Australian electronic payments network Eftpos has announced joining Android Pay, with Eftpos-only cardholders from Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) and Cuscal being the first to gain access to the service.
Nearly 2 million customers from ANZ and eight Cuscal-backed credit unions and banks including People's Choice Credit Union, Sydney Credit Union, Woolworths Employee's Credit Union, Credit Union Australia, Nexus Mutual, and FCCS will be able to make mobile payments using their Android devices.
The mobile tap & pay service will use tokenisation for increased security by replacing consumer card data from the Eftpos payment network with a unique identification token that can be used for payment without exposing confidential information.
The token service, built in partnership with mobile payments provider Rambus, enables Eftpos to generate and manage its own payment tokens, while also allowing cardholders to quickly disable mobile payments without having to cancel the physical card itself.
Unlike other cards that process mobile payments as credit transactions, Eftpos acting CEO Paul Jennings said Eftpos on Android Pay will provide customers with secure access to their own money in real-time, reducing the likelihood of being surcharged.
More than 1 million Eftpos "tap & pay" cards have been issued by Australian financial institutions, and Eftpos is expecting that number to reach over 3 million by the end of 2017.
The company said its network processed more than 2.2 billion cheque and savings transactions in 2016, valued at more than AU$138 billion.
Last month, Eftpos announced joining Apple Pay, allowing customers with an ANZ-issued Access card to use the iPhone maker's wallet to make in-store Eftpos mobile payments.
"We work with our members and the wallets that they would like to be in, whether that's their own wallets or an Apple wallet, or a Google or Samsung, or something else. That's the way we work," Jennings said previously.
"We are member-mutual, so the things that we do are supported by our board, which includes many of the [aforementioned] banks -- we do things for the good of our membership and not everyone in our membership has to subscribe to what we do.
"Whatever wallets our members choose to be in, we will look to be in as well -- this just happens to be the first one."
CBA's New Zealand subsidiary ASB Bank also announced last month the availability of payments via Fitbit Ionic, which was launched globally in September, allowing customers with the wearable giant's new smartwatch to pay via a watch tap.
Researcher firm Juniper estimated the number of users of Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Android Pay to reach 150 million by the end of this year.
Apple Pay is predicted to reach 86 million users by the end of 2017, while Samsung Pay is forecast by Juniper to reach 34 million, and Android Pay 24 million.
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