Mobile payments using HCE tested in New Zealand by Westpac

The Australian bank is the first bank in New Zealand to try out Host Card Emulation (HCE) m-payments.

According to Westpac, it is utilizing Carta Worldwide’s HCE technology for its three month NFC-enabled mobile payments trial in New Zealand, and the payments systems is compatible exclusively with Android smartphones equipped with the most recent software updates.

Westpac hopes to launch a digital wallet in the country.

Shane Howell, the chief product officer of Westpac said that the trial is the initial steps toward a fully digital wallet in the country and that they expect their mobile wallet will be available to customers in early 2015.

Howell stated that “We already use our smartphones to organize so many aspects of our lives, so using them to make payments is just a natural extension of this.” He added that the three month test is only the “first of four key components we are looking to develop that will make up a digital wallet for Westpac customers.”

He explained that there are additional components that the financial institution is considering incorporating into its digital wallet, such as loyalty programs and public transit transport cards. It is even considering a form of ID, such as a driver’s license. Howell said that what Westpac is working toward achieving is a “true digital wallet experience” that is easy for customers to use and that is safe.

Mobile payments security is an essential feature of the digital wallet.

Westpac developed the mobile wallet in a partnership it made with Carta Worldwide, a company known for global payments innovation. The Australian bank has said that for its digital wallet, security is key.

Rui Mendes, Carta’s chief technology officer said that with Carta’s advanced and layered security, every single mobile transaction that is made is protected. HCE allows for secure mobile transactions that are compatible with contactless terminals. The company’s cloud-based solution is equally as secure as using plastic cards because of its data security advancements and its app features, such as mobile PIN.

The three month mobile payments trial involves a selection of 40 Westpac customers and employees across New Zealand.

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