IT’S ALL TOUCH AND GO

Aussies are tipped to em­brace mo­bile pay­ment ser­vices

The Courier-Mail - QWeekend - - TECHNOLOGY - JENNIFER DUD­LEY-NI­CHOL­SON

Think your smart­phone is im­por­tant now? Wait un­til it re­places your wal­let.

No more re­ceipts. No more half-spent gift cards. No more ill-con­sid­ered loy­alty cards. Just a mo­bile phone to tap at the cash reg­is­ter.

Wal­lets and purses are now un­der threat as Sam­sung launches its mo­bile pay­ment ser­vice in Aus­tralia, ad­ding to tapand-go pay­ments from its ma­jor ri­val, Ap­ple, and in­di­vid­ual bank­ing apps.

Google is also pre­par­ing to en­ter the Aus­tralian mar­ket, pro­vid­ing plenty of choice for any­one with a credit card and a re­cent smart­phone.

Aus­tralia, which be­came the fifth coun­try to get Sam­sung Pay last week, has two ad­van­tages over other coun­tries, ac­cord­ing to Alyson Clarke, prin­ci­pal an­a­lyst at mar­ket re­search com­pany For­rester. The first is an un­prece­dented num­ber of con­tact­less credit card read­ers. The sec­ond is the num­ber of con­sumers will­ing to use them.

“Aus­tralians are very fast adopters of tech­nol­ogy like this,” Clarke ex­plains.

In ad­di­tion to con­ve­nience, th­ese ser­vices can be a safer way to pay.

Rather than just re­ly­ing on a chip and a PIN, mo­bile pay­ments use a se­cure chip, en­crypted in­for­ma­tion and a fin­ger­print sen­sor, and trans­mit a to­ken rather than a credit-card num­ber to pre­vent hack­ing.

They can also be used off­line, in case you’re out of mo­bile phone range.

Ap­ple Pay is avail­able to peo­ple us­ing a re­cent iPhone and the ser­vices of ANZ or Amer­i­can Ex­press. Sam­sung Pay launched with Citibank and Amer­i­can Ex­press. The South Korean tech gi­ant is said to be “work­ing fever­ishly” to get Aus­tralian banks on board as well, though Sam­sung Pay global vice-pres­i­dent Elle Kim says it chose to launch with­out them be­cause they “wanted to go … we didn’t want to wait”.

In­ter­net gi­ant Google could have more luck at­tract­ing banks to An­droid Pay. The com­pany says it was due to launch in Aus­tralia “in the first half of 2016”, and lists ANZ, West­pac, Bendigo Bank, ING and St Ge­orge among po­ten­tial part­ners.

Clarke says Sam­sung and An­droid Pay have the best chances of wide­spread adop­tion as Ap­ple charges banks to use its ser­vice, and the per­cent­age scraped off each trans­ac­tion is “the rea­son why so many of the banks have held out against Ap­ple”.

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