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Women Take Lead Towards a Cashless Society: RBC/Shoppers Drug Mart Poll

Majority of women carry less than $50, men twice as likely to carry larger amounts

TORONTO, March 12, 2012 —Three-quarters of Canadian women (76 per cent) typically carry $50 or less in their wallet compared to 66 per cent of men, according to a recent RBC/Shoppers Drug Mart poll.

To keep cash in their wallets, men tend to use a bank machine up to twice a week (41 per cent), compared to 33 per cent of women. The poll also found that almost three-in-ten women (28 per cent) say they rarely or never withdraw cash, compared to 22 per cent of men.

"Canadians still prefer to have some cash on hand, but our survey suggests that women in particular are finding debit to be a more convenient way to pay for their day-to-day purchases," said Wayne Bossert, executive vice-president, Canadian Banking, RBC. "We are increasingly becoming a cashless society. Canadians are recognizing that debit is a convenient way to pay and now they can earn rewards points on debit purchases that translate into savings."

The RBC/Shoppers Drug Mart poll also found that nine-in-ten women (89 per cent) are part of a rewards program, slightly more than men (80 per cent). The majority of women (83 per cent) say their rewards programs are important to them, ten percentage points higher than men surveyed (73 per cent). The survey also found 43 per cent of women say their rewards program memberships are more important to them in the current economic climate, compared to 31 per cent of men.

To this end, RBC and Shoppers Drug Mart are launching a co-branded RBC Shoppers Optimum® banking account and debit card on March 17, 2012. The new program will provide customers with unlimited debit transactions and easier access to banking services through Canada's largest combined network of RBC ATMs and branches. Clients will also be able convert RBC Rewards points to Shoppers Optimum® Points for faster rewards. By signing up for the RBC Shoppers Optimum banking account, clients can receive 50,000 Shoppers Optimum Points, which is nearly $85 in rewards.

"Canadians love to earn rewards points and this new program merges the convenience of debit with Shoppers Optimum, one of the largest and most popular loyalty card programs in Canada," said Jim Noteboom, Senior Vice President, Business Analytics and Financial Services, Shoppers Drug Mart. "We are excited to expand upon our current financial services offerings and provide our customers with even greater convenience and reward options."

Fast Facts

GenderDebit Spending Categories
Women72 per cent54 per cent40 per cent38 per cent
Men59 per cent36 per cent32 per cent32 per cent

Key features of the new RBC Shoppers Optimum® banking account include:

  • Shoppers Optimum points collection at Shoppers Drug Mart and other retailers: Clients can use their RBC Shoppers Optimum banking account and debit card to collect Shoppers Optimum points.
  • More Rewards: Clients have the ability to earn points faster with unlimited debit transactions, such as:
    • Earn ten additional Shoppers Optimum points for every one dollar spent at Shoppers Drug Mart using the RBC Shoppers Optimum banking account (this is in addition to the points earned using the card)
    • Earn one Shoppers Optimum point for every one dollar spent outside Shoppers Drug Mart using the RBC Shoppers Optimum banking account
    • Bonus Shoppers Optimum points - 50,000 Bonus Points for setting up a payroll or pension deposit to the new account and completing two online bill payments

About the RBC/Shoppers Drug Mart Poll

The survey was conducted by Ipsos Reid between February 21 and 27, 2012 via a random sample of 1,013 Canadians. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100 per cent response rate would have an estimated margin of error of ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

About RBC

Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE) and its subsidiaries operate under the master brand name RBC. We are Canada's largest bank as measured by assets and market capitalization, and are among the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We are one of North America's leading diversified financial services companies, and provide personal and commercial banking, wealth management services, insurance, corporate and investment banking and transaction processing services on a global basis. We employ approximately 74,000 full- and part-time employees who serve close to 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 51 other countries. For more information, please visit

About Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation

Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation is one of the most recognized and trusted names in Canadian retailing. The Company is the licensor of full-service retail drug stores operating under the name Shoppers Drug Mart (Pharmaprix in Québec). With more than 1,200 Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix stores operating in prime locations in each province and two territories, the Company is one of the most convenient retailers in Canada. The Company also licenses or owns 58 medical clinic pharmacies operating under the name Shoppers Simply Pharmacy (Pharmaprix Simplement Santé in Québec) and eight luxury beauty destinations operating as Murale. As well, the Company owns and operates 63 Shoppers Home Health Care stores, making it the largest Canadian retailer of home health care products and services. In addition to its retail store network, the Company owns Shoppers Drug Mart Specialty Health Network Inc., a provider of specialty drug distribution, pharmacy and comprehensive patient support services, and MediSystem Technologies Inc., a provider of pharmaceutical products and services to long-term care facilities in Ontario and Alberta.

For more information, please contact:

Matt Gierasimczuk, RBC Communications, (416) 974-2124
Tammy Smitham, Shoppers Drug Mart, (416) 490-2892