Aust Post extends processing agreement with Unisys subsidiary

Unisys Payment Systems Limited (UPSL) renewed its business process outsourcing (BPO) contract with Australia Post for another seven years, a deal which will generate $40 million for the Unisys subsidiary.

UPSL was formed in February after Unisys acquired Austrapay (a 50/50 Australia Post and J.P. Morgan Chase and Company venture).

The contract continues an existing relationship between Australia Post and Austrapay, Unisys officials said.

Under the deal, UPSL will process cheques presented by customers at post offices nationally, for utilities services such as electricity, water and telecommunications.

Greg Howell, Unisys Australia general manager of financial systems, expects UPSL to process around 35 million cheques each year for Australia Post.

While the bulk of work for Australia Post will be in electronic interchange, UPSL may also provide value-added services like image archiving and retrieval technology and financial transacting services for its latest client.

UPSL will draw revenue by charging services on a "per click" basis, Howell said.

While he said he could not quantify the cost savings Australia Post could expect to see over the life of the contract, he said the client would save on any capital outlay needed to manage utilities billing and non-core back office processes in-house.

According to Unisys, the Australia Post deal has boosted the e-business solutions developer's confidence in the BPO space. Unisys affirmed today that the company plans to grow UPSL as a payments processing facility for the local market. "Unisys [will build] on the Austrapay cheque and processing experience and infrastructure, together with Unisys technology and the industry skills in the financial services sector worldwide," company officials said.

Howell expects other top retail banks to negotiate financial services utility contracts with UPSL over the next few years; however he declined to elaborate on any current business discussions.

The Australia Post deal comes a fortnight after UPSL signed a $140 million, seven-year BPO contract with Westpac Banking Corporation to manage the bank's day-one (simple value-capture and processing) cheque processing system.

Other existing UPSL customers include St George Bank, Suncorp Metway, BankWest and Adelaide Bank.

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More about ADELAIDE BANKAustralia PostAustrapayBankWest AustraliaHowellOrd MinettSt George BankSuncorp GroupSuncorp MetwayUnisys AustraliaWestpacWestpacWestpac Banking Corp

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