Sydney, 14 July 2014: Cuscal, and Australia’s largest customer-owned financial institution, CUA, today announced the first commercial rollout of a mobile payments application using HCE (Host Card Emulation) to turn an NFC-enabled smartphone running the latest Android operating system (KitKat 4.4 or later), into a ‘tap and pay’ payments device.
As of today, CUA cardholders can download the redi2PAY app from the Google Play Store to make mobile payments at the over 100,000 contactless terminals already rolled out around Australia.
With confidential information held encrypted, the app offers a secure and ‘card-less’ method of payment for CUA cardholders.
CUA’s commercial rollout is the first from amongst Cuscal’s client base, since the Australian payments leader first trialled HCE-based mobile payments in March 2014.
“Cuscal is proud to be able to work with CUA to bring this truly ‘game changing’ mobile payments solution to its customers,” said Adrian Lovney, General Manager of Product & Service at Cuscal.
“Australians love their smart phones, and with HCE, we have been able to develop a cost-effective mobile payments solution that will allow our clients, like CUA, remain ahead of consumer demand.”
CUA Chief Executive Officer, Chris Whitehead said: “While other tap and go payment technology is available, this is the first in Asia Pacific to use HCE technology. It requires no other tag or sticker to be attached to your mobile phone – you simply download the CUA redi2PAY app and off you go.”
“Our announcement takes us one step closer to becoming a cardless and more mobile society.”
“Whilst many of our competitors are charging customers a separate fee for having ‘tap and go’ capability on their phone, we are providing this at no cost, as part of our ongoing better-value service offering.”
“As a customer-owned financial institution, our model enables us to provide better value to customers in the form of lower rates and fees, and more accessible services. And this rightly positions CUA as a credible alternative to the ‘big banks’.”
“CUA is also determined to attract new customers and in particular younger customers. We believe our ‘Life rich banking’ proposition resonates with today’s younger generations but we also need to offer the latest capabilities to meet their expectations of convenience.”
‘Life rich banking’ is at the heart of what CUA is about, assisting our customers to enrich their lives through delivering consistently better-value banking,” Mr Whitehead said.
Bringing HCE mobile payments to market with redi2PAY
Following Google’s support for HCE in Android 4.4 KitKat, which was announced in October last year, Cuscal began developing the redi2PAY mobile payments application in house, with the aim of offering a market-leading solution to its financial institution clients.
Brian Parker, Cuscal’s Chief Information Officer, was the first person to perform a live HCE-based Visa payWave transaction using the new solution with the purchase of two packets of Tim Tams at a 7 Eleven in Sydney’s CBD on 17 March 2014. An official trial commenced to test and refine the application shortly thereafter.
Cuscal has now made the solution available to its Australian client base as part of its broad suite of mobility services; either as a complete client-branded mobile application as with CUA, or via an application programming interface (API). Cuscal has designed the redi2PAY mobility suite with an ongoing development cycle, to ensure its clients remain at the forefront of technological innovation.
About the technology
By incorporating single use tokens as part of the approach, the application allows consumers to make a number of transactions even when the mobile is out of internet coverage range.
Transactions are incredibly fast with the phone powering the NFC chip, providing the consumer with a quick and easy payments process.
By utilising the HCE technology there is no requirement for additional steps from third parties, such as trusted service managers, handset manufacturers or telecoms providers, making it faster to take products to market and providing Cuscal’s clients with a cost effective solution.
Stephen Karpin, Group Country Manager for Visa in Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific said: “Visa is focused on making next generation commerce a reality. With 47%1 of face to face Visa transactions in Australia already taking place via Visa payWave contactless technology, mobile is the obvious next step. We are delighted to be working with Cuscal to bring cloud based mobile payments to market.”
How redi2PAY works for CUA customers
- CUA redi2PAY can now be downloaded by CUA Visa cardholders to a compatible Google Android device (Nexus 5, Nexus 7, and newer HTC and Samsung smart phones, among others).
- Customers then wave their mobile phones over secure, contactless point-of-sale terminals at the checkout in order to make payments, looking out for the contactless Visa payWave symbol.
- The app and phone pass a series of messages between the phone, the point of sale terminal and Cuscal’s servers, either authorising or declining the transaction.
- These transactions are protected by Cuscal’s Vigil fraud bureau service, an industry-leading fraud prevention and protection suite, which has more than two million cards under management.
As Australia’s largest customer-owned financial institution, CUA provides banking services to more than 400,000 Australians across the country and is emerging as a competitive force in Australian banking. CUA is 100 per cent owned by its customers.
For more information, please visit: www.cua.com.au
1 VisaNet (May, 2014)