Westpac has become the first bank in New Zealand to trial a host card emulation-based mobile NFC payments service.
The three month trial will uses Carta Worldwide technology to securely store credit and debit card details in a remote and hosted 'cloud' environment, rather than the Secure Element.
Around 40 pilot participants will download a digital wallet app and register their card details, enabling them to make low value contactless payments with their Android handsets. A full rollout could follow in the new year.
Explaining the decision to back HCE, Shane Howell, chief product officer, Westpac, says: "We have chosen to go this way as technology is developing so quickly and we can ensure flexibility by using HCE. Working within an industry wide group such as the TSM (Trusted Services manager) may not allow that flexibility."
Howell says that NFC is just the first of four key components the bank is planning for its mobile wallet, with public transport payments, loyalty programmes, and potentially even forms of ID like driver's licenses, set to follow.