10 months ago

Australia Edition 1

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  • Australia
  • Australian
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THE MARKET In the past

THE MARKET In the past quarter century. the contents or Australian wallets have changed very significantly The money looks different, for a start. and one and two dollar notes are no more. But there is a great deal more buy1ng power in each wallet. the result or a rising standard of living (though it might not always seem like 1t). And yet chances are there 1sn't actually any more cash in each wallet: 111 fact. there will almost certainly be less. Instead of the extra cash you rrught expect to see, there will be something almost unheard of back in 1972 - credit cards. And no matter what cards there are. one of them Will almost certainly be a Bankcard. Th8t'S only lair, because after all it was Bankcard that started the entire credit card industry rolling in Australia. Bankcard ts unique to Australia (and New Zealand), lhe result of an h1stoncal match between consumer cxpectat1ons and pending commercial 1n1tralives olthe banks on the one hand, and lim ted technology on the other. Noth1ng like it could ever be created again. Yet. created it was • and for a huge number of Australians it changed the world. Today, with cred t cards, cMrge cards and other bits of plast1c in every wallet, it is hard to remember just how mucl1 Bankcard changed 111e way we did lhtngs. ACHIEVEMENTS The Bankcard Scheme introduced the credit card to the Australian general public. and made possible t11e spectacular gro·Nth that card use has experienced. Today. Bankcard generates around 70 million transactions every year. for a total amount 1n excess of .5 billion. There are well over 2.3 million cardholder accounts. and more than 350.000 merchants accept Bankcard in Australia. More t11an that. Bankcard also liberated Australians from carrying large sums of cast1. madP it possible for them to spread repayments lor ma1or purchases mucl1 more evenly by making credrt easily available, and allowed consumers to take much greater advantage ol limited-ttme dtscounts and sales. When cash rs requ1red it con be obtained will1 a Bankcard card from Automatic Teller Machines. Merchants have found that the use of Bankcard has allowed them to make larger sales. The card has also made telephone and mail order sales much eas1er to admtnrster. HISTORY It was 1972, and those Australians who knew about credit cards were keen to get hold 01 some and enjoy their many advnntages Several banks were just as keen, see1ng the benefits ot making credit available to thelf customers in thrs way and stunulattng the use of bank services. But for the banks it wasn't rust a maller of launching a card. Australia still has a relaltvely small population, but it was even smaller then. And that population, despite being somewhat concentrated in cit1es. was spread over a huge geographical area AI any rate it would not have been enough to extend credit card servtces to City people: to be truly effectivo, a card needed to be usable everywhere 1n Australia. This IS not a problem today; computer and telecommunication technologies have made enormous leaps, and distance is no

Bankcard. The hardest working card in Australia. ll'' .tlnu,...t ]tl \, .lr--, 1\Hlf\~. \ u ... c•thn c n"\ht ',u,ll'4"\ ·"''''- \ lw I pornt-ot-sale k t when leans I eaYllyon 'he well· knowr1 Bankcard symool. the "'trltrcoloured ower cnse 'b' on tis greer' grouno. l11ltally there was a great tjeal of 'yer enc' advertis1ng promoting Ban-

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