Samsung completes corralling of big four as NAB joins Samsung Pay

National Australia Bank has promoted the plethora of payment options it has available -- just don't ask for Apple Pay.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

NAB is the last of Australia's big four banks to join the Samsung Pay bandwagon, but joined it has.

The bank said on Monday that the additional payment option will complement its homegrown NAB Pay option within the bank's mobile banking app. NAB said it would also soon be joining the ranks of Google Pay.

"The growth in 'tap and pay', and takeup of NAB Pay since we launched it two years ago, has been remarkable," NAB executive general manager of Consumer Lending Angus Gilfillan said in a statement.

"By adding Samsung Pay, we're giving our customers more choice in digital wallets."

That choice, though, does not include Apple Pay, as NAB alongside CBA and Westpac continue to eschew the payment service. Previously, the trio of banks labelled Apple Pay alternatives as being "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 2017.

"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."

The outburst formed part of the arguments made by CBA, Westpac, NAB, and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank to have regulatory approval to collectively negotiate with third-party mobile providers such as Apple on conditions relating to competition, best practice standards, and efficiency. The cartel was ultimately denied the chance to collectively negotiate by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Following that decision, the banks have introduced a range of payment solution alternatives despite their prior derision.

In October, the same trio announced the Beem joint venture to develop a mobile wallet for iOS and Android users.

According to the banks, customers will be able to use the app regardless of which bank they use, including organisations outside of the trio, with the end goal to be creating an "industry-wide payment solution".

Samsung Pay launched in Australia in June 2016.

While announcing its 2017 full-year results in November, NAB said it would be cutting 4,000 jobs as it allocated AU$1.5 billion for its "digital-first" strategy, and posted AU$5.285 billion in statutory net profit.

A week later, the bank said it would be hiring 600 technology specialists.

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