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WestpacTrust to Slash Transaction Charges

5 February 2002

Eftpos Popularity Drives WestpacTrust to Slash Transaction Charges

$1Million Saved in Existing Customer Bank Fees

New Low Cost Transaction Account Offers Benefits For High Electronic Users

WestpacTrust today revealed it will make EFTPOS easier and cheaper to use as the first step in a series of new product initiatives over the next 12 months. The Bank announced that it will slash $1million in existing EFTPOS transaction fees and launch a new fully featured low cost transactional account for high electronic users.

Existing Active account holders will now pay 15 cents for each EFTPOS transaction (down from 35 cents), making it the lowest electronic fee currently available. The new fully featured account, to be formally launched on Monday February 11, will have a similar fee structure and will be aimed at high electronic users who enjoy the convenience of modern banking.

WestpacTrust General Manager Marketing, Tim Harrington said, “WestpacTrust has carefully assessed changing consumer behaviour and it’s clear that for many, EFTPOS is the preferred method of payment - it’s easy, convenient and you don’t have to carry a wallet full of cash.

“For some people there’s still an apprehension about the cost involved. We want to reduce that concern by ensuring our customers can use the service as cheaply as possible. The sheer volume of transactions being processed by WestpacTrust has allowed us to realise greater economies of scale - a benefit that we are pleased we can now pass on to our customers.”

Analysis of customer trends showed customers have a fairly consistent number of regular payments each month with EFTPOS making up the volume of additional transactions. The new fee structure of Active and WestpacTrust’s new fully featured account will minimise customers’ banking costs significantly.

Price changes to Active will apply from 28 February. WestpacTrust’s new product will be available from 11 February.

Active New fully featured account

A/M $3.50 $3.50

Eftpos 15c 15c

Other Electronic 40c 40c

Deposits Free $1

Additional Features Overdraft facility

Cheque Book

ENDS

Questions and Answers

Why are you dropping a fee on an existing account?

We are dropping the EFTPOS fee because EFTPOS use has grown exponentially in New Zealand since its introduction. The levels are now so high that WestpacTrust has been able to see some real economies of scale and has taken the opportunity to pass these on to customers.

We also believe a lower EFTPOS fee will allow customers to do even more EFTPOS transactions when price may have been a barrier to this in the past.

Who can get the new low fee accounts?

All existing Active customers will automatically get the benefit of the low EFTPOS fee from 28 February. We’ll also welcome new Active customers from this date and they will have access to the same low EFTPOS fee as existing WestpacTrust customers.

Our new fully functional, low EFTPOS fee account will be available from Monday 11 February to existing WestpacTrust and new customers on application.

Aren’t these changes all about trying to compete with Kiwi Bank?

We appreciate that may be some people’s perception but the answer is no. We have been working for some time on our broader strategy of offering a more comprehensive and targeted range of transaction products. These will deliver customers greater choice and convenience while offering value for money. Over the next twelve months you will see more new products.

Some facts about EFTPOS

- New Zealand leads the world with EFTPOS. We are the highest EFTPOS users in the world. We do over 100 transactions per person per year.

- 25% of our customers do over 300 EFTPOS transactions per year.

- EFTPOS is accepted at almost all retailers with 1 terminal per 45 people. It is a convenient and secure way to shop for many of our customers.

- On Christmas Eve ETSL processed 2.5 million transactions in one day.

- We want to make EFTPOS even cheaper for our customers to use because it’s a safe and convenient way of paying for things.

- 15 cent EFTPOS is the lowest EFTPOS fee in NZ. We wanted to set the fee low enough that customers could really value its convenience. It now costs less to EFTPOS than to text message or voicemail.

Some facts about WestpacTrust

- WestpacTrust is New Zealand’s largest bank with over 1.3 million customers and 6000 staff.

- It has the largest bank branch and ATM network in New Zealand, with 207 branches and 500 ATMs in convenient locations around the country.

- Over 300,000 customers get free banking through WestpacTrust, including under 18 and over 65 year olds who pay no account maintenance or transaction fees.

- A further 65,000 Non Profit Organisations also receive free banking from WestpacTrust, which makes a real difference for communities all over New Zealand.


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