MasterCard Signs up First Australian Major Bank in Debit Card Expansion.
MasterCard Worldwide has joined forces with Westpac to launch a new
MasterCard Debit card in Australia – the Westpac Debit MasterCard Card.
The card is the first MasterCard debit offer with a major bank in
Australia and represents a significant expansion into scheme debit for
The new Westpac Debit MasterCard Card will be available to all
Australians over the age of 18, including Westpac's existing
Cirrus®-branded Handycard cardholders.
Linked to a savings, cheque or other transaction account, the Westpac
Debit MasterCard Card allows cardholders to draw on their own funds to
make purchases at more than 30 million locations in 210 countries
including over the phone or on the internet, both domestically and
overseas, where traditionally they have had to use a credit card.
“Australians of all ages and with varying attitudes towards credit have
called for a payment card with the same functionality of a credit card,
but accessing their deposit account. Our research shows cardholders
want a card that is convenient, widely accepted and versatile but some
do not necessarily want the associated credit. For those cardholders, a
MasterCard Debit card is the perfect solution,” said Leigh Clapham
executive vice president, Australasia, MasterCard Worldwide.
Westpac’s General Manager, Product and Marketing, Tim Harrington, said:
“The Westpac Debit MasterCard was developed as a result of customer
feedback that there was a need for an access card that had the same
functionality of a credit card with the choice to use money from their
own transaction account.
“And because the Westpac Debit MasterCard is available on our existing
transaction accounts , customers can choose the account that best suits
their needs while taking advantage of the added flexibility of a Debit
MasterCard,” Harrington said.
The launch of the new Debit MasterCard card is a part of the company’s
ongoing strategy, working in collaboration with its member banks, to
help consumers of all ages to manage their finances effectively.
“According to Reserve Bank of Australia data, debit card usage is the
most popular card payment option for consumers in Australia, with debit
usage at the point of sale exceeding 50 percent of card-based payments
for the first time in Australia. And debit transactions in the market
now exceed $223 billion per annum, as at the end of June 2006,” Clapham
Clapham continued, “MasterCard is delighted that for the first time,
customers of Australia's first bank can get a Debit MasterCard card
upon request. This agreement bolsters our already strong debit
offerings under the Maestro and Cirrus brands, and will add to the
millions of existing Maestro, Cirrus and Debit MasterCard cards already
in circulation in Australia.”
MasterCard has also seen growth in internet and telephone transactions
exceed 47 percent over the past 12 months, proving that consumers’
payment needs are expanding beyond the capability of EFTPOS. Consumers
identified internet purchasing, monthly bill payment and petrol
purchasing as the top three benefits of MasterCard Debit over EFTPOS,
in research conducted by MasterCard in March this year.
In addition to these benefits, the Westpac Debit MasterCard card
affords cardholders with significant protection against fraud through
Westpac Falcon – which detects fraudulent activity on customer accounts
– and MasterCard’s zero liability for unauthorized transactions ,
making MasterCard Debit even more appealing over EFTPOS.
MasterCard is supporting the launch of the MasterCard Debit card with a
new version of its world-famous “Priceless” advertising campaign. The
execution, created by advertising agency McCann Erickson in Sydney,
will run on television, in print, outdoor and online.