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Westpac enables Samsung Pay

Westpac enables Samsung Pay

(11 April 2017 – Australia) The feature will be enabled for the bank’s customers who own a range Samsung Galaxy devices, with the oldest smartphone equipped with the payment option being the Galaxy S6.

Vice President of Samsung Australia’s mobile division, Richard Fink said discussions were on going with other banks, and is hopeful they will also turn on Samsung Pay this year.

Westpac’s chief executive of the consumer bank, George Frazis, said mobile banking had grown rapidly over the last three years, adding “For us, Samsung Pay is all about being where our customers are, and offering them flexibility, choice and convenience."

Over the last year, contactless payments have in declined perceived priority according to Australian merchants. East & Partners 2017 Merchant Payments Report has found that there was one percent dip in Australian businesses reporting that contactless payments were a priority over the next two years. Instead, priority is given to eftpos and mobile payments.

Samsung will not be charging banks to use its near-field communication antenna, unlike its major competitor, Apple Pay, with which three of the big 4 have been in on-going debate.

The extension in mobile wallets adds to Samsung’s play in the 'internet of things' (IOT), where it already has a foothold with connected home appliances such as TVs and fridges.

"We are well set for our future IOT strategy, but it is early days. Exactly what it looks like on TV screens is work being looked at now, but we will need a payments system to connect all the dots," said Mark Hodgson, the head of mobile payments at Samsung Australia.

Following the Australian consumer watchdog’s decision to prevent banks from collectively negotiating with Apple over access to its NFC payment technology, Frazis told reporters that Westpac "respects the ACCC's decision" and remains "open to partnering with Apple".

The bank is reviewing its position "in order to best serve our customers," he added.

According to Samsung, its platform has more than 870 bank partnerships worldwide and there has been more than 240 million transactions processed over the past 18 months.

It was launched in Australia in June last year, and since then payments has only been available for Citi and American Express-issued credit card holders.

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