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Westpac Banking Corporation

10/20/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/19/2021 21:27

20/10/2021 Westpac gives customers more ‘Flex’ with new zero interest digital card

20 October 2021

Westpac has today announced it will launch a new zero interest credit card 'Flex' later in the year to provide customers with more flexibility and control in managing their money.

The digital card will allow customers to access $1,000 credit with no interest on purchases, no late payment fees, and no foreign currency fees1. Customers will be charged a flat $10 monthly fee, however that fee will not be charged if they pay the amount owing for the previous month on time.

Customers will be able to apply for the card via mobile banking or online and if their application is approved, a digital card will be issued and ready to use within minutes via their banking app or mobile wallet.

Card spend, repayments and reminders will be managed through online banking, and the Card Verification Code (CVC) will automatically change every 24 hours for added security.

"We're giving customers a new way to pay which is simple, flexible and fast, as well as a completely digital experience from start to finish," said Westpac Chief Executive Consumer and Business Banking, Chris de Bruin.

"Flex has been designed to meet the changing needs of younger customers who want greater control over their finances and are more likely to use their smart phone to manage their money. It's easy to use and understand, and customers will be able to use Flex to make purchases in store or online just like a regular card.

"The Flex application process will use real time, digital data assessment to review a customer's financial position to make sure they can meet their repayments. Through using this technology, we have the ability to assess a customer's financial position quickly while at the same time taking steps to ensure we are lending responsibly," said Mr de Bruin.

Westpac consumer research shows that younger Australians are less likely to use a traditional credit card, compared to older generations.

The data also highlights that Generation Z and Millennials are conducting almost all their banking tasks online and are more likely to seek banking tools and features to manage their cashflow and repayments.

"Flex caters for the 'on-demand' generation who want convenience and control, without the complexity," said Mr de Bruin.

"Customers will be able to choose the cycle their repayments fall on, whether it's twice a month or monthly, and we will send proactive reminders via the app and SMS to help them keep on track with repayments.

"We know security is key, so we've integrated our dynamic CVC feature, which issues a new digital code every 24 hours to help protect customers from fraud and scams when shopping online," Mr de Bruin said.

Westpac research shows:

  • Three quarters (75%) of Australians believe the continued growth of digital and online banking have made them more conscious of their spending habits as they can see their money more easily.
  • Almost nine in 10 (87%) Australians agree it is easier to conduct everyday banking tasks through digital channels.
  • Gen Z are more likely to use mobile to complete their banking tasks than any other generation (Gen Z 85%, Millennials 77%, Gen X 58%, Boomers 20%).
  • 57% of Aussies say regular reminders will help them better manage repayments. This is driven by three-quarters of Gen Z (75%; cf. Millennials 68%, Gen X 56%, Baby Boomers 37%).
  • Nearly half (47%) of Australians wish there were more banking products available that could help them better manage their cashflow.
  • More than a third (37%) Australians believe traditional credit cards are no longer as relevant. This increases to around half of the younger generations (Gen Z 53%, Millennials 48%; cf. Gen X 32%, Baby Boomers 21%).

The Flex card is currently being piloted and will be available for customers later in the year. It can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted, instore or online2 and is available for customers to use via their digital wallet. More information on Flex can be found here.

Westpac Flex features include:

No interest, one simple fee

• No interest

• $1,000 credit limit

• $10 monthly fee, or no fee when you clear your previous month's balance on time

• No cash advances or balance transfers

Apply & start spending today

• Instant digital card access on approval (physical card optional)

• Access your credit in minutes

• No document upload required

Repayments in your control

• Choose repayment frequency twice monthly or once monthly

• Choose to repay a minimum of $40 monthly or the full amount owing for each statement period

Keeping you on track

• Repayments are automatically direct debited from the account you nominated during your application

• Proactive payment reminders via SMS and Westpac Live in-app message

• If you have missed a minimum repayment, there is no late fee, but your card will be suspended until you make that minimum repayment

Unlock extra rewards for paying on time and front of wallet

• Access to Westpac Rewards & Extras from day one

Added security

• Dynamic CVC which changes every 24 hours

About the research

The research was commissioned by Westpac and conducted by Lonergan Research in accordance with the ISO 20252 standard. Lonergan Research surveyed 2,038 Australians 18+ with surveys distributed throughout Australia, including both capital city and non-capital city areas. The survey was conducted online amongst members of a permission-based panel, between 9th August and 17th August 2021. After interviewing, data was weighted to the latest population estimates sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Media Contact:

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1 Merchants may charge their own foreign currency fees.

2 This excludes cash advance and gambling transactions.