Heritage Bank working with Optus on smartphone contactless payment pilot

Heritage Bank today announced an exciting collaboration with Australia telecommunications giant Optus to develop a product that enables people to use their smartphone as a virtual wallet, paying for day-to-day purchases with a swipe of the phone.

A pilot project is currently underway, with Heritage representatives this week using prototypes of the smartphone product to buy items around the city.

The project is a collaboration between Optus, Heritage Bank and Visa. The internal trial is intended to be the first step towards the development and launch next year of a commercial Optus m-wallet.

Optus intends to incorporate a contactless payment system into the Optus m-wallet for customers to quickly and easily use their smartphones to "wave and go" to pay for day to day purchase transactions such as buying coffee, petrol, grocery items and movie tickets at hundreds of thousands of retailers nationally and internationally where Visa payWave is accepted.

For the purposes of the trial, a participant’s debit card information is securely stored on a SIM card in the phone. The trial application is loaded onto the phone and connects to the NFC-enabled SIM card, allowing the contactless payment to occur, without any additional hardware.

Heritage CEO Mr John Minz said the collaboration with Optus and Visa held exciting prospects.

"Heritage is one of the leading issuers of pre-paid cards in Australia, and we are excited to be working with Optus to use our expertise in this area to help develop this new smartphone product," he said.

"Technology continues to transform the banking world and we are delighted to be involved in a project that puts us at the forefront of developing this type of payments technology in Australia.

"Our collaboration with Optus continues our goal of diversifying our business streams and leveraging the areas where we have expertise, such as prepaid cards."

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