Australian eCommerce firm eWAY has launched its new merchant services offering in New Zealand — its first step in a significant global play.

eWAY’s New Zealand Merchant Services allows merchants to set up online payments without the need to talk to a bank, and aims to reduce the payments processing time down from weeks or days down to minutes in some cases.

Today’s release follows a significant testing period with Kiwi businesses Wise Advice, Just Another Fisherman and Debtor Daddy.

CEO Matt Bullock said eWay integrates with more than 400 shopping carts and thousands of third party applications used by Kiwi businesses, which can now instantly start accepting payments online from anyone anywhere in the world.

The firm currently processes about 20 per cent of all online purchases in Australia.

“Merchants in New Zealand who have typically suffered from sub-par customer support due to timezone shut-offs in global call centres, for the first time will be able to receive dedicated 24-hour, 365-days-a-year support,” Mr. Bullock said in a statement.

He said more than 3000 merchants signed up to the service in Australia within 12 months.

“We’re looking to replicate this model and help New Zealand businesses experience this growth, too,” he said.

Mr. Bullock is in New Zealand this week speaking to New Zealand businesses and attending Wellington start-up Xero’s annual conference Xerocon.

His firm already has established presences in Australia and New Zealand as well as Singapore, Britain, Hong Kong and Malaysia, and is planning entry into the US later this year.

eWAY is not alone in the payments space in Australia, with online gorilla PayPal dominating the Australian scene along with eBay subsidiary Braintree, which handles payments for a large number of firms including Uber.

Braintree announced its New Zealand expansion last week.

San Francisco-based payments start-up Stripe also opened its doors to Australian customers in July 2014. Stripe is yet to open in New Zealand.

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