Moneris Solutions Corporation

Moneris Solutions Corporation

September 24, 2007 10:40 ET

Moneris Solutions Corporation: U.S. Spending in Canada Sees Significant Decline

Tighter border requirements and soaring loonie create "perfect storm" for Canadian merchants

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 24, 2007) - Spending by visitors from the United States during the key summer months dropped dramatically as Canadian merchants recorded fewer U.S. credit card transactions and ATMs registered a decline in U.S. card cash withdrawals during July and August versus the same time period last year, according to data released today by Moneris Solutions Corporation ("Moneris"). "Every major Canadian city was hit and just about every industry was hit by this decline," says Brian Green, Senior Vice President, Moneris Solutions.

As Canada's largest electronic payment processing provider, Moneris is in a unique position to examine patterns in the Canadian economy by identifying shifts in consumer buying behaviour.

"Clearly, fewer Americans are seeing Canada as an attractive tourist and shopping destination and the Canadian economy is seeing a negative impact as a result of the sharp decline in U.S. spending," says Green. "Through our data, we have seen a significant decline in U.S. spending in key segments and that is having a dramatic impact on some Canadian merchants."

Significant year over year decline in US cardholder spending was noted in several key industries:



- Americans travelled less within Canada
- Bus travel dropped 13%
- Gas & convenience declined by 10%
- Tourist Destinations were frequented less by Americans
- Public golf course visits declined by 14%
- Trailer parks & camp sites dropped by 22%
- Retailers were frequented less by U.S. tourists
- Specialty retail declined by 35%
- Department stores dropped by 6%
- Hospitality was hit hard
- Hotel reservations dropped by 13%
- Restaurant visits declined by 8%


"It appears Canadian merchants have been hit with the perfect storm of conditions and businesses that rely on tourism are getting hit the hardest," says Green. "The softening U.S. economy, the continued strength of the Canadian dollar, and stiffening border requirements are keeping U.S. citizens out of Canada."

As border requirements tighten further on September 30th, 2007, it is expected that even fewer U.S. travellers will make the trip across the border. The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), which was designed to strengthen border security, recently set out guidelines on air travel restrictions. Additional restrictions on travel by land and water are expected that may create even more problems for Canadian merchants.

"With these increased border control measures and the current dollar parity, organizations responsible for driving tourism to Canada will have to take new and innovative approaches to attracting the US tourist," advises Green.

About Moneris Solutions Corporation

Moneris is Canada's largest provider of credit, debit and gift card payment services for merchants in virtually every industry segment, processing close to three billion transactions annually. Moneris offers leading-edge electronic loyalty and stored-value card programs and with more than 350,000 merchant locations across North America, Moneris provides the hardware, software and systems needed to improve business efficiency and manage point-of-sale information. For more information please visit www.moneris.com.

Details about the data cited in this news release: The data cited here is based on Moneris' aggregate data of debit and credit card transactions across hundreds of thousands of merchant locations in Canada.

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