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Westpac Leads Chip Card Security Implementation

Westpac Leads Chip Card Security Implementation in New Zealand

Westpac has paved the way for enhanced levels of security in electronic payments with New Zealand’s first end-to-end chip card transaction.

The recent nation-wide upgrade of merchant payment terminals has provided Westpac with the means to process transactions made with chip-enabled cards.

The move is particularly important as it is the first successful implementation of chip technology through all phases of the electronic transaction process in Australasia.

Westpac New Zealand’s achievement in leading the change, that is set to revolutionise security in card transactions, was recognised with an award from MasterCard International earlier this year.

The Paymark EFTPOS network will be responsible for processing the merchant transactions which will then be settled by Westpac.

Westpac’s Head of Cards Business, Ross Jackson, said: “Westpac is committed to ensuring high-level payment security for all its customers. The new chip-enabled terminals, combined with this new technology processing capability, will provide Westpac customers with enhanced security and will significantly reduce the risk and inconvenience of fraud on card transactions.”

Paymark spokesman Darryl Roots said, “Paymark had ensured the EFTPOS network capability is upgraded to enable banks to introduce the new chip card transaction technology. Westpac’s leading deployment of the EMV technology is validation for increased roll- out of the capability by other banks. It is expected the certification to process chip transactions will be achieved by other banks as soon as possible.

“Up until the launch of Westpac’s new capability, all chip cards presented by international visitors to New Zealand have had to be processed using the magnetic stripe back-up – some 3.5 million transactions between March 2005 and January 2006,” Roots said.

Shuan Ghaidan Senior Vice president, Product and Delivery, MasterCard International, said; "the completion of the first chip-enabled transaction by Westpac marks a new phase for card payments in New Zealand."

“The new processing system is part of a global interoperable payment standard, known as EMV. To be first in Australasia to successfully implement the full chip card processing capability is a great achievement. With this, we look forward to supporting our customer financial institutions in New Zealand as they work towards taking full advantage of the value proposition offered by chip cards," added Ghadian.

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