Singtel the parent company of Australian mobile operator Optus has announced a partnership with Visa to allow their customers to use their NFC enabled phones to make payments at NFC Paywave enabled terminals across Australia and Singapore.
The partnership will see Visa link pre-paid Visa cards to Singtels mobile wallet solution mCash which will launch in 2014. With Visa on-board, customers will be able to use the 12,000 Visa payWave terminals already installed in Singapore as well as over 100,000 terminals already in place across Australia.
The mCash mobile money solution will extend beyond NFC payments as well, with customers being offered the option of using their pre-paid Visa card number to make purchases online as well.
This is not the first time that the company has looked into NFC Payments, they’re conducting at least two trials with Australian banks and Visa, the first with ANZ which has been trialling NFC payments with 25 staff members using Galaxy S III phones and the second with Heritage Bank which was aiming to launch a product called m-wallet at some stage this year. Both the current trials that Optus are involved in are storing the secure element part of the NFC transaction in a SIM card, the Singtel/Visa partnership has not discussed the method for hwo the NFC transactions will be processed at this stage.
With so many NFC enabled terminals across Australia it’s a no-brainer for companies such as Visa to investigate Australia as a launching point for NFC based payments; if only Google would see Australia in the same light for a rollout of Google Wallet here.