13 Apr 2011

Rugby World Cup payment card restriction

2:55 pm on 13 April 2011

Rugby World Cup organisers say Visa and eftpos won't be accepted at stadiums during the tournament, and fans will have to use cash, Mastercard, or a new Mastercard 'Tap and Go' card.

Venues outside Auckland and Wellington will have ATMs and cash-withdrawal kiosks, Rugby New Zealand 2011 spokesperson Mike Jaspers says.

For Auckland and Wellington venues, Mastercard, which is a major sponsor of the tournament, is producing a pre-paid card which can be loaded with up to $1000 and used at special terminals.

Mastercard New Zealand manager Albert Naffah says the Tap and Go cards will be available to anyone, not just Mastercard customers, and are likely to be sold for between $5 and $10.

They will not have ongoing fees, but once the balance is spent, money can't be reloaded onto it and people will have to buy a new one.

The regular Mastercard can also be used at those terminals.

Organisers say the business argument for installing eftpos terminals in venues other than Auckland and Wellington does not stack up because of the smaller number of games.

Massey University senior lecturer in banking Claire Matthews says New Zealanders are among the heaviest users of eftpos in the world and expect it to available everywhere.

She says Visa introduced a card similar to the planned Mastercard product at the Summer Olympics in Atlanta in 1996, which was not a great success and doubts New Zealanders will support the Mastercard system.

"New Zealanders have taken to eftpos with such delight and make such great use of it, that to try and persuade them to use something else which doesn't offer any significantly better convenience or efficiency - there's simply not the argument for them to use it."

Claire Matthews says ATMs are a less efficient and secure option.

Rugby World Cup matches are being held in Auckland, North Shore, Whangarei, Hamilton, Rotorua, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Wellington, Nelson, Dunedin and Invercargill.