Australian megabanks form P-to-P mobile wallet venture

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Three of Australia’s largest banks—Wespac, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and the National Australia Bank—have joined forces for a mobile wallet joint venture called Beem, with person-to-person payments as the first use case.

Through Beem, participating banks will support instant payments for all consumers and small businesses with a bank account, enabling users to make an instant payment, request payment or split a bill using a smartphone, the banks said in a Tuesday press release.

“Customers will soon be able to ‘Beem’ free payments instantly using any smartphone, regardless of who they bank with and without the need to add account details,” said George Frazis, Westpac’s chief executive, in the release.

Initially payments will be limited to $200 (US$150) a day, with a monthly receiving limit of $10,000 (US$7,600).Commonwealth Bank is testing a prototype of the app, with plans to roll it out to all participating banks’ customers before the end of this year, according to the release.

Several large Australian banks tried unsuccessfully within the past year to get local banking authorities to make Apple Inc. give them access to the NFC chip inside the iPhone to offer mobile payments within their own apps. Among the top four banks in Australia, only ANZ currently supports Apple Pay.

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P-to-P payments Mobile wallets Australia Australia