Clear Communications claims to have more than 30 potential customers lined up for its launch as an application service provider on October 22.
An ASP rents software applications via Internet technology.
Clear has been piloting its ASP offering — an automated credit card clearing facility called Payment Gateway — with bus company Coachnet since July.
Wayne Nicholas, Clear's strategic business development manager, says the telco will start signing up additional customers for the service as soon as it is launched. "They're queued up, we have 30 to 40 ready to go on now."
Coachnet, which runs Intercity Coach- lines and Newmans Coachlines, has used Payment Gateway to replace a five-step manual procedure for payment clearance and Coachnet assistant general manager, Philip Kotze estimates cost savings of around $20,000 annually.
Nicholas says Clear has also been getting enquiries from the Australian market in particular banks which would like to offer the system to customers with trans-Tasman operations.
Nicholas believes the success of the service hinges on having an application that the market wants, that is suited to the New Zealand banking/payment clearance environment and that was designed to be deployed over a network. Payment Gateway was developed by Auckland-based DPS (Direct Payment Solutions).
Charging for the service will be based on the number of transactions processed. The higher the number of transactions the lower the cost. The ASP service which comes under the auspices of the online services group will eventually be provided via Clear Net but for now is supplied over dedicated network connections.
Nicholas says Clear is also looking at extending the service beyond credit card payments to other forms of transaction such as debit and smart cards payments. Another possible ASP offering is an automated procurement system.
"We are also seeing an increasing requirement for automated procurement. Organisations are saying that the paper pro- cesses involved in working with suppliers are horrendous," says Nicholas