This year will make it much easier for consumers in Australia to make purchases using smartphones.
Telcos in Australia are giving a significant kick to their intentions to bring mobile payments to consumers throughout the country so that they will be able to use their smartphones or tablets to pay for products or services at a store’s checkout counter.
This could be the first step toward making credit cards obsolete within the country.
Although mobile payments are a move that has been in the works for several years and very little action has actually been seen until very recently. Even the most recent steps have not been enormous, and the term “contactless payments” remains unknown to the majority of consumers, even among those whose devices are capable of the transactions.
Though the contactless mobile payments concept has great potential, it has been failing to gain traction.
The idea behind mobile payments is quite simple. It involves using a smartphone or tablet that is either waved over an enabled reader at a point of sale in a store, or tapped against it. This automatically transfers the funds necessary for making the purchase from the user’s credit card or bank account, into the account of the store.
The primary barrier faced by this type of mobile payments is the fact that only a small percentage of smartphones are actually enabled with the necessary NFC technology (near field communication) that allow these transactions to occur. This was held back even further by the release of the iPhone 5 by Apple, which shocked the mobile world when those chips were notably absent.
Vodafone and Telstra believe that this year will mark a difference in this trend. They believe that with many more NFC technology enabled devices entering the marketplace, it will represent a brand new opportunity for mobile payments to take off.
According to Dr. Hugh Bradlow, the chief technology officer at Telstra, “It’s been promised for a long time, but by next year many devices on the market will incorporate near field communication.” He went on to explain that in the mobile payments marketplace, “NFC has been a slow burn, but it will likely become entrenched next year and we plan to be a big part of that.”