Net-Fusion banks on 'virtual credit card'

Worldwide sales are on the cards for an online payment system developed in Auckland.

Worldwide sales are on the cards for an online payment system developed in Auckland.

Kerry Gordon, who developed the Bartercard franchise in New Zealand, has created Net-Fusion, a "virtual credit card" that involves customers using PIN numbers and passwords instead of giving card details over the internet. The product is an internet upgrade of Unicard, a banking payment system used by 47 banks worldwide, including ASB.

“We grabbed their processing systems and modified it for the internet and put together a shopping cart, which allows people to shop at different merchants and have one check-out facility,” Gordon says.

Net-Fusion took over two years to develop and $1.2 million of Gordon's money, using Auckland-based GSF-Group, Straker International and ISP StrongNet as contractors.

Gordon already uses Net-Fusion for his web portal, www.shopping.co.nz, and says he is talking to major banks.

Launched in September, Gordon claims online sales of $35,000 in November, with at least double expected for this month. It presently has 65 merchants and 3000 registered users, including AMP, Liquor King and Axa New Zealand.

Net-Fusion presently employs five, but is about to take on 20 sales staff nationwide.

At present, ASB processes the transactions for Net-Fusion. But talks are underway with both the ASB and WestpacTrust about sharing the technology and marketing for wider use. Gordon is also talking with an Australian bank about the system and also claims interest from Asia, the UK and Europe. He expects the 47 Unicard users to adopt it within months, before others come on board.

When banks take up the system, he says their database of merchants will give his company leads.

Gordon claims Net-Fusion is safer than other methods as the merchant does not receive the actual credit card details. It is also certified by all the banks, Visa and Mastercard, and 128K encrypted data is kept behind a firewall.

It costs merchants $199 ex GST to join, plus a 3% transaction fee on each sale. The public pay $14.95 a month, but this includes 100 hours internet access from Strong Net and he guarantees online shoppers savings of $300 a year by using the cart.

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