​Bendigo Bank now offering Samsung Pay

Bendigo Bank is the latest Australian financial institution to offer the electronics giant's digital wallet.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

Samsung Pay has on Friday become available to Bendigo Bank customers that hold eligible credit or debit cards and compatible Samsung devices.

Samsung Pay, which launched in Australia with American Express early last year, is available wherever near-field communication (NFC) payments are accepted, and is compatible on Samsung devices such as the Gear S3 smartwatch and the new Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus smartphones.

Bendigo Bank chief customer officer Marnie Baker said the app offers the bank's 1.6 million customers greater choice and flexibility in how they make payments.

"With technology evolving at a rapid pace, we want to ensure we're delivering and partnering with other innovative organisations like Samsung to give our customers greater choice and the flexibility they're looking for," Baker said.

In June, 38 financial institutions went live with Samsung Pay in Australia, including Bank Australia, Bank of Sydney, CUA, Defence Bank, Firefighters Mutual Bank, People's Choice Credit Union, Police Bank, QT Mutual Bank, Teachers Mutual Bank, and Unity Bank.

Westpac, Citibank, and Teachers Mutual Bank are among the 40-plus financial institutions offering the service in Australia, with Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) going live with Samsung Pay in July, making it the only bank in Australia to offer four payment solutions across both Android and iOS.

Samsung Pay has now paired with over 40 payment card brands and more than 100 different types of loyalty cards. The platform boasts over 870 bank partnerships worldwide, and had processed more than 240 million transactions in the 18 months to June 2017.

Fintech analyst Juniper Research estimates that the number of users of Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Android Pay will hit 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.

Although Apple Pay has been flagged as the most popular wallet, its rollout in Australia has been stifled; ANZ is the only member of the big four banks to adopt the iPhone maker's wallet.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Westpac, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and the National Australia Bank had previously sought regulatory approval to collectively negotiate with third-party mobile providers such as Apple on conditions relating to competition, best practice standards, and efficiency.

Throughout the process, the banks claimed they wanted access to the NFC controller in iPhones and reduced their argument earlier this year to solely focus on this, as Apple currently does not allow any other entity direct access to its technology.

The group argued that access would enable them to offer their own integrated digital wallets to iPhone customers in competition with Apple's digital wallet without using Apple Pay -- something Apple wanted to avoid.

The banks lost their fight in March, with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) handing down a determination denying authorisation.

Prior to the determination from the ACCC, the banks baulked at settling for payment alternatives such as Samsung Pay, calling them "unrealistic" in the Australian market.

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