Beginning in June, people in Wellington will be able to pay for bus tickets and everyday items in stores using the Snapper card, a contactless smart card that investor Infratil hopes will become more widely used than conventional eftpos cards, reports New Zealand’s Stuff.co.nz.
Infratil has set up a subsidiary, Snapper Services, to market the cards. Snapper Services has teamed up with ANZ National Bank to ensure Snapper cards can be used as eftpos cards. To accept Snapper, retailers would need an eftpos terminal with a contactless card reader. Peter McLeod, managing director of ANZ National subsidiary Eftpos New Zealand, says these readers cost about $200, but they will probably be leased with eftpos terminals and will soon be standard equipment.
Snapper Services general manager Charles Monheim says Snapper is the “natural successor” to eftpos for low value transactions.
“Not only will it be used for small value purchases, parking and public transportation, but it is our expectation it will be used in various ways for access control and loyalty schemes.
Bus passengers will be given a 20 percent discount if they use Snapper instead of cash, which is being currently being tested on a bus line. Monheim says Snapper is similar in concept to London’s Oyster cards and the Octopus card in Hong Kong. “Snapper” was chosen as the brand to continue the nautical theme.
Oyster cards are now used to pay for more than 36 million trips a week. “We are trying to do something similar here on a national scale. And Wellington is the place we are starting because one of the first organizations using it will be NZ Bus.
Consumers will have to buy Snapper cards but will not be charged eftpos fees. Retailers will instead cover transaction charges. Cardholders will be able to refill Snapper cards by credit card over the Internet by clipping their card to a USB device that plugs into a computer.
The USB chargers will be sold separately. Snapper will also be available in the form of a USB stick, which can be plugged directly into a computer. The cards and readers are being sourced from Korea, but much of the intelligence behind Snapper was developed in New Zealand by Petone-based online database pioneer Eyede, according to the report.
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