New Zealand Small Businesses Reap Rewards of Their First Gold Credit Card with Points
Auckland, 19 April 2007 - Westpac has this month launched the Westpac BusinessPLUS Gold MasterCard card, New Zealand's first business gold credit card with rewards for small business.
The Westpac BusinessPLUS Gold MasterCard card provides small businesses with the opportunity to earn reward points to be redeemed for business or pleasure through Westpac hotpoints®.
Customers can choose from a wide range of rewards, many of which could help reduce the day-to-day running costs of a business. This could include mobile phones, PC software or accessories, web design or corporate coaching, or office services such as stationery. Hotpoints® can also be converted to Air New Zealand Airpoints Dollars™1 and new offers will also be listed all the time.
David Cunningham, General Manager, Marketing & Products, Westpac New Zealand said: "This innovative new credit card has been developed in response to feedback we received from our small business customers. Many stated that they needed a card to help them to manage their cash flow and pay expenses with ease, but that existing corporate or personal cards weren't an appropriate solution. As a result the Westpac BusinessPLUS Gold MasterCard was born.
"Credit cards for personal use are widely accepted and used by New Zealanders because of the benefits and rewards they present. With the introduction of the Westpac BusinessPLUS Gold MasterCard, those same benefits are now available for small business spend too."
Westpac BusinessPLUS MasterCard card benefits
Until the launch of Westpac BusinessPLUS Gold MasterCard card a business credit card linked to a rewards programme was not available to small businesses meaning that business owners would often charge business expenses to their own personal credit cards.
Yet small businesses, typically with between one and five employees, make up some 95 per cent of all New Zealand businesses and are a major contributor to the New Zealand economy. Mr Cunningham said the launch of the SME-focussed MasterCard means their payment needs will no longer be overlooked.
Stuart McKinlay, country manager, New Zealand, MasterCard Worldwide said small businesses often have different financial needs compared with larger operations.
"Small business owners commonly work in their business and chances are they're also putting a great deal of their own money into the company so will no doubt welcome the opportunity to better monitor business spend whilst earning rewards for day-to-day business transactions.
"By using a business credit card, companies of all sizes are able to create an accurate, reliable audit trail, maintain tighter controls on spending, and streamline the time-consuming process of paper chasing. Research has shown that abandoning cash and paper cheques is one way that companies across all industry segments can boost their bottom lines," Mr McKinlay said.
Mr McKinlay said that small and medium sized businesses contribute to more than a third of New Zealand's output and are responsible for more than half of the job growth New Zealand has experienced over recent years. It is their numbers that makes them important to the economy and it is their potential for growth that makes them vital to the economic agenda2.
The Westpac BusinessPLUS Gold MasterCard cardholders will have access to MasterCard Smart Data OnLine™ which is a global web-based reporting application employed by more than 10,000 companies globally to better organise, consolidate, analyse and manage financial data from MasterCard corporate card programmes.
The Westpac BusinessPLUS Gold MasterCard card is the first MasterCard card programme to be launched in the region since MasterCard opened a New Zealand office in February.
For more information about the Westpac BusinessPLUS Gold MasterCard card call 0800 888 111 or see www.westpac.co.nz and click on the 'business' tab. To view the catalogue of rewards available to BusinessPLUS Gold MasterCard cardholders, visit www.hotpoints.co.nz/businessplus.
Westpac has been operating in New Zealand since 1861 and is one of the country's largest full service banks with over 1.3 million customers, 6,000 staff, 196 branches and nearly 500 ATMs nationwide, as well as phone assist call centres and 24-hour phone banking services.
Westpac New Zealand Limited provides a full range of financial services for retail and business banking, including home and business lending.
Westpac supports a number of business events and organisations that encourage and reward business excellence, including Top Shop, Tourism Awards, the National Sustainable Business Awards and a host of regional Business Excellence Awards. For more information see www.westpac.co.nz.
About MasterCard Worldwide
MasterCard Worldwide advances global commerce by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, businesses, cardholders and merchants worldwide. As a franchisor, processor and advisor, MasterCard develops and markets payment solutions, processes over 16 billion transactions each year, and provides industry-leading analysis and consulting services to financial institution customers and merchants. Through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro® and Cirrus®, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information go to http://www.mastercard.com
1 There is a $10 charge for each conversion from hotpoints to Air New Zealand Airpoints Dollars™.
2 Statistics from Ministry of Economic Development http://www.med.govt.nz/upload/35948/structure-and-dynamics-2006.pdf