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True mobile wallets a step closer

13 June, 2012

True mobile wallets a step closer

True mobile wallets look to be a step closer following a successful trial of NFC (Near Field Communications) technology between BNZ, Vodafone, Visa and Paymark.

The four month trial saw participants using specially equipped mobile phones to make contactless payments at two inner city cafes in Auckland and Wellington. For the people involved in the trial, transactions could be made simply by waving the mobile phone over the terminal.

BNZ Director of Retail, Andy Symons, says the trial was an outstanding success with the customer experience given the thumbs up and all the technology working seamlessly. Symons points out that perhaps the more interesting results came from the survey of participants that took place at the end of the trial.

“People really enjoyed the ease of not having to carry around cards or cash to pay for such small amounts. Since our trial was limited to small transactions for which no PIN was required, it really sped things up at the point of sale. This is something both the customer and the retailer said they loved.”

“This convenience factor for both retailers and customers is at the heart of all the technology. Making things simpler, faster and more convenient is what we’re trying to achieve through innovations such as this. We look forward to working with all parties to help make this a reality.”

“One thing that excited us was in the way participants embraced the technology not only from a purely transactional point of view, but in the way they began to see broader opportunities for making their mobile phone a more integral part of their everyday banking needs.”

Visa New Zealand Country Manager, Sean Preston, says the collaborative approach taken by Visa, BNZ, Vodafone and Paymark is key to getting this technology into the hands of consumers.

"Visa’s strategy is to enhance the consumer purchase experience by ultimately making mobile payments broadly available across many different handsets and operating systems. Trials such as these ensure that future payment technologies are as easy, intuitive and secure as card-based transactions are today.”

Vodafone General Manager Business Development Steve Rieger says the trial, which began in November 2011, was the first of its kind in New Zealand as it saw the Visa chip integrated into the SIM, and used with an actual NFC phone.

“Even in the few months since we did this first-in-New Zealand trial, we’ve seen huge advances in both the technology to support contactless payments and the overall infrastructure which will allow widespread adoption of it. As more and more smartphones come onto the market with NFC capability, we are getting ever closer to a future where New Zealanders can leave their wallet at home for good and live life on their smartphone.”

Other findings saw that virtually all the participants indicated they would like to use their mobile phone in place of plastic cards to make payments once the service becomes publicly available.

Findings summary:
• 97% of respondents were likely to use the service if it was launched in the future. 3% were undecided
• 62% of respondents expect the service to be free (14% willing to pay up to $3 per month)
• 100% of respondents reported a positive experience using the service
• 100% of respondents were likely to recommend the service to friends, with 46% indicating they would be “very likely”
• 95% enjoyed the convenience of not having to enter a PIN for low value transactions
• 78% enjoyed receiving a digital receipt on their phone instead of paper
• 81% enjoyed not having to carry a wallet
• 85% would prefer PIN-less transaction were limited to values of $80 or less.


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