While retailers experienced another damp Christmas, with overall spending down, the number of ATM/EFTPOS transactions leapt up over the period.
Traditionally ATM/EFTPOS activity is spread throughout the days leading up to Christmas but the number of Christmas Eve systems transactions was 40% higher than the previous year, from 3.7 to 5.1 million, according to EDS.
EDS director of finance/insurance Stephen Williams says in the past the busiest day of the year for transactions has been the Thursday before Easter. However Christmas Eve surpassed Easter's record by 1.3 million transactions.
"Possible reasons for the peak included less spending the previous weekend and Income Support's Christmas Eve deposit of benefit and superannuation payments.
"The use of ATM/EFTPOS has been growing around 40 percent for the past few years and now growth is easing as the market becomes more saturated."
Meanwhile New Zealand Post will be offering EFTPOS from all branches of its PostShop outlets from February 14. James Grassick, general manager of consumer business support and technology, says NZ Post has waited this long before implementing EFTPOS because the service is being integrated with the new point-of-sale systems PostLink II.
Currently the new POS and EFTPOS software is being installed at a rate of 10 PostShop sites a night, covering 1109 counters in total.
PostLink II, running on an IBM OS/2 Warp Connect platform, was developed in-house to support Oracle Forms. The previous system, also OS/2 based was also built in-house.
"At the same time as we download the EFTPOS and PostLink software, we are also installing new post label printers and electronic scales," says Grassick. "We believe our EFTPOS system will be the most highly integrated in New Zealand. We could have installed EFTPOS earlier but it would have been a stand alone system. Now we have the facility to download new EFTPOS software and launch new products without having to swap out any of the pinpads."
NZ Post is using Ingenico EFTPOS equipment supplied by Walker Datavision.
Hot on the heels of EFTPOS capabilities, NZ Post will be offering the facility for customers of other banks to bank at Post Shop outlets.
Grassick says NZ Post is negotiating with several banks and expects to offer a service in the first quarter of this year. He declined to comment any further.