|April 17, 2007|
Westpac American Express Credit Cards To Launch In The Pacific Market
|Westpac Pacific Banking and American Express have announced the launch of the first Westpac American Express Credit Card for the Pacific market. American Express and Westpac have signed an agreement which gives Westpac the exclusive license to issue American Express Cards and to acquire merchants on the American Express global network in seven Pacific Island nations (namely: P.N.G., Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, and the Cook Islands). The cards will carry Westpac's name and Cardmembers will be billed in their local currency so there is no exchange rate conversion on local purchases.|
Westpac Pacific Banking will initially offer three cards: one for business clients, one for the consumer market and a Westpac American Express Gold Card for high net worth personal clients.
The Card will be launched first in Fiji, where Cardmembers will enjoy a comprehensive portfolio of benefits. These include global acceptance by merchants in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide on the American Express global network; twenty-four hour customer service; exclusive customer promotions and discounts; emergency support services while traveling abroad; access to more than 550,000 ATMs worldwide; and access to more than 2,200 American Express Travel Services Offices in more than 140 countries.
Speaking in Fiji on the occasion of the launch, David Askew, Head of Sales and Service, Westpac Bank, said: "We are delighted that our alliance with American Express will open up new opportunities for our customers throughout the Pacific."
"We believe that the features of the new Westpac American Express Credit Cards will make them a unique and desirable new product," Mr Askew said.
"The cards will benefit our customers who are looking for convenient ways to pay and manage their finances and they represent the confidence we have in the local Pacific economies. There will also be a number of benefits available to merchants.
Westpac Bank will be responsible for all operations in support of the new credit cards including customer service, marketing, billing and accounting, credit management and charge authorizations.
Westpac American Express Cards will be offered to Westpac customers in other Pacific markets later in the year.
Ng Siew Choo, Vice President and Region Head, Global Network Services, American Express, JAPA, said the Independent Operator Agreement with Westpac would help expand the American Express brand and network presence into vibrant Pacific markets.
"Westpac is highly regarded and widely recognized as one of the most innovative banks in the Pacific, which makes it an ideal partner, and we are looking forward to a strong and successful relationship," Ms Ng said.
"The Pacific in general, and Fiji in particular, has been and will continue to be an important tourist destination. Economies in the region are dynamic and consumers are savvy, providing an excellent opportunity to offer products and services that support their lifestyle needs," added Ms Ng.
The agreement with Westpac is part of American Express' global strategy to expand its business through strategic partnerships with banks in selected markets.