ANZ to allow Android users to tap onto an ATM

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ANZ to allow Android users to tap onto an ATM

Mobile wallet to finally arrive.

Customers of ANZ bank with new model Android phones will soon be able to use their devices to authenticate themselves at an ATM and withdraw money.

The capability will arrive alongside the launch of ANZ's long-planned mobile wallet, which is slated to debut after many years of testing later this year. 

The solution will be available on all Android devices running version 4.4 of the operating system, which introduced host-based card emulation, allowing NFC payments to bypass a carrier's secure element and emulate a card to talk directly to an NFC reader.

The bank has been testing a mobile wallet internally using near-field communications since October 2012. The initial trials were on Samsung Galaxy S III smartphones and Optus SIMs.

ANZ was coy on details of the product and launch ahead of its official arrival.

The mobile wallet had been scheduled to land in early 2015, but the bank said the setback was due to its efforts to "ensure ... the solution meets the needs of our customers".

It did, however, reveal that it would debut a tap and pin capability for its Android customers alongside the mobile wallet's launch.

Late last year the bank started equipping its national network of automatic teller machines with EMV technology to allow customers to tap rather than insert their card into the machine, and therefore avoid card skimming.

It is systematically rolling out the tech to all its 2700 ATMs nationally, and expects the entire fleet to be operational with tap and pin functionality by mid-to-end of next year.

The ability for Android 4.4 users to similarly use the secure element in their phone to authenticate themselves at an ANZ ATM was a "natural extension" of the card tap and pin capability, ANZ head of digital channels Peter Tilton said.

"It's a more sophisticated technological approach than requesting a one-time PIN through bank systems," he said, referencing the 'cardless cash' features on offer from rivals CBA and Westpac.

Android users will still need to enter their PIN into the ATM after tapping the phone, Tilton said. But the ability to avoid inserting a card reduced the risk of card skimming and fraud.

The bank won't be able to offer the same functionality for its iPhone customers, as Apple has restricted the NFC functionality it brought to its new iPhone 6 models to its own Apple Pay payments solution.

ANZ previously tested out a contactless payment solution on older model iPhones with a third-party case and micro SD cards for the secure element, but the trial was unsuccessful as customers disliked the case and preferred native NFC.

Slow and steady to Apple Watch

ANZ also last night brought a version of its goMoney personal banking app to the Apple Watch.

Tilton admitted the bank was not the first to market with such an app - Westpac and CBA had their versions ready at the time Apple's Watch launched - but said it had taken more time in order to get the product right.

The app provides limited features, but the functions were ones Tilton said had been nominated by customers as capabilities they would most make use of.

Apple Watch users with the goMoney app will be able to view balances and transaction history of their five most recent transactions.

Competitors Westpac and CBA both offer a view of balances and more varied functions - such as ATM finder and cardless cash functions - but don't provide transaction histories.

"We've gone simple and deeper in the balances functions rather than add many other capabilities," Tilton said. 

"We tested with customers and that's what they told us they'd like."

The bank will follow with the launch of its Grow app on the Apple Watch in August. The app combines a person's banking, super and wealth in one location, and on the Watch will offer similar functions.

ANZ has opted against offering similar applications for users of Android watch products as "the majority of our goMoney users are Apple", Tilton said. He said the bank was considering it for the future.

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