BankWest and First Data form Australian alliance for enhanced merchant acquiring services

First Data rolls out financial institution partnering program for merchant services to provide nationwide growth opportunities

Sydney 6th September 2005 - In a first for the Australian financial services industry, BankWest, a member of the HBOS Australia group, and First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC) have formed an alliance for merchant acquiring services in the Australian market.

The new alliance, BWA Merchant Services, enables BankWest’s business division to deliver the best merchant proposition to Australian customers, and provides a solid platform for continuing the growth of this business across Australia.

The alliance is responsible for providing the full range of acquiring services for BankWest merchants and their acceptance of debit, credit cards and other forms of electronic payments. In addition, it further supports First Data’s global strategy of partnering with leading financial institutions to further develop their merchant services business.

BWA Merchant Services combines the benefits of BankWest’s local market knowledge and existing merchant relationships with First Data’s extensive merchant services experience and expertise. Going forward, the alliance will provide BankWest’s merchants with access to world-class products and services.

First Data has been successful in growing the credit card acceptance business, and helping its financial institution partners to grow and increase the profitability of their acquiring operations. It is one of Australia’s leading independent electronic commerce and payment services provider with more than 30 years’ experience in payment processing.

"BankWest and First Data have complementary strengths and expertise. The alliance creates a compelling processing solution for merchants in Australia," said Greg Nash, managing director of First Data International in Australia, New Zealand and South Asia.

BankWest’s decision to form this alliance reflects the growth strategy of its UK-based parent, Halifax Bank of Scotland plc (HBOS). Together, HBOS and BankWest are executing a growth strategy to become a major force in the Australian financial services industry by providing customers with competitive, market-leading products, backed by consistent and reliable service. First Data has a long-standing relationship with both BankWest and HBOS.

"We saw an opportunity to leverage the international relationship our parent has with First Data, and look forward to fully utilising the new partnership to explore upcoming opportunities and bring our customers a range of world class product and service enhancements in the near future," Paul Clark, Chief Executive Officer, BankWest Business said.

Mr. Clark added, "The transition will be seamless for merchants. They will continue to receive the high level of service they have come to expect from BankWest, and benefit from the addition of new services and enhanced functionality."

It is anticipated that the business will move to First Data’s merchant processing platform over a period of eight months.

The financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Become a bobsguide member to access the following

1. Unrestricted access to bobsguide
2. Send a proposal request
3. Insights delivered daily to your inbox
4. Career development