Payment platform, First Data, ends its ten-year partnership with Bankwest to launch independently through First Data Merchant Solutions in Australia.
Global payment solutions provider, First Data, has ended its ten-year partnership with Bankwest to strike out on its own in Australia. The company today announced the launch of First Data Merchant Solutions, and is looking to double its existing merchant customer numbers over the next two years.
First Data, in alliance with Bankwest, has been providing payment services to more than 11,000 merchants under the BWA Merchant Services brand for the past ten years. From today, following the completion of the ten-year partnership, First Data will serve Aussie merchants directly via First Data Merchant Solutions in Australia.
Changes to the Banking Act have allowed companies without a banking licence to become issuers or acquirers of Visa and MasterCard, which First Data has been doing through its alliance with Bankwest—until now.
First Data Merchant Solutions is now able to provide merchant acquiring solutions independently and without sponsorship from a bank partner, which allows First Data Merchant Solutions to better leverage First Data Corporation’s global capabilities, according to a company press release.
The launch is a bold move, and one that will position First Data as an independent challenger to Australia’s major banks. To date, according to Fairfax Media, the only independent challenger to the banks in the so-called card acquiring arena is Tyro, which has faced an uphill battle since starting in 2003.
Sam Itzcovitz, Head of Global Business Solutions of First Data Australia and New Zealand, told Fairfax Media that the Australian market for electronic payment is growing faster than a lot of other countries, particularly with the rise of contactless payment and mobile e-commerce.
“From our perspective Australia is a very attractive market, there is a very large revenue pool related to merchant acquiring and it is growing. We also see a lot of global multinationals who operate in this marketplace,” he told Fairfax Media.
“We have done some internal analysis on what we think the size of the market is here, and we think it is somewhere between a $1 billion to $1.3 billion revenue pool and it is growing at about 5 percent YOY and we think it is going to accelerate.”
“Australian business owners today need payments and technology solutions that are not only dependable and intuitive, but can futureproof them as their customers’ behaviours change. Whether this is preparing for new payment channels, the peak sales season at Christmas or ensuring uptime during an online sale, First Data Merchant Solutions is dedicated to being with our clients every step of the way and delivering high-quality, secure solutions tailored to business needs.” said Itzcovitz.