Combine the consumer credit crunch with Christmas shopping, plus the rise of online shopping and technology from Ottawa's ModaSolutions and the company's head of marketing, Samer Forzley, says "business is great!"

"Before the holiday shopping season began, our revenue was three times what is was for all of last year and just like retailers our busiest time of year is coming up," Forzley said.

ModaSolutions operates eBillme, an online payment system that links consumers, retailers and banks. You receive a bill and you pay for it with cash using your own bank account. eBillme makes sure the retailer gets paid and you never have to reveal your private financial information. Using cash, said Forzley, is cheaper than credit cards and many consumers can't get the same amount of credit as they did before.

Retail giants like Sears, K-Mart, Home Depot and Zappos use eBillme. ModaSolutions has raised a total of $27 million in financing and now employs 35 people in Ottawa and 15 more in the U.S., where they do all their business.

Forzley said customers are frugal when it comes to shopping.

"They're very cautious about their spending and they are looking for deals so we offer incentives to get consumers to use our service," he said.

Those incentives include one percent of total purchases back to the consumer in cash and a lowest price guarantee.

eBillme commissioned a recent survey indicating that average consumers will spend three percent more online than they did last year. That is exactly the same increase tracked by credit card companies. Reports released yesterday in the wake of Black Friday and Cyber Monday show that actual online spending by Americans jumped by about 16 percent and on Cyber Monday alone American's spent more than a $ 1 billion online.

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