Eftpos Australia expanding into mobile payments

Eftpos Australia, the direct debit payments system that facilitated more than 2.3 billion transactions across the country in 2015, is set to expand into mobile payments from next year. Customers will be able to tap and pay via the Eftpos system using their smartphones.

The move will create more competition for the ‘big three’ mobile wallets – Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay.

Speaking at a conference in Sydney, Paul Jennings, chief technology officer at Eftpos Australia, said: “We are now working with several members [banks] and successfully testing the token service in order to launch Eftpos as a secure payment option in mobile wallets in 2017.

“Eftpos tokens enable payments via mobile devices without compromising security, which provides consumers peace of mind.”

One of the biggest potential benefits of the launch is that Eftpos transactions are generally cheaper than other payment options.

The average cost of an Eftpos payment is 0.14 per cent of the transaction, compared to 0.81 per cent for credit card purchases, according to the Reserve Bank of Australia. That means lower surcharges for consumers.

Figures from Eftpos show that it handled transactions worth more than AU$140 billion (US$104.5 billion) last year via approximately 900,000 terminals. Australian consumers use the system for more than 6.3 million transactions every day, Banking Technology reported.

One of the biggest recent stories in the Australian payments market has been the dispute between Apple and local institutions including the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac, which want to bypass Apple Pay and make their own digital wallets available to iPhone users.

This week, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said it was likely to deny four banks permission to collectively bargain with Apple on this issue. However, ACCC chairman Rod Sims told Reuters that the decision was “finely balanced” and could be swayed if the banks put forward a convincing case.

Written by Jack Dougal