IT’S ALL TOUCH AND GO
Aussies are tipped to embrace mobile payment services
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”.