National Australia Bank has launched a new mobile payment service for Android smartphones, NAB Pay, as the country's biggest banks continue their boycott of iOS rival Apple Pay.
Available as part of the bank's Mobile Internet Banking app, customers with a compatible Android mobile device and a NAB Visa Debit Card can start using NAB Pay from today.
Apple launched its own mobile payment service in Australia last year, targeting a country which has readily adapted to the use of contactless tap and pay technology. Unlike its enthusiastic reception in other markets, however, Apple has yet to convince the major banks to come onboard, as they continue to cold shoulder the service in protest over Apple's demands for a slice of interchange revenue.
Apple rival Google, by way of contrast, is working with ANZ, Westpac and other banks to launch Android Pay in Australia in the first half of this year.
NAB's go-it-alone stance follows the signing of ten-year strategic partnership with Visa last year to collaborate on payments innovation and product development for customers. As such, it will be the first bank in the country to adopt the use of digital tokens in place of credit card numbers to provide an additional layer of security.
NAB executive general manager for consumer lending, Angus Gilfillan, says: “Our partnership with Visa is enabling us to significantly invest in our credit and debit card portfolio and act more quickly to deliver innovative solutions for our customers. We have a number of exciting initiatives planned this year and look forward to extending the NAB Pay application to support NAB credit cards in coming months.”