Ditch the cards and clear up the clutter in your wallet by using a contactless payment mobile phone app.
Contactless payment credit cards, such as MasterCard’s PayPass and Visa’s payWave, have revolutionised the way people make everyday purchases of up to $100. Visa contactless payments now dominate the provider’s face-to-face transactions in Australia, increasing from 40% in 2014 to 60% in 2015.
But even using your card to make purchases could be a thing of the past, with mobile phone apps slowly but surely creeping their way into people’s regular spending habits. Reports from Visa and RFi Group have predicted massive growth in this area, and believe that mobile phone contactless payments could soon replace credit cards altogether.
In preparation for this mobile takeover, and so you can compare your options side by side, we’ve whipped up a comparison of some of the credit card providers that currently offer a contactless app and what else we can expect from this growing market.
What’s already on the market?
- Commonwealth Bank MasterCard PayPass
Moving on from the stop-gap contactless MasterCard sticker that cardholders could stick on the back of their phones, Commonwealth Bank became the first big Australian bank to offer contactless mobile payments across all Androids. As an extra security precaution, the app requires users to enter a PIN twice – once to open the app and then again to authenticate the transaction.
Having the feature built-in to an app rather than a sticker is a definite upgrade, but having to enter your PIN twice before each transaction reduces the convenience factor. As this technology is only available across Android, CommBank customers with alternative devices lose out.
- Westpac tap and pay
Westpac was also one of the first Aussie bank providers whose cardholders were able to replace their credit cards with their smartphones. Using a Samsung, users will need to download the Westpac Mobile Banking app and select the credit or debit card they’d like to use.
If you’re worried about security risks, Westpac’s Fraud Money Back Guarantee and a password-protected login system has your back. However, similar to the CommBank app, the Westpac tap and pay app isn’t available across all phone types, limiting its usability to anyone without a Samsung smartphone.
- People’s Choice Credit Union redi2PAY
Once you’ve downloaded the redi2PAY app from the Google Play Store, you can set up a virtual copy of the card you wish to use at the register. Registering your card will involve providing your card number, expiry date, CVV and PIN. However, if you want to have access to more than one card at a time, you’re out of luck – the redi2PAY app only supports one card at once. Simply tap your phone on a payWave terminal to make a payment the same as you would with your regular card. Again, as the app is only exclusive to NFC-enabled Android phones, you’ll be unable to access redi2PAY without one.
What can we expect in the future?
As smartphone contactless payment technology is a growing market, Australian’s are somewhat strapped for choice. But with the immediate and ever-increasing success of the technology, some providers already have their apps in the works. Here are some standouts you may want to listen out for:
- ANZ Bank – GoMoney Wallet
ANZ Bank announced in March 2015 that they would be jumping on the contactless payment app bandwagon by the end of the year with the launch of their GoMoney Wallet. Powered by NFC payments and Host Card Emulation, the GoMoney app will allow users to replace their cards with their Android phones to cover everyday payments. As the product hasn’t been released as of yet, it’s difficult to compare it with other alternatives on the market. However, exclusive to Android at this time, the exclusion of iPhone users is one thing we know for sure.
- Apple Pay
You may have noticed this pattern already, but little to none of the Australian banks that offer contactless payments via their mobile apps are compatible with Apple products. Given that a large number of Australian mobile phone users are Apple customers, this significantly limits the potential these apps could have on Aussie consumers.
Apple are aiming to fill this void with the launch of Apple Pay. Introduced in the States in October 2015, Apple has yet to announce a local launch for the smartphone and smartwatch payment device. However, research company Timetric predicts Australia is on the short list. The technology will allow you to nominate a bank and use your phone as a debit card for purchases.
- Samsung Pay
Similar to Apple Pay, Samsung launched their Galaxy S6 Digital Wallet in the US in May 2015. Rather than downloading their bank provider’s unique app, US Samsung users now have the opportunity to nominate their chosen bank within the Samsung Wallet. This provides more options for cardholders whose bank doesn’t provide an app that is compatible with a Samsung device or doesn’t offer a contactless payment app in general.
As of yet, Samsung haven’t confirmed whether or not they’ll release the Samsung Wallet in Australia or if they’ll continue collaborating with individual banks and credit unions to bring their services to mobile devices.
Although we’ve recently transitioned into a virtually cashless society, we may be moving beyond and into a cardless world. Contactless payment technology via mobile apps could simplify everyday purchases, but given the limitations currently posed by Australian bank and credit unions’ apps, it may be some time before mobile contactless payments become the norm.
Watch this space though, because finder.com.au will be the first to provide users with a comprehensive comparison of the contactless payment app options available to Australians as they drop.