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Westpac takes on smart card duties

THE Westpac Group is to become the principal EFTPOS transaction processor for the ERG Group’s smart card products.

Westpac will directly support ERG and its other alliance partners in bids for Australian smart card systems and bring to market a single smart card combining debit, credit, electronic purse and transit applications.

The alliance will allow Westpac customers to use the same card for general credit and debit purchases, as a ‘ticket to ride’ on public transport and for small value, day-to-day purchases.

Westpac general manager merchant acquiring Chris Smith said the bank had embarked on an Australia-wide program to upgrade all of its EFTPOS and retail terminals to support the ERG smart card technology.

“Westpac will deploy terminals at which cardholders will be able to reload cards and make purchases,” Mr Smith said.

ERG CEO Peter Fogarty said the alliance with Westpac heralded the convergence of transit ticketing with Australia’s banking industry.

“It is a significant step forward in the establishment of an open smart card system that will operate across Australia,” Mr Fogarty said. “We can now offer transit operators and their customers the convenience of a bank-supported smart card solution.”

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