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Press Release: Payments eXchange announces Call for Entries for Prepaid & Payments Awards 2013 NOW OPEN!

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Dave Hunt, Chairman of Payments eXchange announced today that the Call For Entries is formally open for the upcoming 2nd Annual Prepaid & Payments Awards through May 1, 2013. In making the announcement, Dave Hunt said, “We are delighted to welcome entries for the 2013 Awards. In this, our 2nd Annual Event, we are inviting companies to nominate themselves or others for this exclusive Canadian honour. A panel of expert judges will score the entries in each of the eleven categories through a strict independent judging process, from which the winners will be determined. The Awards ceremony is a prestigious black-tie event, which not only inspires and celebrates the highest calibre of achievement, but also builds recognition of prepaid & payments across all sectors of our community throughout Canada and the rest of the world.” Mr. Hunt was also very pleased to announce the PX Prepaid & Payments Awards event will follow the PX 6th Annual Prepaid & Payments Retreat (June 5th and 6th) and that both events will be under one roof this year, at the Pantages Hotel Toronto Centre.
About The 2nd Annual Prepaid & Payments Awards Canada
On Thursday, June 6, 2013, this exclusive black-tie gala will bring together 200 people from the Prepaid & Payments industry in Canada to celebrate innovation and best practice. The Awards Ceremony is the perfect way to entertain current and future clients, whilst acknowledging the very best in prepaid and payments.
About Payments eXchange
Incubated in 2008, originally as an annual conference, in Toronto, Prepaid Exchange Canada was born in March 2011, as the Domestic (Local) Exchange for Global Prepaid Exchange (now GX) of the UK. Effectively, we are the feet on the ground to bring our industry together with greater regularity, precise focus on the Canadian landscape and to drive adoption of our respective prepaid and payments related services. Our responsibility is to engage and grow our Community, where we have a respected platform to stimulate and educate consumers, regulators and stakeholders on best practices, trends, challenges and opportunities. To promote excellent relations and build superior relationships, domestically and globally. To expand our stakeholder service capabilities, functionality and engagement through technology, innovation, security and interoperability, so that we may ultimately increase the adoption of our products and services by citizens, organizations and governments. Our well established dynamic and influential Community of thought leaders, industry and product shapers are comprised of companies doing business here and others who intend to do business here, in Canada.
Further Information:
Steven Clarke Regional Business Development Manager, PaymentseXchange Direct: 905 602-0478 x224; Mobile: 647 274 3228;
Awards Information:

Canada Will Be Riding the Same Wave as the US

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

By Brian Crozier, E-commerce Entrepreneur

Brian Crozier founded Net Payments Solutions specializing in “card-not-present” cross -border payments business in 1996. Pioneering some of the first online bank payments with UseMyBank and Pay900 services for e-commerce, Brian brings all the experiences accumulated from working with the worlds’ lea ding e-commerce processors, payment service providers and global merchants. Brian currently offers a global payout platform to deposit funds to any local bank ac-count, Visa or MasterCard anywhere.

The state of e-commerce in Canada and the multi-channel convergence

E-commerce in Canada is growing as a result of the fact that a massive number of people are currently using smartphones and tablets. Therefore, Canada will be riding the same wave as the US, as ever more customers are interacting with e-commerce via mobile devices, which leads to an increase on global e-commerce.

My opinion is that, in terms of multi-channel convergence, Canada is following the same trend as other countries. I have heard from companies who develop applications, especially in the travel industry, that these applications are specifically designed for tablets, because the experience people have on these devices is different from the one on the mobile phones or computers.

Even the way information is displayed in the apps and everything else is moving towards tablets and mobile devices because currently, that is the fastest going access point on the internet.

PSPs and payment methods

Most major PSPs in Canada are expecting major growth to continue in e-commerce sales over the next few years and are vying with each other to add more countries and their local payment solutions. Alternative payment systems will continue to gain popularity and market share as online transactions continue to increase. With more online payment options than ever before, merchants are learning to offer as many methods as possible to gain a competitive advantage.

A recent study by CyberSource found that websites providing four or more payment methods other than credit cards had a sales conversion rate 12% higher than those offering just one online payment option in addition to credit cards.

