Optus to trial contactless payment system

Optus has announced that it is teaming up with Visa and Heritage Bank to trial a contactless payment system called m-wallet.

Compatible smartphones will be able to use their phone at Visa PayWave-enabled terminals to pay for goods and services. This works by touching your phone near the terminal (the same way you can do now with a credit card) and is powered by Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.

“This pilot program will help Optus to build a commercial m-wallet that provides an excellent customer experience and ensure a seamless launch for Optus customers,” said Austin R. Bryan, VP of digital communities and ecosystems at Optus.” As smartphones become even more popular in Australia, we’re expecting our customers to rely on these devices for more than just the traditional functions of talk and text.”

Debit card information will be stored on your SIM card (of a compatible phone), meaning you won’t have to attach any additional devices to your smartphone.

“Users of the Optus m-wallet will benefit from a secure environment with enhanced NFC credentials that have a very high level of security. Not only will the SIM cards be protected by the same EMV chip technology used in scheme credit and debit cards, but the customer also has the added security of a password-protected pin on the application,” added Bryan.

Optus is planning to conduct a series of trials in the leadup to a full launch later in the year.

 “Australia is fast becoming the world leader when it comes to contactless payments.,” said Vipin Kalra, country manager at Visa Australia. “Mobile NFC payments are shaping up to be one of the key technology trends for 2013 and Visa is excited to be collaborating with Optus to bring this reality closer for Australian consumers.”

The country’s second-largest telco isn’t the only one getting in on the NFC act, with Vodafone having announced its own contactless payment system trial back in November of last year.

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