National Australia Bank integrates with Amazon Alexa

Hands-free banking: ‘Alexa, ask NAB if I’ve been paid’ — National Australia Bank — “The NAB skill for Amazon Alexa will allow customers, who have connected Alexa with their NAB account to ask their Alexa device questions like: ‘What’s my savings account balance?’, ‘How much do I owe on my credit card?’ or ‘Did I get paid this week?’… ‘In the future, we certainly see this experience turning into one where you can pay bills, make funds transfers or even purchase items at the command of your voice.’”



Bankwest offers customers a contactless payment ring

Bankwest Halo: Make simpler, faster payments with our wearable payment ring. — Bankwest — “Bankwest Halo is the latest in wearable payment tech. It works exactly like your contactless cards, just grab the things you need, fist-bump the terminal and go… Your personalised ring has a payment device fee of A$39 which is payable for its manufacture, use and setup… There is no fee to register your interest or to receive your free sizing kit.”


Australian transit authority uses open APIs to expand ticketing network to private operators

Transport for New South Wales opens up its Opal payments system to privately-operated transport services — Open Gov Asia — “Open APIs allow other companies using their own terminals and equipment to connect to the Opal payments system. This allows them to simplify their operations, reduce operating costs and provide a quick and convenient way for commuters to pay for travel across a range of transportation modes.”


Australia’s central bank explores the issue of electronic banknotes

An eAUD? — Reserve Bank of Australia — “An electronic form of banknotes could coexist with the electronic payment systems operated by the banks, although the case for this new form of money is not yet established… The issuing authority could issue electronic currency in the form of files or ‘tokens’. These tokens could be stored in digital wallets, provided by financial institutions and others. These tokens could then be used for payments in a similar way that physical banknotes are used today.”


First US gym adds support for Apple Watch NFC pairing with exercise machines

Apple Watch GymKit syncing arrives in exactly one US gym — Engadget — “GymKit syncing on the Apple Watch technically arrived with watchOS 4.1, but there’s been one main obstacle to using it: Actually finding a gym that supports it. Only one fitness center each in Australia and the UK have enabled it so far… One solitary gym in New York City, Life Time Athletic at Sky, now has 13 GymKit-capable machines (including treadmills, bikes, ellipticals and stair steppers) that will pair with your smartwatch.”


Australian banks ordered to cut contactless transaction fees

‘Let shoppers choose Eftpos’: Banks ordered to overhaul paywave systems by April — news.com.au — “Australia’s banks have been given a deadline of April next year to reduce fees charged on tap-and-go payments by giving customers the option of choosing Eftpos instead of credit… ‘It’s estimated that processing tap-and-go transactions through credit cards instead of Eftpos costs businesses A$290 [US$220m] million a year.'”


Australian merchants to accept payments on their mobile phones — with no additional hardware required

CBA launches hardware-less payments app for SMBs — The Australian Financial Review — “Commonwealth Bank will bring a new mobile payments technology to market in Australia that enables small businesses to accept credit card payments of up to A$100 on their Samsung devices, without any other hardware…. A pilot program is expected to kick off in early 2018, with the smartphone payments platform to be rolled out commercially by mid next year.”



Garmin Pay adds support for Visa credit, debit and prepaid cards

Garmin and NXT-ID subsidiary FitPay expand Garmin Pay to Visa accountholders — Garmin and NXT-ID — “Garmin Pay is now available to Visa accountholders from numerous participating issuing banks including Bank of America, Capital One, and US Bank in the United States, and BonusCard, Cornér Bank, ANZ and NAB (National Australia Bank) internationally… Garmin Pay was initially launched in November 2017 for Mastercard accountholders.”



Garmin Pay goes live in US, Switzerland, Russia and Australia

Garmin and NXT-ID subsidiary FitPay announce Garmin Pay now live on Garmin Vivoactive 3 smartwatch — NXT-ID and Garmin International — “The new contactless payment capability is powered by the FitPay payment platform and available initially for Mastercard cardholders from numerous issuing banks and credit unions including BECU, Capital One, First Tech Federal Credit Union, and US Bank in the United States, and internationally through Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Cornèrcard, Sberbank of Russia, and Swiss Bankers Prepaid Services Ltd.”


Apple GymKit with NFC goes live in Australia

GymKit launches today in Australia, automatically sync workout data between Apple Watch and gym equipment — 9to5Mac — “The first gym to feature GymKit-compatible equipment is now up and running in Australia. Users just tap their watches to the treadmill (or other GymKit equipment) using NFC, and they start sending data back and forth automatically… The idea is that the watch and the paired gym machine have better knowledge about different aspects of the workout. GymKit allows that data to be shared back and forth, as appropriate.”


Eftpos launches Android Pay in Australia

Rambus teams with Eftpos for Android Pay in Australia — Rambus — PARTNER NEWS — “‘With more than 40m debit cards distributed across Australia, Eftpos is one of the most popular payment methods,’ said Bret Sewell, SVP and general manager, Rambus Security division. ‘This collaboration with Eftpos enables millions of consumers the opportunity to enjoy secure mobile payments using Android Pay, leveraging our proven host card emulation (HCE) and EMV tokenization software for truly trusted transactions.’”


Australian festival-goers try out NFC ticket implants

Under the skin: How insertable microchips could unlock the future — The Guardian — “Ten volunteers received a microchip at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne on Wednesday to mark the launch of Pause Fest, a technology and culture festival now in its eighth year. Their chips were preloaded with a three-day pass to the festival and will be programmed to unlock the door to their home, gym, or workplace, or potentially to function as their public transport pass.”


Commbank adds Face ID to mobile banking app

The new face of banking — Commonwealth Bank of Australia — “From today, iPhone X users will be able to use Face ID to securely log in to the CommBank app. ‘Our customers use secure fingerprint logins on the CommBank app about 30m times a month,’ said Pete Steel, Commonwealth Bank executive general manager of digital. ‘Extending that functionality to Face ID is part of our ongoing work to provide a better banking experience to our customers through simple, easy and secure features.'”


Australian banks form digital payments joint venture

NAB, Westpac and CBA team up with new payments app, Beem — The Sydney Morning Herald — “Three of the country’s banking giants are joining forces to allow instant payments between people or to small businesses via a smartphone, with plans to ultimately roll out a cross-industry ‘digital wallet’… The app will be the first service offered by a new digital payments joint venture that has been formed between CBA, NAB and Westpac… ANZ is not part of the joint venture but it has been involved in some of the discussions with rivals, and it may sign up in the future.”


Westpac to offer wearable payment options to customers

Westpac reveals ‘PayWear’ wearable payment technology — Westpac — “When speaking with customers, personal style and choice were important. In fact, 70% agreed that they would only wear a wearable device if it suited their own personal style and lifestyle. This is why we will collaborate with iconic Australian designers to create a variety of wearable accessory designs to suit different tastes, preferences and styles.”



Australian banks to offer real-time payments

Real-time payments to be launched after Australia Day — The Sydney Morning Herald — “The A$1bn project, triggered by a 2012 review of Australia’s payment infrastructure, will mean customers of different banks will be able to make and receive real-time payments, 24 hours a day and seven days a week… It will also allow consumers to arrange payments using their ‘PayID,’ such as a mobile phone number, instead of an account number or BSB. Customers will also be able to include 280 characters of text with a payment, up from 18 now.”


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