Westpac Institutional Bank (Westpac) has partnered with the founder of Australia's leading intra-school payments system, Scotney Group (Scotney) to launch its cashless payments solution across other segments such as aged care, mining and universities with the potential to take approximately $65 million in cash out of circulation in its first year alone.
Scotney’s Flexischools solution is a ‘closed-loop’ payments system that lets parents pay for a wide range of school activities without children having to carry cash. More than 800 schools across Australia and New Zealand have set up the online portal, with Westpac processing more than 10 million transactions to date.
While Scotney has driven strong growth and innovation in the school sector, Westpac believes the technology has wider applications. The bank sees potential through its other industry relationships to take millions in cash out of circulation and digitise payments.
Mike Baldwin, Head of Innovation and Implementation, Global Transactional Services at Westpac Institutional Bank, believes the solution will work particularly well in closed environments such as aged care or universities where funds may be provided to users’ accounts by a third party.
“We have also seen early interest from corporates operating in remote locations like mine sites and offshore gas platforms. Fly in, fly out workers can top up their account online and make purchases at the point of sale using an ID card or smartphone so there is no need to carry and handle cash,” Mr Baldwin said.
Under the partnership, Westpac will maintain its transactional and cash management relationships with customers and introduce Scotney’s expertise to set up the closed-loop system and manage the flow of payments.
“For Westpac’s Global Transactional Services division we are constantly searching for value by offering customers the best-in-market innovations that deliver direct benefits to their own customers and stakeholders; this is a great example of that,” said Alexandra Holcomb, Group General Manager, Global Transactional Services, Westpac Institutional Bank.
“The end consumer is expecting flexibility and a wide range of choices when it comes to how they pay for goods and services, so we work with corporates and large organisations to give them the receivables solutions that let their customers pay how they want,” Mr Baldwin added.
“The solution is accessible through smartphone and tablet technology, and is therefore aligned with the continuing growth of mobile technology, as well as consumers’ expectations for convenient mobile online payments,” he said.
Geoff Austen, Managing Director of The Scotney Group, said; “While our services have proven application across a number of sectors, we have been unable to replicate the success we have had in the schools space. This is a fantastic opportunity for The Scotney Group to partner with Westpac to draw on their expertise and relationships in the corporate and institutional segments.”