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Distra enters into an alliance with National Australia Bank to develop new payments products and services

Monday, 22 December 2008
Distra enters into an alliance with National Australia Bank to develop new payments products and services

22 December 2008, Sydney, AustraliaAustralian payments technology provider Distra Pty Ltd (Distra) has announced it has entered into a strategic alliance with National Australia Bank (NAB) to develop and promote a range of new payments products and services. NAB, a licensee of Distra’s payments switching application since June 2007, will invest an undisclosed amount to take a minority stake in Distra.

“We are very excited about this alliance with NAB, one of our first Tier 1 bank customers” said Mike Aston, Chief Executive Officer of Distra.

“Not only is this a huge vote of confidence for Distra’s next generation payments solutions, but it also offers us an opportunity to work with one of the world’s premier payments processors in the development of a range of new payments products and services”.

“We share a common vision. Markets are now demanding modern, agile and transforming solutions to cope with an ever-increasing threat of greater regulation, competition and fraud”.

“The investment from NAB significantly strengthens Distra’s proposition in offering banks and other processors a switching product that is truly a long-term, viable alternative to the many legacy systems in use around the world,” Mr Aston said.

“This alliance will combine Distra’s unique technology together with NAB’s extensive payments experience, to create a range of new payments products and services. We see benefits for NAB and our customers, as well as demand in the broader regional and global banking industry for innovative payment services,” said Joseph Healy, EGM Business and Private Bank of NAB.

In addition to its work with NAB in Australia, Distra announced earlier this year its role in providing real-time components to Vocalink and four participating banks to facilitate the UK Faster Payments Service, a real time settlement scheme that went live with many of the UK’s leading banks in May of this year, where the Clydesdale & Yorkshire Bank, a member of the National Australia Group, is also utilising Distra’s faster payments solution.

Australian venture capital company Starfish Ventures, Distra’s primary investor, congratulated Distra on the NAB deal. Starfish Ventures invested in 2005 at a crucial time in Distra’s development, enabling the company to complete product development and launch sales to international customers. Starfish Ventures Investment Principal John Dyson and Distra Board Member said: “This relationship is an excellent example of our long-term approach to investing in novel technology companies that address a global high-growth market. Our mission is to build global innovative technology companies. The NAB and Distra relationship is a powerful example of the way we strive to develop national and global growth opportunities for our companies. Distra has taken another step forward in firmly establishing itself as the market leader in the global market of next generation payments solutions.”

About Distra
Formed in 1999, Distra is an Australian software company specializing in payments applications and high performance, high availability transaction processing. Distra’s enterprise class products are designed for use by financial institutions, payments processors and other institutions operating in the payments chain. In a changing, dynamic payments market Distra provides improved reliability, increased business agility and significantly lower costs of operation for equivalent application and infrastructure environments.
Distra’s head offices are located in Sydney Australia and it also has offices located in Singapore and London.
For more information, go to www.distra.com

About NAB Business and Private Banking
The National Australia Bank employs over 5,650 business banking specialists and 450 financial planners and specialists at over 158 business banking centres Australia wide. It is one of the market leaders in providing business banking services to Australian business. For further information visit: http://www.national.com.au/Business_Solutions

About Starfish Ventures
Established in 2001, Starfish Ventures is an Australian owned venture capital fund manager seeking superior returns through active investment in innovative technology companies. Starfish Ventures has over $400 million in funds under management and has made investments in over 40 companies to date. Starfish Ventures seeks investments in emerging Australian businesses across all technologies sectors including information and communications technology, biotechnology and life sciences, industrial technology, and cleantech. For more information go to www.starfishvc.com