Eftpos mobile wallet trials to include variety of payment tech

Eftpos wallet to support other payment cards with reciprocal arrangement.

An upcoming mobile wallet by Eftpos may support more payment technologies than just near field communications (NFC), according to Eftpos CEO Bruce Mansfield.

Australian payment company Eftpos announced yesterday that it would soon begin trials of a mobile wallet and NFC widget that would allow shoppers to pay by tapping their mobile smartphones against a payment terminal.

However, while the Eftpos mobile wallet supports NFC, it may not rely completely on that technology for payments, Mansfield told Computerworld Australia.

“NFC is important because of the footprint it has in this market,” he said. However, Eftpos will “look at a range of ways which the payment transaction will be dispatched.”

Apple has yet to support NFC in the iPhone. PayPal didn’t use NFC in its mobile wallet and has publicly dismissed the technology.

“We’re waiting to see what Apple [does],” but that’s one reason why “we need to investigate both NFC and non-NFC solutions,” Mansfield said.

Eftpos plans to hold mobile wallet trials from July to December this year, he said.

“We have a limited number of trials that we have identified across various different parts of the ecosystem.

“I would expect that we finalise proof of concepts during the course of this year and then look at the commercialisation plans in 2014.”

Mansfield predicted that Eftpos will be one of “a range of wallet providers meeting customers’ and retailers’ needs.”

The Eftpos mobile wallet will allow users to include cards from other payment providers, he said. However, in return, Eftpos will expect those companies to include Eftpos cards in their own mobile wallets, he said.

“It’s an open ecosystem and we think it’s more an issue of making sure customers and merchants get the payment methods they want.”

Mansfield said it’s “premature” to talk about fees for retailers associated with supporting payments from the mobile wallet. However, he said “one of the value propositions for Eftpos is we like to be the lowest-cost payment option for consumers.”

Whether retailers need to upgrade equipment to support the Eftpos mobile wallet will depend “on how the payment side of the transaction is going to be integrated,” for example if the transaction happens at a point-of-sale terminal or in the aisle, he said.

It’s also too soon to say which mobile platforms will support the Eftpos mobile wallet, he said. “We’re hoping to work with a number of platform providers and it depends on how receptive they are to doing so.”

Follow Adam Bender on Twitter: @WatchAdam

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