Luxembourg-based mobile payments and loyalty provider Mobey is to launch its FlashiZ prepaid service in Australia by the end of this year. The company's digital wallet supports both NFC and QR codes and is currently available online and instore at 500 merchants in Luxembourg, including Fischer bakeries, energy supplier Sudstroum and Vinci Park.
To use the service, a customer needs to download the app, create a FlashiZ account and link a payment card or bank account to it before transferring funds into the account.
They are then free to tap their NFC phone against a contactless POS terminal to make a payment, or scan a QR code placed either on the terminal or at the electronic cash register, depending on the merchant.
The customer then gets a request to accept the amount entered by the merchant. After accepting the payment, the money is transferred from the customer's account to the merchant's account and rewards and discounts are automatically calculated in the FlashiZ app.
Fredrik Orrenius, COO for the Asia-Pacific region at FlashiZ, told NFC World: "To accept payments, smaller merchants need to download an app to their POS system, but with big merchants there is an integration required so it is more effort.
"Our solution is already integrated with big players in the POS systems field all over the world. So, big merchants who have the solution integrated into the POS system need to download our software onto their machine. It is all software based and in the cloud."
After downloading the app and connecting it to a bank account, the service allows the user to combine payments with loyalty programs. The solution can also be used for peer-to-peer payments and location-based push marketing.
Orrenius continued: "The QR code is easily integrated into payment facilities, it is printed on the cash register receipt or appears on a screen. It can be read by a bar code scanner, a smartphone or a webcam equipped with scanning functionality."
"We decided to come to Australia for a number of reasons," he added, "because the market is very attractive from different points of view.
"Smartphone penetration is big in Australia and there is a high level of contactless cards being used; NFC technology can be seen all over the place so it is a good opportunity for our NFC solution to be successful. Despite the recent hype over NFC, it appears that the technology will not become mainstream before 2015-16.
"QR code has some advantages when it comes to online payments, because NFC doesn't exist on the computer, so to speak. NFC cannot be used online yet. But both technologies complement each other and will enable us to penetrate the market in the best possible way."