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BNZ, Visa and Vodafone launch 'pre-commercial' mobile wallet ahead of next year's broader TSM launch

Personal Finance
BNZ, Visa and Vodafone launch 'pre-commercial' mobile wallet ahead of next year's broader TSM launch

BNZ, Visa and Vodafone say they're trialling a mobile wallet, jumping the gun on the Trusted Service Manager (TSM) common infrastructure project being worked on by the country's major banks, telcos and payments companies, which is due to launch next year and will enable smartphone payments.

The three companies say Vodafone SmartPass, a new mobile payments application, will let customers make convenient, every day purchases with "a wave of a smartphone." BNZ is the virtual pre-paid card issuer. Other banks customers, and MasterCard users, will ultimately be able to use the mobile wallet, so long as they're a Vodafone customer.

"Using contactless Near Field Communication (NFC) and Visa payWave technology, the app functions as a digital wallet. Once it is activated, customers can load funds from any bank to the SmartPass account, which can then be used to pay for items at any location with a Visa payWave contactless terminal," they say.

What the three label the "pre-commercialisation program" will use Samsung Galaxy S3 and HTC One smartphones equipped with the Vodafone SmartPass app. Apple doesn't currently make NFC enabled phones. This pre-commercial phase will include around 40 BNZ staff, 40 Vodafone staff and about 100 other people provided with the necessary SIM cards. This pre-commercial phase is likely to last for at least two to three months before the service becomes more widely available.

Fees and charges card users will face include a 2.50% foreign currency transaction fee on top of the New Zealand dollar value if a user makes a foreign currency transaction; A monthly $2 inactive card fee if your card isn't used for six months; A $10 dispute handling fee if a dispute raised with a merchant is unsuccessful; And a $10 fee if your phone is lost or stolen meaning the card must be blocked and then unblocked when a replacement SIM card is received.

TSM seen live mid-2014

The BNZ-Visa-Vodafone announcement comes with the TSM project being worked on by Paymark, the country's major banks, telcos and payments companies that will enable mobile wallets. MasterCard's just departed New Zealand country manager, Albert Naffah, recently told the TSM was on target to go live early next year.

However, the view from Vodafone at the mobile wallet launch was sometime between March and June 2014 was more likely for the TSM launch.

Vodafone consumer director Matt Williams said the only thing people will need to take with them when they leave the house is their mobile phone.

"NFC payments globally are estimated to reach more than $36 billion in 2017, and we expect to see NFC smartphones eventually replacing all the cards we carry in our wallets right now," Williams said.

Caroline Ada, Visa’s country manager for New Zealand and the South Pacific, said the mobile wallet would let people with a Vodafone NFC-enabled phone instal the functionality necessary to make Visa payWave transactions within minutes.

“Vodafone SmartPass offers a simple and secure way for New Zealanders to pay. In the time it will take you to buy a new phone, you could also be ready to go with the speed and convenience of Visa payWave pre-installed on your smartphone. We’re excited to be on the verge of having the first shop-ready mobile payments solution for Kiwis," Ada said.

“We want consumers to be able to use mobile technology to pay, get paid and better manage their finances," Ada added.

'Transforming banking'

Meanwhile Shelley Ruha, BNZ's director of enterprise services, said the rise of contactless payments was beginning to transform banking.

"The SmartPass is about offering customers flexibility and choice with access to a range of payment methods for different situations which we are pleased can now include mobile contactless payments," said Ruha.

"Intensive" trials and testing was to come over the next few months, Williams added. Vodafone SmartPass would be accepted at Visa payWave enabled contactless terminals around New Zealand, of which there are about 10,000, including at Bunnings, the Warehouse, Farmers, plus BP and Z petrol stations.

Williams said the Vodafone SmartPass application can be protected with a PIN code. On top of this transactions will be supported by Visa’s global processing network and analysed for fraud in real time. SmartPass accounts can also be deactivated if a phone is lost or stolen. Customers will require a personal card pin for contactless payments valued at more than $80.

A company called Rêv Worldwide, in partnership with Visa and BNZ, will handle the account creation and transaction processing of the SmartPass accounts.

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At first I read it as SmartAss app..and blinked.


Smartass.  Haha.  Maybe Dumbpass.  !!   The last thing i want is an integrated phone and card etc.  Where all i have to do is stroll by and the bank deducts the payment. 

What i want is separation of functions and devices with the control that gives me, and when I make a purchase i want to actively approve it.