Visa trials contactless mobile payment app

Visa has kicked off a four week trial of a contactless mobile phone payment application, enabling iPhones to become a “virtual wallet”.

The company has partnered with ANZ to conduct the trial in which 50 participants from the Sydney and Melbourne offices of both companies have been given protective iPhone cases with a secure microSD memory card.

Using the technology, participants will be able to make payments by activating the payment app and waving their phone in front of a contactless reader, for which purchases under $100 require no PIN or signature. Customers also have the option of receiving a receipt.

The microSD payment technology, developed by DeviceFidelity, combines the protective iPhone case with a secure memory card that hosts Visa’s contactless payment application, Visa payWave. The microSD card hosts a prepaid ANZ account that can be topped up over the internet when needed.

The application is compatible with existing contactless payment terminals already installed at approximately 20,000 retail outlets across Australia, including fast food restaurants, electronic stores, book stores, sporting stadiums, clothing stores and vending machines.

ANZ head of product management consumer cards and unsecured lending, Sam Qubrosi, said the trial was about making banking simpler and more practical for Australians.

“Mobile contactless payment is the next step in this evolution,” he said in a statement.

“The possibilities with mobile are endless, your mobile could allow more than just payments – you could manage your account, detect fraud and receive real time offers from merchants,” said Visa Australia country manager, Vipin Kalra.

“Your mobile could become the new virtual wallet – it’s in the future but that’s definitely where we’re headed,” he said.

Visa director of country risk management, Ian McKindley, said a Visa customer could not accidentally make a payment with their mobile phone as the application on the phone needs to be activated and the customer must to be within four centimetres of a payment device.

“Visa’s mobile payment technology is secure,” he said. “Visa’s payWave technology utilises multiple layers of advanced technology each designed to authenticate a transaction, if you lose your phone it’s just like losing your card today, you contact your bank immediately and they will disable the phone application.”

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Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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