Optus reveals m-Wallet NFC payment system, partners with Visa

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Optus has announced it will start up its own NFC payment system and will collaborate with Visa and Heritage Bank. Called m-wallet, it will allow users to pay for goods and services simply by using their phone’s NFC chip, and Optus says that it should be available for all customers by next year after an internal trial.

Optus m-wallet will act like a Visa card, allowing it to be used wherever Visa payWave is accepted – both domestically and internationally – for day-to-day transactions like grocery shopping, buying a cup of coffee, etc. The debit card information will be stored securely on a SIM card, with the application loaded onto the phone and connects to the SIM.

Visa and Heritage Bank will be helping Optus to design and trial an end-to-end solution so users and businesses can use the system.

m-wallet will likely be available on Android and possibly Windows Phone devices, given that the iPhone does not support NFC natively unlike some of the flagship devices on its rivals. However, it could do what Commonwealth Bank’s own NFC payment system through Kaching and opt for an accessory.

“As smartphones become even more popular in Australia, we’re expecting our customers to rely on these devices for more than just the traditional functions of talk and text,” Austin Bryan, Vice President of Digital Communities and Ecosystems for Singtel and Optus, said in a press release.

“Australia is fast becoming the world leader when it comes to contactless payments. Mobile NFC payments are shaping up to be one of the key technology trends for 2013 and Visa is excited to be collaborating with Optus to bring this reality closer for Australian consumers,” Visa’s Australia Country Manager, Vipin Kalra, said.