Westpac launches new mobile payment system

Although the launch of Westpac's new mobile payment system has the potential to be a landmark moment in the history of Australia's banking sector, it will come as little surprise to most people across the country.

Financial experts have been predicting for a long time that contactless mobile phone transactions will quickly start to develop down under.

More and more organisations are providing services that enable smartphone owners to load their credit cards on to their device and now Westpac has unveiled its new pilot Android Mobile Contactless Payment application in conjunction with MasterCard.

Users will be able to take advantage of near field communication (NFC) technology in order to use their handset to pay for items in stores.

A growing number of Aussies are demanding sophisticated new mobile banking services and Westpac's head of mortgages, cards and merchants Axel Boye-Moller insisted that online and mobile applications are the cornerstone of the organisation's business.

"Currently 3.4 million Westpac customers are digital customers, 43 per cent of whom use their mobile phone to process payments online," he remarked.

"The pilot enables simple mobile payments for purchases and reflects our approach towards progressive payment solutions for our customers," Mr Boye-Moller added.

A lot of industry experts have predicted that cash and plastic cards will eventually become defunct, as people start to carry all of their money around on their phone.

According to a recent study conducted by IMS Research, Australia could feasibly become a cashless society within the next five years.

MasterCard Australia's head of market development and innovation Matt Barr said the number of contactless payment terminals being introduced into retail outlets is growing all the time down under. It appears to be just a matter of time before mobile transactions are the norm for most people.

Mr Barr remarked: "MasterCard's vision of a world beyond cash is being realised as organisations like Westpac take bold steps toward a mobile payment future."

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