Prepaid solutions provider SmartPay Ltd (NZX:SPY)has purchased the company’s Intellectual Property (IP)software and source code from its Malaysia based owner as the New Zealand business drives new innovations in electronic payment solutions.
The acquisition includes SmartPay’s prepaid top-up software, prepaid payment solutions and software to support gift card and voucher based systems for POS and internet – an area of business which is expected to expand rapidly in the New Zealand retail environment.
The acquisition from Cardtrend, the Malaysian developer, means SmartPay can now openly compete with the Asian company in New Zealand and internationally.
"The purchase provides SmartPay with greater earnings potential," says SmartPay chief executive, Mr Linc Burgess. "By owning the technology from the terminal to the back office, plus our operational expertise, opens up significant opportunities to partner with like minded businesses.
"The POS terminal software that we own provides some unique capability to process a range of prepaid solutions.
"We are looking to announce shortly new contracts in New Zealand as well as investigating opportunities through the Asia Pacific region."
Prepaid solutions are still in their infancy in New Zealand, but Mr Burgess says there are many opportunities aside from the $600 million pre-pay mobile top ups and international calling card business in this country.
"The payment infrastructure and private transaction systems base could be radically changed to deliver a host of new efficiencies, costs and time savings."
He said purchasing systems within government departments, local authorities, schools and other organizations could be streamlined with electronic payment systems which would offer tightened credit lines and less wastage.
"Prepaid solutions in New Zealand will follow international trends and become attractive to the general public particularly where they do not have, or prefer not to use, credit cards and others who seek to make transactions anonymously."
International reports predict that European consumers are set to spend EUR 75 billion by 2010, using reloadable prepaid cards.
In New Zealand, SmartPay has electronic network agreements with Telecom, Boost, Vodafone, Telstra and others for prepaid top-ups but is now developing solutions for internet and POS based payments.
Mr Burgess says one of the most exciting areas is internet and POS purchasing where prepaid cards and vouchers could be used.
"Prepaid payment cards provide for collaboration with third parties for branding and promotional activities.
"Effectively, SmartPay would provide the technology, processing and operational expertise, and the third party or co-brand partner provides the distribution and marketing input into the programme
"A prepaid payment card would be able to be used to make payments on web sites, at nominated retail outlets and potentially through terminals and money kiosks to add value to the card or redeem cash.
"Gift cards can be worked easily with loyalty programmes. In the corporate sector, there are also numerous applications which can be included in to regular business payments and billing systems."