25 September 2012

Mobile wallet trial start of something big

The days of New Zealanders having to lug around an overstuffed leather wallet may soon be over with Auckland Transport, Telecom and Westpac today revealing details of their ‘mobile wallet’ trial. 

The trial, announced earlier this year, is in collaboration with Gemalto, Thales and Paymark.  The six organisations have worked together to develop a virtual mobile wallet that can hold multiple cards – including a credit card and transport card. 

The three partners say that the ‘proof of concept’, revealed at the Thales test laboratory in central Auckland today, is further evidence that mobile wallet technology will soon be a reality in New Zealand. They emphasised today’s demonstration is simply the first stage of a much bigger vision, which will see mobile payments and other mobile wallet services rolled out nationally, involving multiple vendors and service providers.

Speaking about the progress they have made in the trial, Telecom’s Chief Product Officer Rod Snodgrass said “Telecom built the Smartphone Network with smartphones in mind, as people are doing more than ever on these devices.  This trial takes the use of mobile payment technology to a whole new level.  We are all accustomed to storing our address books and diaries in our phones.  Well, now we can store our wallet there as well. This is not simply another application – it truly is a ‘mobile wallet’, which will hold multiple cards and secure applications, providing a fast, convenient and safe way to purchase goods and services.”

Westpac Chief Information Officer Peter Fletcher, said “over the next 3-5 years, mobiles will become our customers’ key banking tool for transactions, product research and other banking needs. Westpac is committed to delivering a market leading mobile proposition and the mobile wallet trial is an important step as we help Kiwis move towards a mobile banking future.”

Auckland Transport Chief Operations Officer, Greg Edmonds, said “mobile phone technology will form an important part of the mix of payment options for transport services in the future.  We look forward to the introduction of this technology providing further choice for commuters in the way they pay for transport.”

The next phase of the trial will see 30 plus participants test the new mobile wallet technology at contactless Point of Sale terminals, across Auckland Transport’s network and top up their Telecom Mobile Accounts on their mobile. The technology is expected to be available near the end of 2013.

Learnings from this next trial phase are expected to enable the collaboration partners to further build on the proof of concept and develop an even wider and more valuable mobile wallet proposition for consumers.

This mobile wallet trial is another step towards a full rollout of NFC technology within New Zealand.  It comes off the back of Paymark, Telecom New Zealand, 2Degrees and Vodafone New Zealand’s announcement in April 2012 of their intention to form a Trusted Services Manager (TSM), which will establish a robust, open ecosystem for NFC-enabled New Zealand.