When making a purchase online, Canadian consumers can choose to use credit/debit cards as well as electronic payments services such as PayPal and Interac Online’s 4 major banks. Credit cards are still the most preferred online payment method with over 75 million Visa and MasterCard cards in circulation in Canada. Accepting multiple payment methods increases conversion when you let your customers know as soon as possible they can pay with their preferred method.

Europe versus Canada

In my opinion, Europeans are more advanced than Canadians, when it comes to using e-commerce. I believe what is actually going on in North America is that a lot of people look on the websites, but actually go to the physical stores to make a purchase because people are closer to all these outlets. So, they might be looking online, but they prefer to go to the store to buy.

And I think this was actually a great opportunity for to enter the market because it needed the strength of an aggregator to present such a strong proposition to consumers to shop at one destination.

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Canada is More Than Ready to Compete in Omni-Channel E-Commerce

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

By Drew Green, SHOP.CA Drew Green is founder, CEO and chairman of SHOP.CA and is responsible for overall corporate strategy, sales, marketing and operations. Having spent his entire career connecting online audiences with retailers through digital media, marketing solutions, mobile marketing and marketplace platforms in the US, Drew is now focused on his homeland, with a vision to significantly improve and ease the online buying experience for the millions of Canadian that SHOP online. SHOP HAPPY at Canada’s #1 shopping destination. SHOP.CA has become Canada’s leader in online shopping, providing a unique Canadian experience that combines an authoritative selection of products, unparalleled service and a social loyalty program that rewards members on every purchase. Launched in July 2012, SHOP.CA has become the fastest growing retail website in Canada and top 10 most visited Canadian owned e-commerce website. SHOP.CA provides Canadians with the brands, products and services they want and expect from trusted retailers, manufacturers and service providers, through a universal shopping cart and one account. Through a cloud-based Marketplace-as-a-Service (MaaS) platform, SHOP.CA makes it easy and FUN for certified partners to list, price and sell their products and services to Canadians, through a single destination committed to the highest level of consumer satisfaction.
Which are this year’s main trends in shopping behaviour in Canada?
Drew Green: There is a lot of interest and innovation in Canada in terms of e-commerce transactions as more and more of the retail spending is now made online. 2012 has really reached a tipping point in the adoption of e-commerce by the Canadian public. For the first time, many Canadian retailers have embraced Black Friday and Cyber Monday. What is striking about this is the fact that Black Friday has its roots in the US Thanksgiving tradition, but retailers have adapted and adopted Black Friday sales here as a way to keep Canadian money north of the border. From my point of view, this trend will increase in 2013. The pace of retail change and expansion is another key trend for 2013. The first store openings of Target have happened in 2013 and this is the first of several US major retail chains that have announced Canadian launch strategies. As a result, domestic retailers are responding with better products and better prices and focusing on selection and innovation. Another trend worth mentioning is the shift towards mobile and social commerce. Canadians are number one in the world in terms of social media consumption.
What do European web retailers need to know before doing business in Canada?
Drew Green: On the one hand, Canadian consumers are a lot like their American neighbours, in terms of product categories that are bought online, but, on the other hand, there are some significant differences. Canada is the second largest country in the world by landmass, but is only one tenth of the US population. As a result, Canada is sparsely populated with several major population centers (Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver for example). These major urban centers have very different needs throughout the year and the weather differences alone between Toronto and Vancouver can lead to different buying behaviours. This geographical aspect presents logistics challenges, hereby it is recommended to partner with logistics leaders that understand the complexities of shipments in Canada. As a result of this geography and frankly some complacency by retailers in Canada, the Canadian consumer has endured lower service levels than their US consumer counter-parts. But this is changing rapidly, the days of Canadians accepting sub-par customer ser-vice are over. While Canada does not have a universal VAT tax rate as certain European countries, the tax situation as a whole is much simpler than in the US. Most provinces are aligned with harmonized tax and those that are not, only have 2 tax rates that are for the most part applicable to all goods sold. French and English are the two official languages in Canada and providing customer support in both official languages is a must to succeed.
