7 Jun 2012

Bank offers potential clients free websites

8:06 am on 7 June 2012

Westpac will use a new joint scheme offering free websites to small businesses as a tool to boost its lagging business-lending portfolio.

The bank has teamed up with the accounting software company MYOB to launch GetOnline.co.nz, making free websites available to all businesses for their first 12 months.

The latest MYOB Business Monitor shows only a third of the country's 450,000 businesses have a company website despite 80% of New Zealanders using the internet to research products or services before buying.

Westpac and MYOB aim to sign 10,000 firms in the first year, with the bank providing the backend payments structure to facilitate the online commerce.

Westpac chief executive Peter Clare says he believes the scheme will lure new business customers.

In the six months to March Westpac's business lending and mortgages rose 4% to $58 billion.