One of Australia’s largest banks, Westpac, is the first of the country’s biggest four banks to adopt Samsung Pay, expanding customers’ contactless mobile payment options.
The move signals Australia’s large financial institutions are moving on after local regulators ruled against their bid to get Apple Inc. to negotiate over its policies for Apple Pay and iPhone payments.
Australia has a high penetration of Near Field Communication-enabled merchant terminals, with contactless payments accounting for more than 33% of all in-store transactions, according to recent data from the Reserve Bank of Australia.
Westpac customers may now leverage NFC technology to pay with Android handsets using Westpac Tap and Pay, the bank’s proprietary NFC digital payment service, Samsung Pay—which works at nearly any terminal, including those lacking NFC—or the Android Pay app, said George Frazis, Westpac’s chief executive, in a recent press release.
Westpac also recently introduced a person-to-person payments service called Westpac Keyboard enabling customers to send funds directly to friends via social media.
“Customer behavior is changing all the time and the growth of mobile banking in the past three years has been exponential,” Frazis said in the release. “Our strategy is to be where our customers are, and we are delighted to offer some of the world’s most popular mobile payment platforms to our customers.”