How do the European and Canadian online retailing markets compare in size and growth potential?
Drew Green: Canadian e-commerce is a USD 20 billion market, growing at double-digit CAGR rates (12-15 percent) and growing faster than in the US where the market is more mature. Europe is dominated by the UK, France and Germany for online sales and Canada would fall roughly between France and Germany in terms of growth rate and market potential. By 2015, Canada is predicted to be a USD 30 billion market, while Germany will be a USD 40 billion market growing at 9 percent CAGR and France a USD 25 billion market in 2015 growing at 11 percent CAGR. By way of comparison, the online market in Canada is roughly the same size as the cellular wireless market; 3 carriers with a combined market share of 85 percent dominate that market. For online retail, no retailer has so far achieved more than 10 percent of the market.
What is driving e-commerce development on the Canadian market?
Drew Green: First and foremost, it is the increasing demand from consumers. Canadians love to shop online and spend as much per capita online as US consumers, but so far are spending two thirds of that south of the border on US websites. Primarily this has been because of a lack of domestic Canadian retail e-commerce websites and greater selection available in the US. While the selection has historically been greater from US retailers for Canadians, there are often added shipping costs and duty getting products shipped from the US into Canada. As a result, Canadians incur many unforeseen costs when they shop online. That frustration has made Canadians demand more from Canadian retailers and they are responding with increased focus on providing local e-commerce options.
What factors are holding back developments in the online retailing space?
Drew Green: There are several misconceptions with regard to selling online in Canada that are holding back development. Probably the biggest misconception is that it is too difficult to sell online and that as a large country, the logistics for selling online in Canada are prohibitive. From a logistics perspective, Canada Post, Hopewell Logistics and both large and small courier companies have long ago solved the complexities of managing delivery to Canadians.
In your opinion, what are the differences and similarities from an online payments perspective between the US and Canada on one hand and Europe, on the other?
Drew Green: There is much wider usage of 3D-Secure (Verified by Visa for example) in Europe than in Canada or the US. In North America, credit card is the most common form of payment followed by PayPal and in Canada Interac and more recently Visa Debit. While COD/Payment on Delivery is more common in countries like Germany, it is virtually non-existent in Canada. There are also more payment gateway options in Europe with several country-specific vendors, whereas in Canada large gateways such as Moneris lead the North American market.
What is your opinion on the level of customer/merchant readiness for change in Canada? In other words, is Canada ready to prepare a context for the advent of an omni-channel experience?
Drew Green: Customers are more than ready for increased selection and innovation in e-commerce in Canada. We are already a country with the highest social media usage worldwide and one of the highest broadband penetration rates. Canadians are active users of smartphones and mobile devices and mobile commerce is already commonplace here. Canada is a world leader in mobile commerce and mobile technology with pioneers such as Blackberry invented here. Canada is more than ready to compete and participate in omni-channel commerce.
How can innovation on “customer-not-present” solutions for e-commerce transactions be intensified in Canada?
Drew Green: Payment processing in Canada is already quite advanced thanks to the country’s strong banking sector than created a common payments backbone for all financial institutions in Canada. As a result, Canadians have had online debit processing for years through Interac and most recently with Visa Debit. Our mobile consumption and innovation is world-class with companies like Blackberry calling Canada home. Looking to the future, we see more innovation in NFC, digital wallet payment services and chip and Pin security advancing customer-not-present transactions. Published from

PX Canada announces the 6th Annual Prepaid & Payments Retreat and Prepaid & Payments Awards

Friday, February 15th, 2013

The most important Canadian Prepaid & Payments event of the year, The 6th annual Prepaid & Payments Retreat will take place June 5 and 6, 2013 at the Pantages Hotel Toronto Centre and will feature seminars, roundtables and interactive sessions from senior executives and thought leaders from throughout the Payments industry. Limited to 200 delegates, attendees will learn from, exchange ideas with and meet senior industry leaders representing gift and prepaid cards and the ever-changing areas of payments, emerging technology, mobile engagement and complimentary vertical business services in Canada and around the world.

