Westpac is forecasting almost $3 billion in contactless transactions will be made via mobile by 2015 as the Australian bank begins the roll-out of a new m-payment service on Samsung's Galaxy S4 and S5 smartphones.
Contactless debit cards have already been embraced by Australians with 60% of all scheme debit card transactions in Australia now made using contactless technology, says the bank.
This trend will be further boosted by the growing availability of contactless payment technology on mobile phones, says Westpac's chief product officer, David Lindberg.
"Based on existing uptake of contactless card technology, together with customer usage of our mobile and online banking platforms, we anticipate that there will be around three million Australians making contactless payments using their mobile in 2015," he says. "In line with this, we believe that there will be nearly $3 billion worth of contactless mobile transactions made in 2015."
Australians adopting contactless payments using their phones are most likely to use the functionality for payments of $100 or less, says Lindberg.
"We believe that low value cash transactions will gradually decline. Cash won't disappear altogether, but when you're buying your morning coffee, your lunch and your train pass, these will increasingly be paid for on your card or phone and therefore people won't need as much cash in their wallets. This is a revolution."
The roll-out of the new handsets, which utilise Visa's Mobile Provisioning Solution (VMPS), also coincides with the launch of a new mobile point-of-sale device for small traders. The Bluetooth-enabled Mobile PayWay is a portable EMV-compliant plug-in that works with most Android and iOS phones.
"Mobile PayWay is the first of its kind from an Australian bank for small businesses who want peace of mind when taking payments on the go," says Lindberg. "Our small business customers told us that they don't feel comfortable handing over their expensive smartphone to take payments from customers, as this generally also doubles as their personal phone. This device turns most Apple and Android phones into an acceptance terminal."