E-Phone Inks International Agreement with Net-Tel
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE AT 11:00 AM, THURSDAY 23/11/00
E-Phone Inks International Agreement with Net-Tel
E-Phone Sells Phone Card Distribution Business; Acquires Ongoing Recharge Business and Internet Terminal Outlets Throughout Asia
Auckland, November 23, 2000 –
Public internet access terminal management and electronic
payment handling company E-Phone Limited (NZSX: EPH) today
announced an agreement with communications company Net-Tel
Communications Ltd that will enable E-Phone to channel its
resources to its international AirCA$H products,
licensed exclusively from airTIME Technologies Inc., and its
in-house developed PATLOC public Internet access terminal
Under the agreement Net-Tel will acquire E-Phone’s nationwide retail phone card distribution business, including the servicing of its 1,500 retail outlets nationwide, its distribution and permanent PIN customers, and will continue to operate both the Net-Tel and the E-Phone brands. In return, E-Phone will receive cash and retain the card recharge business, adding to it the ongoing revenues associated with the recharge of both the E-Phone and Net-Tel phone cards using the soon to be released AirCA$H system. It is expected that E-Phone Ltd will announce a name change in due course in line with the E-Phone brand remaining with the telephony business.
As part of the agreement the two companies have also formed an alliance to channel international opportunities for E-Phone’s products. Under the alliance Net-Tel will provide distribution channels for E-Phone’s AirCA$H and PATLOC products in Malaysia and Singapore, where Net-Tel holds government licenses and has successful prepaid phone card and toll service networks.
“This will streamline retail
channels for the New Zealand market’s leading phone card
brands, reducing the high cost of servicing retailers and
improving profitability for both organisations,” says
E-Phone CEO, Bob Barraket.
“Moreover, in addition to reducing costs, because E-Phone retains the ongoing AirCA$H recharge business we expect this to be cashflow positive and to free up resources we need to move forward on opportunities in Asia Pacific.”
Net-Tel’s Chief Executive Officer Sherman Ng says the pre-pay industry has experienced phenomenal growth in the last ten years and is now a multi-billion industry worldwide.
“Net-Tel is now New Zealand’s largest prepaid fixed line telephony and prepaid internet provider and in addition, our international channels will open up the Malaysian and Singaporean markets where the combination of AirCA$H recharge capabilities and PATLOC terminals will allow us to service the growing demand for convenience-style Internet access,” says Mr Ng.
Both Mr.Barraket and Mr.Ng see the association as a great opportunity to capitalize on the strengths and experience of each group. “The E-Phone PATLOC Internet terminal software and the AirCA$H products have major and immediate applications in the Asian markets and the alliance enables both companies to accelerate their growth in these markets using the distribution channels, partnerships and alliances already in place.”
E-Phone’s AirCA$H products enable customers to initiate or recharge pre-pay cards at point of sale terminals. Customers key in the amount they wish to buy or credit to a new or existing card or account, paying either in cash or by debiting their bank account through EFTPOS. That value is recorded on to their pre-pay account and is available for immediate use.
E-Phone’s PATLOC terminal management system provides pre-paid access to Internet terminals in public environments internationally, managed from Network Operations Centres in Auckland and Sydney via proprietary access management
multi-currency translation, PIN generation, service
accounting, electronic payment handling and ‘impulse-buy’
E-Phone recently signed agreements with Advantage Group and Insight Data to install the AirCA$H software on EFTPOS terminals and to develop, market and operate electronic payment handling and services for the fast growing pre-pay phone industry.
E-Phone was incorporated in August 1998 by its major shareholder Bob Barraket. The objective of the business is to successfully develop and operate a networked and electronically managed system of public access computer terminals and to maximise the utilisation of these terminals by value added services.
E-Phone believes that significant synergies and competitive advantages are achieved with the establishment of a branded international network of Internet terminals. The network will provide the potential for high margin revenue generation, as well as incremental value added services such as transaction revenues. The alliances with Advantage and Insight Data in the EFTPOS market with AirCA$H adds another transaction revenue service to the E-Phone product set.
Net-Tel commenced business in New Zealand in 1998 and now provides a variety of value-added communication products and services.
A wholly New Zealand owned entity, and as part of an international alliance, the Net-Tel Group is in the process of establishing a global network of enhanced services with offices already operational in New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia.
By bringing complete, integrated solutions within reach of a number of niche markets Net-Tel is in a strong position to market and sell value-added technology products and services on a national and an international basis.
Net-Tel has strong alliances with major
international carriers, network providers and local partners
that collectively enable Net-Tel to provide diverse, high
quality and user friendly products and services.
Apart from its operation in New Zealand and established alliances in Singapore and Malaysia, Net-Tel has holdings in wholly-owned New Zealand wholesale internet provider MoreNet Ltd and digital business solutions provider enovater Ltd.