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Transforming The On-Line Shopping Experience

News Release

New Payment System Set To Transform New Zealanders’ Online Shopping Experience

On-line debit payments set to boom as there’s finally a real alternative to credit cards

New Zealanders now have a safer way to shop over the Internet without needing a credit card thanks to online debit payments system POLi (Payments On-Line), which went live today.

Brought to the NZ market by Unisys and Centricom, POLi provides authenticated transactions that allow consumers to use their regular internet banking facilities to transfer funds directly into a merchant’s bank account, when they see the POLi logo.

Over two million New Zealanders use the Internet. There are almost 800,000 active online shoppers and bank account holders, yet 55% of adults don’t own a credit card. The demand for an alternative payment method has been apparent for some time. In fact surveys suggest that 65% of New Zealanders said they would be more inclined to undertake online transactions if websites offered a safer debit payment method.

POLi will open up on-line retailing to these people, and open up new market opportunities to merchants selling services and goods over the Internet.

The benefits include more secure and convenient online shopping, with the purchaser using their own bank’s online systems and no POLi registration is needed by consumers. Merchants will have the benefit of access to a wider range of previously inaccessible clients, flat transaction fees and instant notification that the payment has been made. POLi is also likely to help reduce dishonour and charge-back risk and reduce reconciliation and processing costs for merchants.

The back-office payments processing services will be facilitated by Unisys New Zealand, under a four-year agreement. Graham Alston, partner financial services Unisys New Zealand, said, “Unisys is looking to develop its business process outsourcing services in New Zealand. On-line debit payments processing marks a new breakthrough for the market, for New Zealanders and for Unisys.

“Unisys is in the business of providing solutions for sound business operations. On-line debit payments are better made with faster and more secure transfers of balances from the purchaser to the merchant. The back-office function must also be flexible, allowing for rapid fluctuations in consumer demand. In providing these services, Unisys will support Centricom in its launch phase and in the development of its business here in New Zealand.”

Simon Warner, Centricom CEO, said, “POLi lets consumers shop online using the security and familiarity of their own internet banking. It gives merchants access to a group of customers who were previously unreachable, including those who simply don’t have, or don’t wish to use, credit cards for online purchases”

“Together, Unisys and Centricom can focus on the needs of both the consumer and the merchant. The Unisys reputation in financial services, combined with Centricom’s expertise in e-commerce, have already established some significant steps forward in POLi becoming a leading product in its field,” said Warner.

The partnership between Unisys and Centricom was forged in December 2005, when POLi was launched in Australia.

As part of the agreement Unisys provides outsourced support, sales and customer relationship services for Centricom’s POLi online debit payments system. This will be replicated in New Zealand where Unisys will provide contact centre, helpdesk, hosting, product testing, and transaction processing for POLi.


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