Talk of the cashless society has abounded at least since the beginning of this century, but a surge in contactless payments suggests cash may not be king for much longer. And cards could be on the way out too, because, following on from the launch of Semble earlier this year, ANZ has announced the release of its goMoney wallet, which lets customers to pay with their smartphones.
ANZ’s updated goMoney wallet app now allows certain customers to complete a transaction simply by holding their Android smartphone less than a centimetre above a pay terminal before a confirmatory “beep” is emitted. And ANZ says the key benefit is that it is within the existing app, removing the need for a separate app, sticker, attachment or SIM card upgrade.
ANZ soft-launched the mobile wallet with a post to the bank’s Facebook page and it also released a short video spot explaining how it works.
ANZ's goMoney is New Zealand’s most popular mobile banking app, with over 500,000 downloads. And the bank said back in March that 120,000 customers would meet the criteria of a compatible Android smartphone, ANZ goMoney and an ANZ debit card or personal credit card for the new mobile wallet. An ANZ spokesman told StopPress that the number of customers who had enabled the wallet after it was launched just over a week ago had exceeded the bank’s expectations.
“We’re very excited that goMoney wallet has been so well received and that there is a large number of customers ready to adopt and use this new technology to pay for everyday items. Feedback has been very positive, and to ensure as many customers can access goMoney Wallet as possible we intend to shortly increase the models of Android phone that can use the Wallet feature.”
He added that the bank intends to increase promotional activity of the product in the new year.
ANZ said in March that its projections were for one in five transactions to be contactless (mostly via cards) by the end of 2015 and that number will steadily increase. In a survey in February, MasterCard found one third (34 percent) of respondents use its contactless ‘Tap and Go’ technology whenever they can or frequently. There are some potential issues, however, with Retail NZ saying contactless card fees could cost reatilers $3.1 billion in the next ten years.
The app update means ANZ joins ASB and BNZ in the mobile payments space after those two banks linked up with the Semble app (available to Vodafone, Spark and 2degrees users) back in March.
ANZ was previously part of the collaboration of major banks with Semble but, as StopPress reported back in March, opted to develop its own technology.
StopPress asked Kiwibank and Westpac whether and when they were going to introduce their own contactless mobile phone payment systems and the responses suggested tech minded customers of those banks shouldn’t be holding their breath.
A spokesman for Kiwibank says they are considering the various options but have not yet made a decision.
Westpac, which has trialled PayTag technology, appears closer to a release as their spokeswoman said a pilot system is currently in play with hundreds of users but the bank is still working on contactless acceptance with merchants to ensure customers can use the system in their day to day lives.
Peter Chisnall, country manager for Mastercard has provided comment on the scale of contact less transactions throughout New Zealand.
"Contactless options are a payment method customers love. Hundreds of thousands of Kiwis have embraced contactless payments for their everyday expenses as the technology continues to make shopping faster, more convenient and secure. In fact the number of contactless transactions have tripled from what they were just a year ago."