Retailers compete with banks for cards

Australia's major retails are eager to join a worldwide trend of involvement in the retail financial services sector. The number of customers who use credit cards to pay for their purchases is increasing and retailers want to reduce the amounts they pay in merchant fees. Woolworths has withdrawn its Ezy Banking joint venture with Commonwealth Bank and has a new financial services strategy involving its own electronic payments processing system that will provide it with a platform to launch its own credit card. David Jones is planning to introduce a general purpose credit card while Myer and Harvey Norman have in-house schemes through GE Money.