​Service NSW now accepts Android Pay for government services

The New South Wales government will now allow Android Pay customers to pay for government services at Service NSW shopfronts using their Android device.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

The New South Wales government has launched an integration with Google's Android Pay, allowing customers to use the digital platform to pay for government services at all Service NSW centres across the state.

Currently, Android Pay is only available in shopfronts, with the state government confirming plans to make the platform available on Service NSW's digital stores, website, and app.

"Around 90 percent of people now have a mobile phone, and with the popularity of Android phones, it makes sense for us to provide this quick, efficient option for our customers," NSW Minister for Finance, Services, and Property Dominic Perrottet said in a statement.

Currently, Android Pay is only supported by American Express, Macquarie Bank, MyState, Teachers Mutual Bank, and ANZ, after the first of the big four banks launched its partnership with the Android wallet in July.

At the time, Pali Bhat, Google senior director for product management, said there are plans to partner with more banks in Australia, including St George and Westpac.

On Wednesday, Australian member-owned financial services organisation CUA also announced its partnership with Android Pay, allowing CUA Visa debit card and CUA credit card customers to pay with the digital wallet.

Service NSW now finds itself in the company of 7-Eleven, Coles Express, Coles Supermarkets, Domino's Pizza, Donut King, and McDonald's, which are among the handful of retailers supporting the platform in Australia.

"Governments have traditionally been very slow on the uptake when it comes to new technology, whereas customers latch on much more quickly," Perottet said on Wednesday.

"With Service NSW, we are completely changing that -- becoming fast followers -- so that our customer service keeps pace with the options people want."

The NSW government became the frontrunner in digitalising its services in July 2014, launching Service NSW to bring together a number of different state services under the one office, including RMS; Births, Deaths, and Marriages; and small business support. As of February 2016, the Service NSW website showed that there were 95 shopfronts across the state.

Service NSW introduced online driver's licence renewals in June, allowing licence holders to renew online via their Service NSW digital account.

When announcing the initiative in November, Perrottet said the state would begin the distribution of digital licences in mid-2016, starting with digital versions of the Recreational Fishing Licence, the Responsible Service of Alcohol Card, and the Responsible Conduct of Gambling Competency Cards, which will be available on an opt-in basis, with consumers given the choice between a digital licence, a physical card, or both.

The NSW government hopes to add an additional five licences to the digital wallet by 2017, with the driver's licence flagged as the most popular licence type, scheduled for digitisation in 2018.

The Service NSW smartphone app for iOS and Android received an update in February, which now enables users to view, pay, and contest infringement notices.

The update to the app sees a user receive a mobile alert shortly after incurring a road or traffic fine. They will also be able to view photographs of the incident, pay the fine, and nominate the correct driver from the app.

In the 2016-17 state Budget handed down in June, Service NSW was allocated an additional AU$415 million, comprising AU$329 million in recurrent funding and AU$86 million capital to continue the rollout of the Service NSW customer service network.

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