 30, with a 45 percent jump.
“The first transaction spike on Dec. 27 was probably related to shoppers hitting the post-holiday sales or restocking groceries and using their debit cards, while others visited the ATM to replenish their cash after the weekend,” said Debra Janssen, president and CEO of eFunds. “The spike on Dec. 30 was most likely related to consumers, as expected, taking out cash for the New Year’s weekend celebrations and somewhat because of Y2K concerns. However, consumers didn’t panic and in general heeded the advice of their financial services companies and did not make a run on ATMs during the final days of the millennium.”
eFunds witnessed increased transaction volume throughout the year and will report a strong year-over-year increase, once final December figures are tabulated. “We’re seeing consumers beginning to embrace electronic payment options as they find their debit cards and ATM cards increasingly convenient to use,” Janssen said. “We expect continued strong EFT growth in the new year.”
In its December issue, The Nilson Report, a leading payment system industry publication, predicts debit card transactions to increase from 4.9 billion in 1998 to 29.7 billion in 2010. In 2010, The Nilson Report predicts debit cards will account for 59 percent of purchase transactions, compared with 27 percent in 1998. The Internet, where 95 percent of today’s transactions are credit-based, represents a major opportunity for debit payments.
Even with the record EFT volume and various doomsday predictions for the international payment system, eFunds encountered no significant Y2K problems. “We promised our customers business as usual service in the new year, and we made good on that promise,” said Janssen. “As we conclude the first business week of the year, we’re seeing the results of our hard work and preparation paying off.”
Y2K was a priority for eFunds and all of Deluxe Corporation for the past three years. “Given the scope of this company, Y2K has been viewed from the start as a business issue rather than a technology issue,” said Dan Bailey, project manager for Y2K communications for Deluxe Corporation. “The success of eFunds during the rollover to 2000 was matched throughout Deluxe Corporation.”
Customers in 23 countries rely on eFunds services. eFunds drives more than 8,500 ATMs worldwide, provides account opening tools at more than 80,000 financial services locations, provides check verification at more than 77,000 retail locations, processes more than 500,000 electronic check transactions each month and is the largest third-party EFT processor handling nearly 5 billion transactions a year.
About eFunds and Deluxe
eFunds ( [http://www.efunds.com] ) provides leading payment management solutions that manage risk and enhance customer relationships for financial services providers, retailers, networks and remarketers, e-commerce providers and any business that routinely accepts debit payments. Deluxe Corporation is a Fortune 1,000 company headquartered in St. Paul, Minn. For more information, visit [http://www.deluxe.com]