New Zealanders will soon be able to pay their bills at home with a swipe-card telephone, following successful trials of what is claimed to be the world's first debit-credit domestic payment terminal system.
The facility is a joint venture between electricity supplier TrustPower and local technology company Cadmus.
Dubbed the POS Power phone system it can be extended to enable people to pay for services such as electricity, gas, telephone, cable television and Internet service, and to buy convenience food deliveries by debit or credit cards.
"Customers using the device will be in full control of how much electricity they use and when they pay," said POS Power director and Cadmus managing director Ian Bailey.
"They'll be able to see discount rates on the phone display and consequently run appliances at cheaper price times. It also eliminates the need for meter readers."
The company expects to install 1000 devices in two South Island regions for full consumer trials by December.
Bailey said the system had attracted interest in the Asia-Pacific region and a successful trial would provide a valuable point of reference for winning future international business.