Breakthroughs for Tait, SmartPay in Australia

Tait radios are used by the police in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Photo / Supplied
Tait radios are used by the police in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Photo / Supplied

New Zealand technology firms SmartPay and Tait Radio Communications are celebrating breakthroughs into the Australian market as banks and state governments accept their technologies for use across the Ditch.

In the case of NZX-listed SmartPay, it has achieved Australian certification for use of its retail payment terminals by Westpac Bank, the first in a string of acceptances required for the company to grab a larger share of the Australian eftpos terminal market.

The company is targeting growth from less than 1 per cent market share to 5 per cent as Australian retailers shift to the EMV chip-card standard for credit and debit cards, which was deployed in New Zealand earlier, in part to meet international tourist expectations during the Rugby World Cup.

With between 600,000 and 800,000 Australian terminals requiring replacement, SmartPay's chief executive Andrew Donaldson told BusinessDesk the firm was seeking 30,000 to 35,000 installations of its PAX S90 and S80 terminals.

That was roughly equivalent to the number of its terminals already operating in New Zealand, where SmartPay had around 50 per cent market share, he said. SmartPay was now working for certification with other Australian banks.

SmartPay's shares rose 2c yesterday to 14c.

While Australian banks had traditionally owned eftpos terminals and leased them to merchants, that was not the case in New Zealand, where SmartPay rents terminals to merchants directly, saving banks capital and operating costs.

"That's the model we are taking into Australia," said Donaldson.

SmartPay has a base of 4500 installed terminals already in use in Australia.

"It is a huge step forward for SmartPay," said Donaldson.

With anticipated upgrades for a further 25,000 terminals in New Zealand, the company now expected its 2012 result would show an improved bottom line through a reduction in interest costs and overheads, he said.

Meanwhile, privately held, Christchurch-based Tait has achieved approval for use of its Tait P25 mobile radios by emergency services in New South Wales.

About 24,000 users in more than 40 government agencies work on the state-wide network, which is based on the P25 international open standard for the manufacturing of interoperable digital two-way wireless communications.

"For the first time, public safety agencies operating on the NSW GRN are free to select from an alternative vendor," said Brett Smythe, Tait's Asia-Pacific regional manager.

- BusinessDesk

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