Westpac has begun a host card emulation (HCE) pilot in New Zealand, enabling customers’ credit and debit card details to be securely stored in the cloud and then used at the point of sale to make mobile payments on their Android NFC device.
“This places all relevant customer information in one place without the need to carry and use a physical credit or debit card,” the bank says. “After downloading a digital wallet app and registering their card details, customers will be able to use near field communication-enabled Android handsets to make payments at any contactless terminal.”
Forty Westpac staff and customers are participating in the three-month trial ahead of a planned commercial rollout to customers early next year. Westpac is using technology developed by Carta Worldwide for the pilot.
“This is the first of four key components we are looking to develop that will make up a digital wallet for Westpac customers,” says Shane Howell, Westpac’s chief product officer.
“The other components we are looking to incorporate are transport cards for buses and trains, loyalty programmes and potentially even forms of ID like a driving license. What we’re working towards is a true digital wallet experience that is safe and easy to use.
“We have chosen to go this way as technology is developing so quickly and we can ensure flexibility by using HCE. Working within an industry-wide group such as the TSM may not allow that flexibility.”
TSM NZ, a joint venture formed by Paymark, Telecom New Zealand, Vodafone and 2degrees in 2012, is due to introduce its platform later this year.