Coles Supermarkets picks Rambus’ Unified Payment Platform to ‘revolutionise retail in Australia’

A Coles supermarket

PARTNER NEWS: Australian supermarket giant Coles, one of the country’s largest retail groups, is to adopt Rambus’ Unified Payment Platform, an omnichannel commerce and payments solution that lets retailers offer a standalone or integrated mobile wallet application that supports credit cards, gift cards, loyalty points, coupons and receipts... More


Sydney’s public transport operator integrates on-demand transit service into its ticketing system

First on-demand operator taps into Opal — iTnews — “Transport for NSW has expanded its OpalPay payment method to allow the first on-demand public transport operators to tap into the Opal card system… The payment method will now expand to on-demand public transport services operated by Transit Systems in Sydney’s Inner West. The on-demand service, which will launch new week, is the latest in a series of on-demand services now operating across Sydney and Newcastle.”


UnionPay promotes mobile payments adoption with discounts at merchants around the world

UnionPay International launches its biggest-scale summer marketing campaign — UnionPay — “Merchants in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, Russia, Australia and other countries and regions are providing discounts for UnionPay mobile QuickPass. For instance, customers can purchase Aeroexpress ticket in Moscow for only one ruble. Secondly, customers can download u-plan e-coupons that can be used at about 6,000 merchant locations in 17 countries and regions via the app to enjoy the best discount in-store. Thirdly, the app users can check about merchant offers, card-using tips, tax refund guides and other practical information.”


Bankwest wins new customers with NFC payments ring

With this ring, I do my banking — Information Age — “An experiment in wearable payment tokens has become such a successful drawcard for new customers that Bankwest technologists have found themselves on a crash course in the dynamics of the fashion accessory market… Customers loved the rings so much that, despite the absence of formal advertising campaigns, they have proved to be adept at attracting new customers – who have snapped up half of all rings sold to date.”


Australian banks launch Beem It P2P payments app

Big bank-backed Beem It launches Aussie payments app — ZDNet — “The Commonwealth Bank, NAB, and Westpac joined forces to create Beem It, allowing the real-time transfer of funds… The app enables sending and receiving money, with an interface reminiscent of a social media app… ‘It’s using Eftpos, and Visa debit card payment rails,’ Beem It chief product and development officer Deepesh Banerji said.”



ANZ reports 156% increase in mobile payment volumes

ANZ sees dramatic uptake in digital wallet payments — iTnews — “ANZ Bank customers made almost A$600 million in mobile payments during the first half of fiscal year 2018… Customers completed more than 18.5m mobile payment transactions in the half, an increase of 156% on the previous corresponding period. ANZ said the transactions were made from mobile wallet services from Apple, Samsung, Google, Fitbit and Garmin, as well as the bank’s own Mobile Pay service.”


Google expands support for wearable payments to Canada, Spain, and Australia

Google Pay on Wear OS officially spreads to three new countries — Android Police — “In addition to using NFC-equipped watches to make regular mobile payments, users in Australia can use their Wear OS devices with the Opal ticketing system to pay for single-trip tickets on select rail and ferry lines… Formerly, Google’s payment service was only supported on Android Wear (now Wear OS) devices in the US and the UK.”


Commonwealth Bank of Australia adds support for Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay now available for Commonwealth Bank customers — Commonwealth Bank of Australia — “Commonwealth Bank customers will now have access to Samsung’s contactless payments platform, Samsung Pay… Today’s announcement follows CBA’s partnership with Google in November to offer Android Pay on compatible devices at almost 800,000 stores across Australia. CBA customers have also been able to make payments on the go with Fitbit and Garmin’s new payment-enabled smartwatches.”


Australian iPhone users ‘more likely to bank with a provider if it supports Apple Pay’

Australian smartphone sales grow in 2017 as users lock into platforms — Telsyte — “The increasing adoption in mobile contactless payments is starting to influence Australian’s banking decisions… Around one in five (22%) iPhone users claim they are more likely to bank with a provider if it supports Apple Pay. This figure increases to 32% per cent for those who are also using an Apple Watch.”


Australia’s next generation payments platform goes live

Australia’s new payments platform goes live — ITNews — “The NPP [New Payments Platform] works like a ‘secure set of rails’ between banks so they can send payment messages in real time to each other via the Reserve Bank. The platform allows services to run on top of the NPP — like Bpay’s Osko, which is the first so-called overlay service to arrive on the platform. Osko lets consumers transfer money to someone via their mobile phone number or email address in real-time, 24/7. It also enables them to send a 280-character description with their payment.”


Commonwealth Bank introduces chatbot that can answer 200 banking and payments questions

Commonwealth Bank launches chatbot named Ceba — Commonwealth Bank of Australia — “Commonwealth Bank has launched its chatbot Ceba to assist customers with more than 200 banking tasks such as activating their card, checking account balance, making payments, or getting cardless cash… Available 24/7, Ceba can recognise approximately 60,000 different ways customers ask for the 200 banking tasks and will eventually be able to tell customers what they are spending their money on.”


ANZ reports surge in mobile wallet transaction volumes

Mobile wallet spending surges over holiday period — ANZ Bluenotes — “ANZ data show a significant rise in the volume of mobile wallet transactions in December 2017, up 140% on the previous corresponding period… In December ANZ customers favoured their smartphones and wearables for 4.5% of all transactions, compared with 2% for the same time last year. ANZ data show mobile wallet transactions reached 3.9m in December, compared with 1.6m in the same month in 2016.”


Westpac integrates mobile banking app with iMessage

Westpac launches iMessage shortcut for customers — Westpac — “The new capability offers Westpac customers a shortcut to access banking services while texting with contacts on their iPhone. By clicking on the new Westpac icon in their text conversation window, customers will be able to make payments, generate a Cardless Cash code and share their BSB and account details without leaving their text message. Westpac for iMessage is an extension of the Westpac Mobile Banking App. Customers with iMessage enabled on their iPhone with iOS 11 and the latest version of the Westpac app (v8.4) will be able to use the capability.”


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.”


Digital currencies

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.”


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