Save the dates:

6th Annual Prepaid & Payments Retreat:

June 5th and 6th, 2013

Day 1: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Location: Pantages Hotel Toronto Centre PXConnect: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM Location: Hard Rock Café, Dundas Square

Day 2: 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Location: Pantages Hotel Toronto Centre Following the Retreat, is the 2nd Annual Prepaid & Payments Awards black tie gala. Come celebrate the most successful and influential contributors to the gift, prepaid and payments industry. This year, both the Retreat and the Awards are under one roof.

June 6th, 2013

6:00 PM – 1:00 AM Location: Pantages Hotel Toronto Centre For more information, or to book Sponsorship packages, please contact

Mobile Wallet Wars: Winner is the “Final Foot”

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Gary Schwartz CEO / President Impact Mobile, Inc. Director MEF NA, The Global Community for Mobile Content and Commerce As VISA launches the digital wallet, a “digital wallet” in a bid to be relevant in the proliferation of cloud payment credentials, VISA and other incumbent payment providers should be concerned that in a cloud-based economy, it may lose its position in the market. Presently VISA owns the lion’s share of credit and debit/prepaid plastic in circulation globally. (VISA 2,400MM vs. MasterCard 1,000MM) Up-starts such as Square and digital innovators such as Paypal are trying to challenge the status quo and change the way people pay with plastic. Google and Apple continue to disintermediate the card vendors by aggregating large volumes of transactions and pass them back to the banks as “prepaid” with low interchange fees. All in all, new payment players are looking at the old business hegemony of VISA and MasterCard and going OTT (over-the-top). It is not about eliminating plastic. And it is not really an issue of whether these plastic holders are going the way of vinyl; but more importantly an issue of the business model behind these card and card credentials. Roles are being commoditized. Cards are simply a way to store and relay banking credentials to the POS in the store and the POS in the cloud. In the US this is no more than a number that is stored on a magnetic swipe and embossed in the plastic. In the rest of the world this number is housed more securely in a chip. A chip that can be emulated securely in the phone chip (or SIM). It is unlikely that the costly backend systems in the US and Europe that deal with fraud and regulatory issues will be displaced. And that the 2,400MM VISA cards and the 1,000MM MasterCard that use these systems will disappear. (*) However, as VISA and MasterCard continue to be the trusted brands on every online and physical store they may find that their margins dipping. As banks try to revamp their mobile banking applications and ATMs to be more relevant to their peripatetic customer, fewer value added fees and services will impact their margins. The question to ask is who owns the customers relationship because it is ultimately this relationship (the final foot) that they can monetize. The emergence of mobile and card-linked offers is making the point-of-sale systems in the cloud and eventually in the store, the new promotional depots for digital deals and coupons. So called “big data” and value added services will ultimately yield the most profit.
*(In emerging markets, where there little infrastructure, companies like M-Pesa service the unbanked via their mobile phone account. VISA has entered these emerging markets through acquisition of Fundamo and MasterCard through a partnership with Telefónica. Similar to the US, these companies are vying for the last-mile relationship.)
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The End of Pennies & Amazon Coins from the Cloud

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Gary Schwartz CEO / President Impact Mobile, Inc. Director MEF NA, The Global Community for Mobile Content and Commerce With the Canadian Mint abandoning the mighty penny and Amazon creating its own digital currency system called Amazon Coins (to be used to purchase apps in its Kindle Fire Tablet), where is cash heading? In May, Amazon Coins will flood the market with “tens of millions of dollars” of virtual coins. The Canadian mint will remove the equivalent in copper. This value transfer from cash coins to promotional coins is not connected but illustrative of the value of currency to drive engagement and what is often referred to as “big data.” The penny and the dollar have not lost their value in our digital economy (*) but the ability for the data behind our purchase behavior may yield more value. How we buy has changed so profoundly over the past few decades. Money and path to purchase has become more fluid. Days waiting for cash to clear is now instantaneous. Digital credentials such as Paypal and Paypass allow for seamless payments inconceivable few years ago. We know that financial institutions and the new mobile wallets snub their nose at cash and hope that all transactions move through their gateway and pay a service toll. But more importantly for the Google’s and Apple’s wallets to tether a digital relationship that allows for incremental advertising and engagement opportunities. As we move into digital wallets in the cloud and the store, look for more “Amazon” pennies from heaven. Or in this case, from the cloud.
* (Cash is a clumsy system and removing pennies can upset the countries cash register. In 1971 the penny was axed in the UK. Cash confusion and many retail that were accused of rounding up rather than down allowed price increases that pundits attributed to increased inflation in the country for a quarter of a century. By the 70s, inflation was upward of 25%.)
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We thank those who supported our First Annual Cards4Kids Fundraiser

