ANZ bank adds Fitbit Ionic to payments mix

The Fitbit smartwatch has become the latest addition to ANZ's payments stable.

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Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) has made yet another addition to its choice of payment options, with the Fitbit Ionic now available for the bank's customers.

The bank said on Monday that customers wanting to use the smartwatch as a payment device would need to load Visa card details through the Fitbit app and require a Fitbit account.

"Having done a lot of work with mobile payments in the past, we are well positioned to establish more partnerships at a faster rate to meet the evolving needs of our customers," said ANZ managing director of Products Bob Belan.

In July, the bank added Samsung Pay to its payment repertoire, making it the only bank in Australia, at the time, to offer four payment solutions across both Android and iOS.

The bank claimed it was the first to work with Android Pay, and took its Android-based ANZ Mobile Pay to market in February last year.

ANZ continues to be the only one of Australia's big four banks to offer Apple Pay.

Westpac, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the National Australia Bank, and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank had previously sought regulatory approval to collectively negotiate with third-party mobile providers such as Apple on conditions relating to competition, best practice standards, and efficiency.

The collection of banks had previously argued to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that alternatives to Apple Pay are unrealistic in the Australian market.

"These alternatives are unrealistic in Australia, which has the world's highest adoption of contactless NFC card payments and one of the world's highest iPhone market shares, particularly among customers likely to use mobile payments," the banks said in March.

"In Australia, potential mobile wallet providers other than Apple are locked out of the established payment infrastructure in respect of the clear majority of relevant customers."

By September, the use of alternatives to Apple Pay by those banks had become reality, with the Commonwealth Bank announcing it would allow payments from Garmin smartwatches, while Westpac joined Samsung Pay earlier in the year.

On Tuesday, ANZ also announced that it had purchased Australian property startup Realas, which uses its algorithms to attempt to predict property prices.

"The algorithm at the centre of our site was built using the latest data science methods, local market knowledge from property experts, and crowd-sourced data from buyers. Its predictions change in response to the market, which means buyers have access to the latest prediction right up to the time of sale," Realas CEO Josh Rowe said.

"ANZ has recognised the value in what we've built over the past six years."

The bank said Realas will continue to run independently as a wholly owned subsidiary.

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