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Westpac NZ to launch PayTag in October

Computerworld NZ staff | July 23, 2014
The company is trialling a digital wallet solution and states that its strategy could take it on a different path from that of the TSM programme

Westpac NZ will launch its PayTag solution — smartphone stickers that enable customers to complete payments — in October this year.

"We have been trialling that for some time and we are planning an early October launch for it," said Shane Howell, chief product officer at Westpac NZ.

The company is also trialling host card emulation (HCE) mobile payments among 40 customers and staff.

The three-month trial, which uses Carta Worldwide HCE technology, enables people to use their Android smartphones in the place of credit or debit cards to pay for transactions at contactless terminals. Credit and debit card details are stored in a cloud environment, and near field communication (NFC) is used between the phones and terminals for completing transactions

"We already use our smartphones to organise so many aspects of our lives, so using them to make payments is just a natural extension of this. This is the first of four key components we are looking to develop that will make up a digital wallet for Westpac customers.

"The other components we are looking to incorporate are transport cards for buses and trains, loyalty programmes such as Hotpoints and potentially even forms of ID like a driver's license. What we're working towards is a true digital wallet experience that is safe and easy to use. When we have entirely replaced the physical wallet, I think we will consider our job done," said Westpac's chief product officer Shane Howell.

He also indicated that the roadmap Westpac is considering to enable digital wallet solutions will take it on a different path from that of the Trusted Service Manager (TSM) programme.

"The feedback from customers that we regularly get is that they would like their digital wallet to come from the financial institution that they are dealing with. We want to meet that need, and for now we are following our own digital strategy," said Howell.

TSM was formed as an industry collaboration between Paymark shareholders — including ANZ, ASB, BNZ and Westpac, and service providers Telecom NZ, 2Degrees and Vodafone NZ — to provide the infrastructure that would allow consumers to use phones as digital wallets across multiple payment cards, loyalty schemes and transport firms, among others.


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