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SmartPay, Snapper form contactless payment partnership

Wednesday 28th September 2011

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SmartPay and Infratil subsidiary Snapper have entered into a partnership which will see the companies rollout the contactless payment system across New Zealand's biggest Eftpos network.

The deal will extend the current working partnership between the two companies using SmartPay's PAX terminals in a bid to capture a bigger slice of the small transactions, specifically in the transport, general retail and hospitality markets, the companies said in a statement today.

"Accepting contactless payment with Snapper is a proven solution that we already have in more than 2,800 taxis and targeted retail outlets across the country," said Andrew Donaldson, chief executive of SmartPay. "We are now working to extend that capability into the retail sector so that it is easier for SmartPay's customers to upgrade to New Zealand's leading contactless payment system."

Wellington-based Snapper, which is wholly-owned by infrastructure investment firm Infratil, has issued 300,000 payment cards which generate about 50 million transactions annually.

The deal comes as SmartPay looks to broaden its reach across the Tasman, having earlier this month achieved Australian certification for use of its proprietary retail payment terminals by Westpac Bank.

The company is targeting growth from less than 1% market share at present to 5% as Australian retailers shift to the EMV "chip-card" standard for credit and debit cards. With between 600,000 and 800,000 Australian terminals requiring replacement, the firm was seeking 30,000 to 35,000 installations of its PAX S90 and S80 terminals, Donaldson told BusinessDesk at the time.

The Eftpos company has struggled to achieve profitability in New Zealand, having only broken into the black for the first time this year with a net profit of $100,000 in the 12 months ended March 31, from a year-earlier loss of $2.6 million.

SmartPay is seeking a listing on the ASX board, a move that coincides with the company’s push into the Australian market.

SmartPay shares were unchanged at 14 cents today, and have declined 39% so far this year.

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