Banks one step ahead of Visa’s Year 2000 compliancy

New Zealand banks look set to escape any penalties imposed by Visa International for failing to ensure their systems can accommodate the year 2000 expiration dates. Visa New Zealand country manager Daniel Jeffares says five out of the six New Zealand member banks had already complied and the remaining bank should do so within the "next few months".

New Zealand banks look set to escape any penalties imposed by Visa International for failing to ensure their systems can accommodate the year 2000 expiration dates.

Visa New Zealand country manager Daniel Jeffares says that, internationally, Visa has given its member banks until August this year to ensure they are 2000-compliant. Cards with a 2000 expiry date, therefore, should be able to be produced around September.

He says five out of the six New Zealand member banks had already complied and the remaining bank should do so within the “next few months”.

“They [New Zealand banks] are probably better on average relative to the rest of the world. They are on the crest of the wave and at the forefront of making the changes.”

It doesn’t look like there will be any penalties imposed in New Zealand, although internationally there might be.

Technically, the five New Zealand banks which have complied could now issue cards with a 2000 expiry date. Jeffares says no Visa cards with a 2000 expiry date have been issued in New Zealand and the company will hold back on doing that until later in the year, when it expects the issue to be resolved worldwide.

Jeffares says Visa was not surprised with the high level of compliance for New Zealand banks.

MIS chief for ASB, Garry Fissenden says ASB was 2000-compliant for both Visa and MasterCard. It had not yet issued any cards with the 2000 expiry dates as its cards have a two-year expiry date.

National Bank card services general manager Bill Dolan says the bank is not yet compliant, but is working on a new system which will be running in time to meet the Visa deadline.

A BNZ spokeswoman says the bank is compliant for both the Visa and MasterCard mandate deadline of June 30, as well as on all BNZ credit card point-of-sale pathways including ATMs, Eftpos, Easicharge, voice authorisation and tellers’ terminals.

The bank can now accept cards which have an expiry date after December 31, 1999, but because it issues credit and debit cards with an expiry date of no more than two years from the date of issue it has not yet issued any with an expiry date past 1999.

An ANZ spokesman would not say where the bank was at with compliance, saying it was commercially sensitive.

However, he did say that the bank had issued debit cards with 2000 expiration banks in January this year, and had no problems with them.

WestpacTrust confirmed it is complying with both Visa and MasterCard’s requirements in terms of compliance programmes.

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