Westpac is bringing contactless payments to more Australians, with the bank joining Samsung to bring tap-and-go transactions to Galaxy S4 and S5 smartphones next week.
Although it is a burgeoning technology in Australia at the moment, 3 million Australians are expected to have adopted contactless payment technology by 2015 to make $3 billion worth of transactions in the 2015 calendar year.
These numbers represent a broader shift in the ways consumers are spending, with cash payments declining and contactless transactions on the increase according to Westpac chief product officer David Lindberg.
"Eighteen months ago, we could see the momentum building in contactless payments, the ability to take out your credit or debit card and tap it on a terminal and have the payment go through. It was about 18 per cent of all scheme debit card transactions in Australia. In the last 12 months we've seen this figure skyrocket to 60 per cent.
"We believe that low value cash transactions will gradually decline. Cash won't disappear altogether, but when you're buying your morning coffee, your lunch and your train pass, these will increasingly be paid for on your card or phone and therefore people won't need as much cash in their wallets. This is a revolution."
The partnership with Samsung will give GS4 and GS5 users the option to pay using the built-in NFC in their device at contactless terminals where MasterCard PayPass and Visa payWave are accepted.
The functionality is available through Westpac's mobile banking app; users can determine whether they want to pay by holding their phone to the terminal, or whether they want the increased security of opening the Westpac app or opening and then signing in. The bank also maintains that paying with a mobile will be "just as secure as a card" with backing from Westpac's Fraud Money Back Guarantee.
At last month's Galaxy S5 launch, Samsung announced that both Westpac and Commonwealth Bank customers would be able to use the smartphone for mobile payments. With the GS5 hitting stores this Friday, Westpac has confirmed that the app will offer the new contactless functionality next week.