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WestpacTrust Online Banking Goes Public


WestpacTrust is the New Zealand division of Westpac Banking Corporation, which is incorporated in New South Wales, Australia


29 April 2000


WESTPACTRUST ONLINE BANKING GOES PUBLIC

WestpacTrust is opening its Online Banking service at www.westpactrust.co.nz to all customers from 29 April following a successful six week pilot that has already seen about 16,000 customers sign up for the service.

Online Banking will be immediately accessible to the more than 600,000 WestpacTrust Phone Banking customers, and is also available to the rest of the bank’s 1.3 million customers. Phone Banking customers can now access Online Banking using their existing customer ID number - all they need to do is create a separate password. The site should be accessible from any internet-capable computer in the world* with no downloads necessary.

WestpacTrust customers not registered for Phone Banking can call us or contact their branch to receive a customer ID number and password. On first use of the site, customers will be asked to create their own password. Non-WestpacTrust customers need to open a WestpacTrust account and this can normally be set up within 24 hours.

WestpacTrust Online Banking offers all transactions that customers are currently able to complete over the phone and more. These include bill payments, account balances, reviews of transactions, and money transfers. Customers can look at all their transactions over the last 12 months and sort them by date, money amount, description, transaction type or serial number. Payments can be created up to six months in advance.

Customers can also make direct payments into any New Zealand bank account as long as they know the full account number. No pre-registration of the payee’s details are necessary.

WestpacTrust chief executive Tom Gallagher said the introduction of Online Banking was a very exciting time for the bank.
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“The high level of interest from customers and staff shows that we have timed the launch of Online Banking just right. More than 8000 customers took part in the pilot and there are up to 2000 site logins a day. During the last six weeks another 8000 customers have registered as wanting access. It appears we are surfing the crest of an internet wave.

“For many customers, the internet will change the face of banking. It offers them convenience, control and a level of service they have never had before. WestpacTrust customers now have an 18 month window on their transactional and credit card accounts available at their fingertips, and they can access their money from almost anywhere in the world. Interestingly about 15 percent of those involved in the pilot are currently overseas, which shows what a great service it will be for travellers and those working in other countries.

“WestpacTrust has put a lot of effort into working with customers to develop an online banking service that has the features customers want and that is easy to use and fast to load.

“Customers have been generous in their feedback on improvements and services they would like introduced. We have tried to implement as many changes as possible during the pilot and are using customer suggestions to develop a programme of enhancements.”

Enhancements that are already under development include secure messaging, grouped payment options and interfaces with money management software packages.

Mr Gallagher said developing Online Banking was part of WestpacTrust’s broader long-term strategy to extend the range of banking alternatives and new online solutions offered to personal and business customers.

“This service is an important step towards enabling customers to manage their money at any time, any place and from any space,” said Mr Gallagher.

WestpacTrust’s online banking site has a high standard of security. An independent review undertaken by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu described it as ‘one of the best in its class’.
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“WestpacTrust has demonstrated an extensive understanding of security issues at all business levels and we were impressed by their commitment to building a secure, trusted environment for customers. They have clearly done the work required to launch an internet banking service that their customers can trust,” said the head of Deloitte’s Enterprise Risk Group, Ian Perry.

The banking industry is set to change dramatically over the next few years as the power increasingly shifts from providers to customers, Mr Gallagher said.

“Banks will need to offer intimate, customised money management solutions. WestpacTrust Online Banking is a platform for developing these, offering faster and cheaper banking services to our personal and business customers.”

ENDS


* Internet Explorer version 4 or higher, or Netscape Navigator version 4.06 or higher are required.

For more information please contact:

Peter Thornbury
WestpacTrust Public Relations Consultant
04 498 1990
025 278 8177


WestpacTrust is the New Zealand division of Westpac Banking Corporation, which is incorporated in New South Wales, Australia


29 April 2000


WESTPACTRUST LAUNCHES ONLINE BANKING

Questions & Answers


1 What does the service provide?

While it has been primarily designed for personal customers, the service should allow all WestpacTrust customers – both business and personal - to access their accounts from any internet-capable PC in the world, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. It’s easy to use and is another way for customers to do their banking.

Customers can:

 get account balances
 make transactions including transfers between accounts
 make bill payments
 access many other services, including transaction summaries and viewing current financial commitments.
 initiate a home loan


2 What special features does WestpacTrust’s service have?

WestpacTrust’s service stands out from other banks’ because of two key features:

 customers can create new payments to people who are not pre-registered as payees. This means that as long as a customer has the payee’s bank account number and that bank account number is for a New Zealand bank, they can make payment to them online – whether it is a one-off payment or ongoing. Payments can be created up to six months in advance and can be altered or cancelled at any time before the payment date.

 WestpacTrust online banking has a powerful sorting function that allows customers to look at all transactions over the last twelve months, and sort them by date, amount of transaction (whether debit or credit), description, transaction type or serial number. This sorting ability applies to all accounts, credit cards and bill payments with WestpacTrust. This gives our customers superior access to banking information that will help them with planning and budget management.


3 What about security online?

Our customers’ online security is our paramount concern. Our online banking site is highly secure and password protected. It uses 128 bit encryption – the standard used by most banks in New Zealand and overseas. The password can be changed by the customer at any time.

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4 What does online banking cost?

The service is free, aside from the usual costs that apply to customers’ electronic transactions.


5 How do I join?

 WestpacTrust Phone Banking customers can use their existing customer ID number to access online banking.

 WestpacTrust customers who are not registered for Phone Banking can call us or contact their branch to be issued with a customer ID number and password to give them access to online banking. Upon entering the site the only requirement is to create a new password.

 Those who are not WestpacTrust customers need to open an account with WestpacTrust before being issued with a customer ID number for online banking and Internet password. The standard timeframe for opening an account is one day.


6 What support is there?

Support is available via email or through our Phone Assist call centre on 0800 400 600. All Phone Assist staff have been trained in using WestpacTrust Online Banking.


ENDS


For more information please contact:

Peter Thornbury
WestpacTrust Public Relations Consultant
04 498 1990
025 278 8177


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