Australian supermarket chain Coles has upped the tempo in its aggressive push into financial services with the launch of a new combined mobile sticker and loyalty app and a planned joint venture with GE Capital which will see it offering loans to customers in competition with the nation's biggest banks.
The Coles Pay Tag can be attached to back of a customer's mobile phone, enabling them to tap their phone at the checkout and collect airmiles through the FlyBuys loyalty programme.
Australians have taken to contactless payments with elan, and most of the major banks have begun rolling out their own mobile wallet offerings to take advantage of the trend. Coles says it has been trialling the Pay Tag service for the past two years and that three-quarters of the pilot participants found it more convenient than traditional plastic.
Coles first moved into the financial sector sector in 2010, selling car insurance to its large customer base, and in 2012 launched its first credit card. The chain now claims more than 400,000 cardholders.
The supermarket is set to move even deeper into financial services next year after signing an MoU with GE Capital that will see it offer loans to customers sometime in 2015.