Mobile wallet brand Semble was unveiled to the public today and will soon see Kiwis using their smartphones to make contactless payments. The new technology will eventually replace the traditional plastic cards that fill our wallets.
New Zealand owned company Semble (previously known as TSM NZ) has developed the new mobile wallet in a unique collaboration with shareholders 2degrees, Spark New Zealand, Vodafone, Paymark, and banking partners ASB and BNZ.
Semble’s CEO Rob Ellis says New Zealanders are increasingly relying on smartphones to manage their lives. “It makes sense to move the physical contents of our wallets to our smartphones. Initially customers will be able to pay via their smartphone for goods and services but Semble will ultimately eliminate the need to carry any cards at all.”
Credit and debit cards available in the Semble mobile wallet include ASB and BNZ cards and a number of Air New Zealand Airpoints earning GlobalPlus cards. Additional bank cards, loyalty cards, public transport and much more will eventually be integrated into Semble enabled phones. Semble has also entered into a marketing partnership with Samsung that will support Semble’s initial launch and rollout.
“We’re moving into an exciting new era where the days of physical wallets bursting at the seams will be a thing of the past. Soon smartphone users will be able to purchase goods and services via their smartphones and know instantly whether they’re due that free coffee or voucher without rifling through their collection of loyalty cards amassed over the years,” says Ellis.
The technology will be available on a range of Android smartphones which have near field communication (NFC), on any mobile network in the country. NFC is a short-range wireless technology that allows communication between two electronic devices such as the smartphone and payment terminal.
Ellis says more smartphones will be added as they are tested to ensure the user experience is consistent across the many different types of devices. By the end of 2014, it’s expected that approximately one million NFC-enabled smartphones will be used in New Zealand.
Semble will store personal information encrypted on a “secure element” contained within the SIM card, just like the chip embedded in credit cards. There will also be additional layers of security available via a security code for the mobile wallet app and the pin code or biometric security on the phone.
A live market pilot is starting in November and Semble will be available to download from Google Play early next year.
Ellis says the launch of Semble is the first step towards being able to leave the house with just a mobile, leaving your wallet at home. “We’ve had a huge amount of interest already from a really exciting mix of businesses, including retail, loyalty, ticketing and transport. We look forward to bringing these additional services to Kiwis in the future.”