Debit card network Eftpos is looking to tap into contactless transport payments to take the fight to its credit cards competitors.
The company this week established a technical and business team dedicated to accelerate its work bringing "tap & pay technology" to buses, trains and ferries.
The team will aim to “complete the capability rollout to financial institutions across Australia by April 2019” and is already in discussions with state governments.
It is also expected to look at introducing the contactless capability to other unattended payment devices like parking meters and vending machines.
Eftpos managing director Stephen Benon said the company had been working to enable the technology on public transport for some time.
“As tap payments are introduced on transport systems across Australia, it is vital for eftpos debit to be included to ensure all Australians have access to the benefits of this technology and can use their own money, rather than credit,“ Mr Benton said.
“The inclusion of eftpos, in addition to the international credit card schemes, will also help drive competition and better outcomes for State Governments and taxpayers.”
The move follows new research by the company showing that Australian commuters would prefer to pay for transport with debit instead of credit.
Eftpos has already deployed the technology to “around 30 million cards and 900,000 point of sale terminals across Australia over the last four years”, the company said.
NSW is one state that is currently is currently trialling contactless card payments via credit cards and smartphones on all Sydney ferries and the inner west light rail network.
The scheme is currently limited to contactless-enabled American Express, Mastercard or Visa card, as well as smartphones, tablets and smart watches linked to their credit cards.
However, as iTnews revealed last week, transit officers are still unable to check whether a commuters has tapped on using contactless payment cards and mobile wallets, at least in NSW.
Transport for NSW plans to extend contactless payments to heavy rail before the end of the year, but will continue to asses implementation on buses "into the future".