National Australia Bank has announced that it will roll out systems to over 500 Melbourne merchants this month, which will enable them to take customers' payment when they hold their cards up to a reader, but has stopped developing technology for payments via mobile phone.
One of the new readers
Customers won't have to sign or enter their PIN for transactions under $100 for Visa chip cards with the new payWave feature, or under $35 for cards with the rival Mastercard technology. For transactions over those amounts, signature or PIN will be required.
NAB will be planning to have deployed 2500 readers out to merchants by Christmas this year, which was expected to aid those retailers — businesses such as convenience stores, petrol stations, fast food outlets and supermarkets — in their busiest time.
NAB believed the technology provided multiple benefits for merchants and customers, including the reduction of their time spent waiting in line. Transactions could be three times faster than paying with cash, the bank said.
"With Visa payWave, customers don't need to juggle loose change or even take the card out of their wallet for it to work," Visa's general manager for Australia and New Zealand, Chris Clark, said in a statement. "We believe contactless payments will transform the retail environment in much the same way that contactless tolls have reduced traffic congestion."
The roll-out has come off the back of trials with Telstra and Visa last year. The bank had also been trialling contactless payments via mobile phone, made possible by downloading a software application to a phone SIM. However, despite positive results from a three-month trial of this technology which found that 90 per cent of participants were happy making payments using the mobile technology, the bank said mobile payments weren't on the cards.
"Mobile payments rely upon card issuing companies and telcos positioning product together," a spokesperson for the bank said. "We are not pursuing development of this at this point in time."