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Westpac Partners with Intelisys for E-procurement Marketplace

Westpac bank has announced a partnership with US-based e-business provider Intelisys Electronic Commerce to operate its Australian and New Zealand e-procurement network and develop an Australasian business-to-business (B2B) marketplace.

A Westpac group company will take a 49 percent equity investment worth AUS$45 million (US$27 million) in the new entity, which will be known as Intelisys Australia.

The new joint venture company will allow businesses to communicate and trade in a secure, paper-free environment via open exchange marketplaces, enabling users to interact with other network systems and access a variety of e-commerce trading platforms.

The Intelisys ConnectTrade e-commerce solution will be used to meet Westpac's e-procurement needs, which include the development of a Westpac-branded portal for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and the establishment of e-marketplaces for other organizations and some corporate Westpac clients.

Westpac said it will offer purchase to payment e-procurement solutions for corporate customers and launch a trading community for SMEs by the end of the year.

"We will offer our customers - whatever their size - real buying power and the opportunity to sell goods and services over the Net to other members of the business community, to reach new customers and expand their businesses," said Westpac's managing director, Dr David Morgan.

"With SMEs the fastest growing sector of the Australian economy, growing our share of this market is a key strategic objective," said Dr Morgan. "Like all businesses, SMEs spend heavily on procurement but to date have had limited purchasing power".

Intelisys Australasia will derive income streams from software licence sales and a fee from marketplace transactions. The partnership also involves reseller rights into Asia and is expected to be the springboard into the broader Asia-Pacific region.