Westpac has signed a 10 year agreement as an Air New Zealand financial services partner in a move that will see it offer its customers Air New Zealand Airpoints™, and lead to a shake-up in the competitive retail banking market.
Westpac will replace the BNZ as an Air New Zealand Airpoints partner, meaning that BNZ will be unable to offer its customers Airpoints after 1 May. Westpac’s Airpoints earning products will deliver benefits to more cardholders, an innovative roadmap of future rewards and a simplified on-boarding process for many customers.
Westpac Chief Executive, David McLean, said the programme is an important win for Westpac and its customers, and presents the bank with a strong growth opportunity in an otherwise tight environment, noting that tens of thousands of BNZ GlobalPlus customers will need to change credit card provider by 1 May to continue to earn Airpoints on their credit card spend.
“Credit cards are a key touch point for everyday banking, a ubiquitous part of daily life for many Kiwis, and therefore a key product in developing and extending relationships with customers,” Mr McLean said.
“Air New Zealand’s Airpoints programme is the loyalty programme of choice for so many Kiwis, and has grown significantly in recent times. The number of customers involved has created a multi-billion dollar category. We are intent on competing strongly to win Airpoints customers, and will be introducing market-first innovations in the short-to-medium term.”
Westpac will initially be launching four new cards and a mortgage product that can earn Airpoints Dollars™. This will be the widest offering in the market with cards able to be ordered by customers immediately, earning Airpoints from 1 May 2015. For the three months until 31 July, new customers will earn triple Airpoints Dollars and for a limited time all cards, except the Airpoints World Card, will have the first year’s annual fee waived. Also available, is a 0%pa balance transfer for all cardholders.
“We are making it as easy as possible to join our programme and a large number of customers will be able to apply and later PIN their cards with just a few clicks online,” Mr McLean said.
“Combined with the new features we will be rolling out over the next few months, we have a compelling case to join our programme for the tens of thousands of customers who need to switch financial partner to continue to earn Airpoints on their credit card spend.”
Westpac has had a strong focus on its credit card portfolio over the last year. The partnership with Air New Zealand’s Airpoints programme follows the streamlining of its credit card suite from 12 to five (non Airpoints related) and introducing contactless payment method, Westpac PayTag.
Westpac will continue to invest in its hotpoints® rewards programme and sees the two complementing each other and providing choice for customers. While Airpoints appeals to the travel enthusiast, hotpoints offers general rewards that customers can redeem for everything from donating to a charity to a flat screen TV.
Details on the Westpac Airpoints products can be found here: www.westpac.co.nz/airpoints