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Australia’s first contactless mobile payment trial rings in success


Results from Australia’s first trial of contactless mobile phone payments released today show a strong appetite for the technology and give Telstra, National Australia Bank and Visa the impetus to continue to work towards commercialisation of the technology.

The three-month trial at Melbourne’s Docklands saw consumers download the NAB Visa credit card software application to their Telstra SIM remotely, and then use their mobile phone to purchase goods and services by simply waving their phone over a participating merchant’s Visa payWave enabled reader. The costs of purchases were charged back to their NAB Visa credit card account.

The trial exceeded expectations, with a clear consumer demand emerging for contactless mobile payments and services during the trial, leading the three organisations to continue to explore opportunities in this area in the next few years.

The trial, which tested contactless mobile payments technology as a convenient and easy replacement for cash transactions under A$35, found:

* 90 per cent of trial participants were very or extremely satisfied with the contactless mobile phone payment system;
* 95 per cent of trial participants said they were likely or extremely likely to use this technology in the future; and
* 78 per cent of participants said paying using a mobile phone was better than cash.

Feedback from the merchants that took part in the trial was also positive, with participants reporting contactless mobile phone payments as a quicker, more efficient and convenient way to serve customers.

Telstra Enterprise & Government Group Managing Director David Thodey said convenience was the key appeal for participants.

“Overwhelmingly the trial participants told us that they saw genuine value in the ability to make smaller transactions, such as for coffees and papers, with a wave of the phone rather than fumbling for change,” Mr Thodey said. “Importantly the businesses that took part in the trial were strong supporters of the technology, seeing it as a way to boost their productivity by serving customers faster.”

NAB Regional General Manager, Consumer Product Solutions John Salamito said NAB was pleased with the strong results from the trial.

“Exploring and introducing the latest advancements in technology to make our customers’ and merchants’ everyday banking and transactions easier, faster and more convenient is very important to NAB,” Mr Salamito said. “Now we know that mobile payments can work successfully in a real environment, revealing a strong consumer and merchant demand for such services, we are looking at ways to launch this into the Australian market.”

Chris Clark, Visa’s General Manager for Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific, said the trial confirmed the appeal of mobile payments, particularly for use in high-speed environments such as supermarkets, cafes, food stores, parking stations, vending machines and petrol stations.

“The trial showed consumers consider contactless mobile payments to be one of the hottest new technologies on the horizon, with 90 per cent of participants saying they expect it will become a standard way to make a payment in the future. This is an extremely strong endorsement and validates our belief that mobile payments have the potential to transform the way Australians make everyday payments,” Mr Clark said.

The contactless mobile payments trial was recently selected for inclusion in the FinExtra Innovation Showcase, which recognises the most innovative global technology projects in the past 12 months and it is currently being featured on the FinExtra Innovation Showcase at


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