Australian Bank Trials NFC Payments on Android Phones

Westpac-Australian-bank-trial-NFC-payment-rfid-blogWestpac, based on Australia, has partnered with MasterCard to run an NFC pilot program for 3 months. Around 100 pre-registered customers will be testing the app on Samsung Galaxy S III handsets.

The new Mobile Contactless Payment app will work on Android NFC-enabled smartphones in conjunction with a “secure element” embedded in a SIM card. It uses MasterCard’s virtual debit card technology and payments can be made by tapping phones on a PayPass terminal.

Several major banks have the plan of enabling NFC payments through mobile phones, but nothing solid has come out of it yet.

Although the bank was conducting the NFC trial, it hasn’t committed to releasing a fully-fledged NFC app to its customer base.

A Westpac spokesperson said that whether an app will finally be released will depend on a number of factors, including results from the pilot program.

“Ultimately, the strategy is to make this service available to as many people as possible,” Westpac head of mortgages, cards and merchants Axel Boye-Moller said. “This pilot is for one particular handset, so we’ll work on this trial and see what sort of things we learn from it. But there is no set time for a final release.”

Westpac currently has 3.4 million customers using digital services, and 43 per cent of them use mobile phones to process payments online, according to Boye-Moller.