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Eftpos axes 400 terminals from network

Monday 14th March 2011

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Hundreds of retailers across New Zealand were today disconnected from the computer network which linked their Eftpos terminals to banks, after the network operators said the out-of-date terminals posed risks to the safety and security of transactions.

About 400 Eftpos machines were disconnected from the Paymark network - cutting off those retailers from processing Eftpos transactions.

"The disconnections come as a result of retailers who, despite months of warning, have not upgraded out-of-date terminals," said Paymark chief executive, Simon Tong.

Until today, the retailers - ranging from small businesses to large corporate merchants - operated under agreements with their banks, which allowed them extra time to get their equipment upgraded. But they had failed to do this.

"The message is simple: those retailers who do not upgrade in time will be disconnected," said Tong.

"This particular group of retailers have had time to make the switch, but have ignored our warnings and as a result will be unable to process Eftpos transactions on our network".

A big provider of merchant services, SmartPay last month warned that up to a quarter of the nation's retailers, 35,000 shops, were unprepared for the upgrade.

Paymark said there was a June 1 deadline for all the nation's retailers to switch to the more secure version 6.0 Eftpos terminals. It had previously warned retailers that they would need the new terminals to cash in on the $1.25 billion expected to be spent by more than 71,000 overseas visitors watching the Rugby World Cup later this year.

"Most international tourists use chip cards, so we want to make sure your terminal can process their transactions, and that it's compatible with the latest card technology," Paymark told them.

The newer terminals would reduce the likelihood of electronic card fraud.

Paymark, set up by three banks as Electronic Transaction Services Ltd in 1989, has 100,000 terminals in shops, and processes over 75% of all electronic transactions in the New Zealand retail market for about 50 different debit cards.



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