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

Amanda Neale-Robinson I wanted to express my deepest thanks for your support and generosity. My teammates are absolutely thrilled by the support Payments eXchange / Prepaid Exchange Canada has shown us this past year including the successful Cards4Kids Program. The gift cards from your colleagues has made a considerable impact in the Club’s seasonal mission to provide holiday assistance to deserving families and Youths in need. Thank you once again for your continued support of our Club. With deepest thanks, Amanda Neale-Robinson Manager, Fund Development, Sponsorship & Events Toronto Kiwanis Boys & Girls Clubs

1st Annual Cards4Kids Program – Supporting the Toronto Kiwanis Boys & Girls Clubs

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

As leaders in the gift card, prepaid, mobile and payments industries we call upon you now, to give generously as we prepare to gather more than 2000 gift cards, prepaid cards, phone cards and financial cards – all of which will be directly provided to support the Boys & Girls Club Holiday Hamper 2012 program. More than 1100 at-risk young people and their families will be the direct beneficiary of your donation.

Gift Cards and Prepaid Card products will be graciously accepted in denominations of $10, $25 and $50. If you do not have gift or prepaid cards you may also make a monetary donation to The Boys & Girls Club by clicking the link below or by providing funds c/o to convert your monetary donation to Cards4Kids (contact Steven Clarke). Either way your generosity and assistance is very much appreciated!

Campaign Dates:
September 26, 2012 – November 28th, 2012

To donate gift/prepaid cards, please download the donation form which contains all program, tax, and donation details. Click here to download the Donation form.

Click here for more details on how gift/prepaid cards will help support the Holiday Hamper Program! If you would like to provide a monetary/cash donation online, please click here.

For more information and submit your DONATION FORM please email:

Prepaid Awards Canada

Friday, June 15th, 2012

On June 7th 2012, the illustrious Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex in Toronto played host to the inaugural black tie Prepaid Awards Canada, celebrating innovation and best practice within the Canadian prepaid industry. Over 180 prepaid industry professionals saw winners presented with awards in eight different categories, which had been judged by an independent panel of prepaid experts from around the world.

A cocktail reception hosted by the official event sponsor MasterCard Worldwide took place prior to the awards ceremony.

In order to ensure the integrity of the results, international judges worked in isolation of one another so that no one was aware who had judged submissions across the eight categories. In addition, the judging process ensured that no judge could have a vested interest in their assigned category, and results were kept secret until the winner and runner up were announced at the event.

Winners included Tim Hortons and First Data, who received the Best Prepaid Consumer Program award, and Moneris Solutions who won for Leading Prepaid Organization.

On the evening of the awards ceremony, Prepaid Awards Canada and Prepaid Exchange Canada were delighted to be able to present a $5,000 cheque to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, their charity of choice for the Canadian market.

Prepaid Awards was originally launched in October 2008 in the UK and since then the Prepaid Awards has grown both in the quality of submissions received and in the amount of industry professionals attending the event.

Prepaid Awards Canada is supported by Prepaid Exchange Canada which has established a ‘Prepaid Community’, working to collaborate, innovate and educate and bring industry stakeholders together as business partners to drive the success of gift and prepaid in Canada.

On behalf of Prepaid Exchange Canada and Prepaid Awards Canada, Richard McLaughlin, SVP Global Products and Solutions, MasterCard Worldwide (l) and Dave Hunt, President, TheHuntGroup and Prepaid Awards Canada (r) present a cheque for $5,000 to Amanda Neale-Robinson, Toronto Kiwanis Boys & Girls Clubs.

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