Unified electronic wallets good for retailers
(25 October 2013 – New Zealand) A joint venture created by New Zealand’s major banks and mobile phone companies is promising to revolutionise the retail industry – by bringing out one of the world’s first unified electronic wallets.
The wallet services, called TSM will debut by June 2014, it will be a gradual revolution but will initially let people use some smartphones as replacements for credit and debit cards when paying for goods and services.
within months of launch, TSM plans to use its payment platform to support a range of new services, many of which are beyond the capabilities of plastic bank cards.
Retailers would be able to send discount and loyalty vouchers to consumers' smartphones, which they could automatically redeem when they paid for goods in store.
TSM Chief Executive Rob Ellis said the company also expects people would be able to use their smartphones in place of smartcards to pay for public transport.
Further into the future, TSM's technology could allow eftpos receipts to be sent electronically to consumers' smartphones, so retailers would not need to print them out in-store.
Within years, the mobile wallet could be used to hold electronic versions of today's public library cards and drivers' licences, Ellis said.
He also pointed out that New Zealand was the first country where all the major banks and mobile phone companies had come together to support a single mobile wallet in a push to provide an alternative to bank cards and other smart cards.
TSM is half-owned by Paymark, which is in turn a joint venture between ANZ Bank, ASB Bank, Bank of New Zealand and Westpac. The remainder of the company is equally owned by Vodafone, Telecom and 2degrees.
Ellis estimates there are about 250,000 Android and Windows 8 smartphones currently in circulation in New Zealand that have "near field communication" (NFC) chips built in, allowing them to double as payment devices. But he expects that number will grow rapidly to about a million by mid-next year.