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Westpac unveils mobile phone contactless payments in Australian first


11 December 2013

  • New Year launch will allow for contactless transactions
  • Customers to be able to use all Westpac debit and credit cards on phones
  • Latest innovation in Westpac’s expanding digital and mobile services

Westpac today announced that its customers will be among the first in the world to pay for goods and services with a simple wave of their mobile device in store, and without the need for a dedicated case or sticker.

Westpac will work with Visa to enable Westpac customers to make contactless payments on their mobile phone.

This follows a successful internal trial and will allow customers who have compatible Android handsets to use all Westpac debit and credit cards through their mobile banking app. They will be able to make payments straight away just by tapping their phone against the terminals.

“Today we are announcing the launch of contactless payments on the phone," said David Lindberg, Chief Product Officer, Australian Financial Services, Westpac.

"This marks an extraordinary step into the future for payments globally - led right here in Australia. Contactless payments have been the single most important payments trend in 2013, now accounting for over 50% of scheme debit transactions. Westpac's move marks the next big step - taking contactless to the phone."

"People are rarely separated from their mobile phones, and this delivers new, simple ways to pay for everyday shopping. Customers love the ease and convenience of contactless payments and we see mobile phone payments as the next stage of that journey in Australian banking."

Vipin Kalra, Country Manager for Visa in Australia, said “Australia is leading the world in its adoption of contactless payments and mobile is the next step. One in every three Visa transactions is now a contactless Visa payWave transaction. We are excited to enable mobile payments with Visa payWave as people move towards a mobile way of life.”

Mr Lindberg added: "Westpac has trialled the use of stickers for mobile payments but has decided not to roll them out to customers. Westpac continues to support all handset providers and will be excited to support them when they do develop payment solutions for their phones in the future."

“This move puts Australia at the forefront of global payments and we expect other Australian banks to announce similar developments.”

Australia's adoption of contactless payments continues to lead the world with over 50% of all debit card transactions now being made contactless. This has become an industry-wide trend, with shopping, fast food and fuel payments leading the way.

The rollout is planned for early next year and will be available to all new and existing customers to the bank via the Westpac mobile banking application. Customers will be able to check their transaction history, account balance, and make payments from a single mobile app. This has all been enabled by the bank’s significant investment in its online and mobile banking platform, which we are currently rolling out to customers.

Every transaction will be protected by multiple layers of security, just like a normal card transaction. The commercial rollout on Android handsets uses embedded secure element (eSE) solutions.

This is the latest innovation in Westpac Group's expanding mobile offering which includes Mobile PayWay, Budget Planner and the bank's iPad application.

Note to editors:

The Westpac solution is based on embedded secured element technology. This ensures the same level of security as existing EMV chip card transactions and is fully EMV compliant.

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