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WestpacTrust First To Offer Tax Payments Online

18 December 2000


WESTPACTRUST FIRST BANK TO OFFER TAX PAYMENTS ONLINE

In a New Zealand banking first, WestpacTrust customers can now make tax payments online at the WestpacTrust website through a specialised bill payment facility.

Up until now, New Zealand tax payments have not been able to be made via the internet.

WestpacTrust’s online tax facility gives the bank’s customers the flexibility to complete any one of 27 different types of tax payments online. Customers can also log online payments to be transacted at any date up to six months in advance.

“The ability to pay tax online is a simple, easy-to-use and convenient way for customers to closely manage their tax payments. It is a great example of enhanced customer service – customers can make tax payments from anywhere at any time,” WestpacTrust General Manager Online Services Phil Doak said.

While the system was a straightforward and useful way for all WestpacTrust customers to make tax payments, Mr Doak said it was particularly suitable for customers who were self-employed or who ran businesses and needed to manage their payments according to shifting cashflows. An easy-to-use system guides customers through the set-up process and the actual bill payment process itself.

The tax payment facility is one of several new enhancements WestpacTrust has introduced to its online banking service this week. Now customers can also download transaction information and transfer it to financial and accounting computer software packages. The website also includes foreign exchange information and a foreign exchange calculator.

For the customer, the online tax payment facility was similar to other standard online bill payment facilities, with the exception that it has a higher than normal number of checks in place to protect both customers and Inland Revenue, Mr Doak said.
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“These checks ensure the integrity of the information that customers supply. For example, the facility ensures that all fields are completed in accordance with Inland Revenue requirements thereby reducing the possibility of errors.”

As banker to the Government, WestpacTrust had taken the initiative to develop the facility as a way of adding value to the customer service it provides Inland Revenue.

The system means faster and more accurate payments to Inland Revenue, said Geoffrey Frost, Inland Revenue’s Group Manager, Centralised Delivery.

“The online payment system eliminates manual form filling, gives taxpayers more control over the payment process and greater convenience, and makes our job easier as well. I congratulate WestpacTrust on taking the lead in developing the facility to make tax payments online.”

WestpacTrust’s website, with 65,000 registered customers, is the fastest growing online banking website in New Zealand.

ENDS

For further information please contact:

Jane Anderson
WestpacTrust Public Relations Manager
04-498 1990


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B A C K G R O U N D E R

Facts about WestpacTrust Online Banking

 October ratings show that WestpacTrust Online Banking is the third fastest growing website visited by New Zealanders, according to increases in visitor numbers. (Source: ACNielsen Net Ratings)

 65,000 WestpacTrust customers have registered for WestpacTrust’s Online Banking service since it first opened for business in April 2000. They represent 5.7% of WestpacTrust’s total personal customer base.

 Over 730,000 transactions (physical transfers ie bill payments) have been completed at the website since the start of May 2000.

 The site averages around 3,000 transactions a day.

 Wednesdays and Thursdays are the days when the highest number of transactions takes place. During the day, more transactions are completed between 9-10am than at any other time.

 Customers’ most common activities when visiting the website are obtaining a list of recent transactions, adding bill payments and transferring funds.

 On average, just over 12,000 customers log on to the website each day.

Enhancements to the website

Downloadable transaction files

WestpacTrust customers can now download their transaction information using different file formats. This means customers can link their information into the money or accounting software they use (ie Microsoft Money, Quicken, spreadsheets etc).


Foreign exchange rates and calculator

All visitors to the WestpacTrust website can now access current foreign exchange rates for the currencies that WestpacTrust deals with. A foreign exchange calculator allows users to carry out currency conversions, to see what their New Zealand money is worth in cash and travellers cheques etc.

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