Paying for services through your mobile phone is closer to reality after Telecom, Auckland Transport and Westpac have announced plans to start trialling a mobile wallet system from May in collaboration with Gemalto, Thales and Paymark.
In a major milestone for the development of mobile payments technology, the trial will involve some 30 staff from the six organisations. Trial participants will be able to use a mobile phone to make "tap and go" payments to access public transport in Auckland and make purchases at a small selection of retailers.
In a world first, Thales will be using its near-field communication (NFC) application throughout Auckland Transport’s final smart card ticketing system, HOP, before deploying it globally across all networks and banks. The trial, which utilises Telecom’s XT network, is expected to enable participants to pay for Auckland’s buses, trains and ferries through their mobile phones. The phone will communicate with the HOP terminal to complete the transaction without having to swipe or insert a card.
Auckland Transport’s Chief Executive, Dr David Warburton said:
“Mobile phone technology makes the option of paying for transport services using a device the majority of New Zealanders carry with them every day, a natural choice reducing the number of cards customers have to carry. We look forward to working with our technology and service partners in this trial.”
And in a New Zealand first, the trial will also use a Westpac credit card to top up a Telecom XT Prepaid account, using Paymark’s infrastructure. This will make it easier for customers to add credit to a prepaid card without having to go online or pay in a store.
Telecom CEO, Paul Reynolds, said that the days of people having to use multiple plastic cards to pay for goods and services were quickly becoming numbered.
“As we have seen with developments in mobile phone technology, people quite rightly expect their phones to offer more versatility and functionality and simplify their lifestyles. And we’re absolutely committed to developing the mobile wallet through our investment in building a common trusted services manager for New Zealand.
“The information gained from this trial will be invaluable for developing a mobile wallet with the kinds of innovative products and services that our customers can expect on the XT network.”
Westpac General Manager Customer Technology and Services, Jim Stabback, said the trial is a step toward Kiwis joining the growing global trend of banking via mobile phone.
“This is an important part of Westpac’s innovation pipeline and it’s an excellent opportunity to build further capability in this area as the New Zealand banking industry moves toward a mobile future,” Mr Stabback said.
For the trial, Gemalto will provide the essential network infrastructure required for near-field communications including its Trusted Service Management platform (TSM).
“Gemalto is excited to be the technology partner in this strategic trial. Our goal is to provide an open, interoperable and neutral NFC ecosystem for operators, banks, service providers and merchants. This allows them to provide not just secure mobile contactless payments, but also a variety of new services such as loyalty and e-couponing in a fast, secure and convenient manner,” said Tan Teck Lee, Chief Innovation and Technology Officer & Asia President.
“Having been involved in over 50 NFC projects, we look forward to sharing our knowledge and experience with New Zealand as it transforms its payment environment.”
Earlier this month Telecom, Vodafone, 2Degrees and Paymark announced a joint venture to launch a TSM which will provide a common solution for the New Zealand market to encourage consumer uptake and avoid confusion.