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WaiPay is coming - More instore payment options to boost Wairarapa retailers

Attracting consumer spend to Wairarapa’s retailers is about to become much easier with the introduction of “The WaiPay Project”.

The initiative aims to bring the most up-to-date payment solutions currently being used worldwide in the retail payments sector. This long term set of initiatives will help regional retailers prosper by providing more ways to pay for both locals and visitors wanting to spend money in Wairarapa.

The WaiPay Project has been developed by the Knowledge Intensive Action Group made up of leaders from knowledge intensive businesses around the region, who volunteer their time for free to define and lead projects like WaiPay within the Wairarapa Economic Development Strategy [WEDS].

The project will support local retailers with access to more future focused point of sale systems that can cater to incoming international visitors as well as potentially saving them money and future proof their businesses. The team is negotiating on behalf of retailers with payment solution providers to access cheaper rates and will then help those retailers transition. There is also a portal of information about retail technology and consumer behaviours to help retailers understand the changing environment and be ready for it.

“In recent years, tourism has swooped into the Wairarapa to provide much-needed support for shops in our typically tourist hotspots like Greytown and Martinborough. Visitor spend though, is only one part of the retail ecosystem – and many retailers are facing a challenging set of trading conditions” said WEDS programme manager, Marie-Claire Andrews.

WaiPay project lead Andy Kerr, who brought the idea to the WEDS Knowledge Intensive action group adds:

“We might have been leading the way back in the day with EFTPOS, but we need to open up payment options – contactless, mobile wallets etc – to cater for the way locals and visitors want to pay now and to compete with the big brands and online stores. This is one way we can make it easier to encourage people to spend their money locally.”

“We’ve all been into shops with the ‘no Paywave’ label on their card readers – and while we know contactless payments aren’t free, WaiPay will prove to retailers that the small cost involved in ripping that label off, is worth doing” he adds. Negotiations with banks and payment providers on behalf of the region’s retailers is underway by the WaiPay project team.

Jerome Faury from Centrapay backed the initiative, saying they are all about improving the consumer experience instore and creating seamless movement of money between purchasers and store owners - something the region could benefit from.

“Updating retail technology and being open to new payment methods is a smart play by the Wairarapa,” Jerome said.

The WaiPay launch event is on Monday 14th October, held in two locations at different times (Carterton and Martinborough) where retailers will hear directly from the banks and payment providers about rates offers and deals, and find out how businesses overseas are flourishing in a competitive market filled with online stores.

Attendees will also get data on the visitors heading our way right now from Wellington, the rest of New Zealand, Australia, China and beyond - and how they'll expect to pay when they walk through the shop door. It’s open to all retailers, no matter what they sell or how large/small their shop might be.

Pip Goodwin, CEO of Palliser Estate will be at the event, along with many members of the Wairarapa Wine Country consortium.

“We’re especially interested in making ourselves more accessible to the growing number of Chinese visitors – our wines are super popular with them – so want to find out more about AliPay and other ways to promote and sell more efficiently.”

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Elisa Vorster

027 222 6822

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