Westpac outsources card processing in $100m deal

Westpac has outsourced its credit card and merchant processing services in a deal worth $100 million.

The bank has signed the 10-year agreement with e-commerce and payment services company First Data International.

From October, First Data will manage in phases Westpac's Australian and New Zealand card processing functions. All implementations are expected to be completed in Q3, 2003.

The agreement extends an existing deal between the two organisations since 1990 covering a range of ATM, Eftpos and merchant processing services.

Westpac said it will retain control of its card sales, credit, collections and customer service back-office operations in both Australia and New Zealand.

A total of 25 internal Westpac staff -- most of whom are IT employees -- will be redeployed under the arrangement, a company spokeswoman confirmed.

Redistributing those staff across the bank would be relatively easy as there are plenty of opportunities for transfers, she said. Those people were yet to nominate other areas of the business in which they wished to work, the spokeswoman said.

Westpac will consolidate the IT infrastructure for the card processing service in Australia, and IBM GSA will provide the infrastructure under an existing $4.3 billion services contract first signed in October 2000.

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