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Advantage Gives Exporters Multi-Currency Edge

New Currency Technology First In New Zealand

Auckland – 13 November 2000: Advantage Group Limited’s (NZSE: ADV) new multi-currency technology will boost New Zealand’s export opportunities radically in the new economy.

CurrencySelect was designed by Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) using a new transaction engine that has been devised by Advantage. CurrencySelect enables BNZ merchants to display prices and offer credit card transactions in multiple currencies rather than just in New Zealand dollars (NZD).

“New Zealand businesses selling over the Internet are losing out in overseas markets, unable to attract buyers who are uncomfortable making purchases in a currency they don’t understand,” says Advantage Group CEO Greg Cross.

“Kiwi merchants can only accept payments in NZDs forcing overseas customers to convert prices into their own currency. Research shows that Internet customers would rather shop elsewhere than seek out a foreign exchange converter to understand the value of the NZD,” says Cross.

He says the CurrencySelect platform will be an indispensable tool for New Zealand merchants wanting to compete in the international on-line market.

“It will give their sites an international look and feel, attracting customers from all over the world,” he says.

BNZ’s head of business payments Trevor Burgess says CurrencySelect enables the BNZ to offer its New Zealand merchants a unique service for their customers.

“Advantage’s technology will allow the consumer to pay for purchases in their preferred currency, then we will convert the amount into NZDs and settle with the merchant by the next day of business.

“The CurrencySelect programme will give BNZ merchants a leading edge to compete in the global market place,” says Burgess.

The project, which took just two months to implement, was a credit to the BNZ/Advantage teams’ efficiency and professionalism says Burgess.

Brian Bellingham, Advantage Payment Solutions Account Manager says the technology, that utilises an Informix database on a UNIX platform, in its BNZ guise, will enable merchants to post prices and process transactions in a choice of 12 currencies, including US dollars, British Pounds and Japanese Yen.

“Our transaction engine for the multi-currency system uses message protocols that conform to international standards, making the system available for deployment in overseas markets,” says Bellingham.

Bank of New Zealand plans to launch CurrencySelect later this year following a pilot which is currently underway to selected customers.

ENDS

About Advantage

Advantage Group Limited, an NZSE 40 company, is a leading supplier of e-Services throughout the Asia Pacific region. Advantage employs over 400 full time people supporting customers in 15 international locations. For more information, visit http://www.advantagegroup.co.nz.

About BNZ
Founded in 1861, Bank of New Zealand is one of this country’s oldest established banks, and enjoys a strong franchise in the New Zealand marketplace.

Within New Zealand, Bank of New Zealand has an association with almost a third of the country’s businesses, while its branch outlets provide banking and related financial services to more than one in five New Zealanders.

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