Eftpos builds widget to avoid technical lockout

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Eftpos builds widget to avoid technical lockout

To offer mobile, contactless and online payments by 2014.

Eftpos is working to introduce contactless, mobile and online payment technologies in coming years to avoid being locked out of the Australian payments market.

Addressing the Payment Innovation World conference in Sydney this week, chief executive officer Bruce Mansfield said the 26-year-old platform was in real danger of being wiped out by rival payment systems.

“Eftpos is more popular than it has even been in its history,” he said, noting that the platform accounted for 50.3 percent of all card transactions in Australia and a growing percentage of cash withdrawals compared to ATM use.

“But if we don’t move the domestic debit system forward there’s a danger we’ll be wiped out by technical lockout or technological change.”

Mansfield said Eftpos planned to introduce contactless, mobile and online payments in the 2013-2014 timeframe. “We could do those things today, but we want to get them right,” he said.

For mobile payments, Mansfield said Eftpos was developing a "widget" that would work with electronic wallets, like Google Wallet in the US.

“The [wallet] providers can then offer Eftpos as a payment mechanism,” he said. “Again, it all comes back to choice.”

Mansfield told the conference that Eftpos would soon support contactless, "tap and go" payments like Visa's payWave and MasterCard's PayPass offerings.

He said the key to Eftpos remaining competitive was the introduction of multi-function cards that would ensure consumers and merchants had a choice over which payment method to use.

Without choice, he said, Eftpos faced the very real possibility of being locked out of the payments system. “Lock-out is the elephant in the room,” he said.

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