Eftpos goes mobile with wallet trial

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Eftpos goes mobile with wallet trial

Banks held back by lack of real-time payments.

Debit card scheme eftpos will partner with Australian retailers to trial a mobile wallet and NFC application, after signing a five-year deal with mobile transactions technology group C-SAM.

The move comes as banks and other providers struggle to deliver a ubiquitous mobile payments solution, held back by the lack of real-time payments capability.

Speaking at a conference on cards and payments in Melbourne, eftpos chief executive officer Bruce Mansfield said the survival of eftpos was at risk if it didn’t move to enable mobile, online and contactless payments.

He cited eftpos research that forecasts non-traditional technology platforms could cater for more than 55 percent of payments transactions by 2020.

“It’s concerning for our industry potentially because if this shift continues at the rapid rate it’s occurring there would be many billions of dollars in fees that would go offshore in the next number of years to either international payment systems or new organisations providing international technology solutions," he said.

The eftpos mobile pilot comes on the back of many other mobile payments trials from the major Australian banks.

It will also operate alongside existing peer-to-peer payments offerings, such as goMoney from ANZ and the upcoming NAB Kiss.

ANZ yesterday admitted the uptake of goMoney was mainly limited to basic mobile banking.

“GoMoney was very innovative, what it lacked was the real-time infrastructure to allow it to go across institutions,” said ANZ payments industry head Paul Inglis.

ANZ cards and payments general manager Marj Demmer said goMoney had passed a million registered users, 30 percent of which no longer used internet banking.

However she said the vast majority of goMoney transactions were people checking their balance or recent activity.

“Because it’s quite new and partly because it’s not interbank, you need to register with ANZ, it could be a better customer experience,” Demmer said.

“It’s been growing but it hasn’t made a huge impact in terms of transactions.”

Demmer said the move by Australian banks to deliver real-time payments, which was expected to be delivered in 2016, would be “one of the most revolutionary things that’s happened in Australian payments in over a decade”.

Mansfield said everyone was looking forward to substantial changes in the infrastructure that sits underneath the payments system, whether it be for straight-through retail transactions or person-to-person transactions.

“Mobile payments have been around for 10 to 15 years in many markets around the world. It’s an opportunity here that we can either embrace or continue to play around the edges, but I think we would probably do that at our peril.”

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