A four-month mobile payment trial has just wrapped up in Auckland and Wellington and scored approval all around from participants – 97 percent say they would use the service if it launched in the future.
The joint project between Vodafone, BNZ, Visa and Paymar gave 44 users given NFC-enabled mobile phones with Visa chips integrated into the SIM cards.
Granted, it was a fairly small-scale run, with only two inner-city cafes set up to accept payments when a phone was waved over a terminal.
But BNZ director of retail, Andy Symons, said the 'tap-and-go' technology worked seamlessly.
“People really enjoyed the ease of not having to carry around cards or cash to pay for such small amounts. Since our trial was limited to small transactions for which no PIN was required, it really sped things up at the point of sale. This is something both the customer and the retailer said they loved.”
Vodafone general manager business development Steve Rieger said in the months since the trial concluded, "we’ve seen huge advances in both the technology to support contactless payments and the overall infrastructure which will allow widespread adoption of it".
"We are getting ever closer to a future where New Zealanders can leave their wallet at home for good and live life on their smartphone.”
All the users reported a positive experience: 95 percent enjoyed not having to enter a PIN for small transactions and 81 percent liked that they could ditch their wallet.
Eighty-five percent would prefer PIN-less transaction were limited to values of $80 or less, and 62 percent expected the service to be free.
In April Paymark, Vodafone, 2degrees and Telecom announced a joint venture to create the infrastructure to enable mobile payments across phones and retailers. The technology would ultimately be available to all Kiwis.
Meanwhile, Snapper technology is powering mobile payments on public transport in Wellington and Auckland, and another NFC trial using Telecom's XT network is underway in Auckland.