Semble embarks on digital wallet pilot

250 pilot users have made their first payments with Semble's digital wallet, backed by two of the big four New Zealand banks.

New Zealand mobile wallet consortium Semble has launched a pilot of its technology, taking payments from around 250 users in Auckland and Wellington.

The users are adopting Semble as their primary means of paying for goods and services in a trial that is expected to run through into early 2015.

Semble is a consortium supported by all of the major mobile telcos and two of the big four banks, BNZ and ASB.

Westpac New Zealand is charting a different course , using host card emulation (HCE) technology, which stores customer details in the cloud where Semble uses a trusted service manager (TSM) system, where that data is stored on the phone's chipset.

Westpac plans to launch a pilot in early 2015.

The other major bank, ANZ, is sitting on the fence, but has indicated interest in the Semble project.

Pilot users will download a free app from Google Play to their Android phones, populating their wallets with live versions of their ASB and BNZ credit and debit cards and then making payments.

"Being able to see Semble in action first-hand, and trialling a number of features like paying with an 'always-on' card, adding the optional security layers, and shifting between cards at point of sale is a real buzz," said Semble CEO Rob Ellis.

"This is one of the last major milestones before launch, and we'll be working closely with our partners to assess how the app performs in a live environment across a range of devices and terminals."