No-pin eftpos cards just around the corner

Australian shoppers could soon be able to make eftpos payments without their pin number, as the local payments company gears up to introduce contactless payments in September.

The managing director of eftpos, Bruce Mansfield, told SmartCompany eftpos cards with the new functionality will begin being issued by member banks in September, although the process will take some time as cards are replaced.

Following the trial of a contactless payment system by eftpos in December 2013, the new cards will operate in a similar way to the PayWave and PayPass systems for credit cards currently offered by the major banks, with limits on how much customers can spend in each transaction.

The roll-out will coincide with the launch of eftpos’ centralised hub system, which will also allow the company to offer online and mobile services.

The hub, which was announced in October 2013, has been built and tested, and Mansfield told the annual Cards and Payment conference in Melbourne last week that at least two eftpos members will begin using the system in September.

Mansfield describes the centralised system, which is designed to “reduce costs and promote innovation”, as “the single biggest change in eftpos’ 30-year history”.

“Centralised payments hubs are being built around the world, including Faster Payments in the UK, RuPay in India, just to name a few,” says Mansfield, who says the system will be updated twice a year through scheduled software releases.

Peter Strong, executive director of the Council of Small Business of Australia, told SmartCompany the small business sector has known the contactless debit card system was coming for some time and “there’s been a lot of work to prepare for it”.

Strong says he has not received any negative feedback about the proposed system from COSBOA members, and he believes there will be a variety of benefits to shop owners.

“It’s faster and customers can move through to the cash register a lot quicker,” says Strong. “It also takes the onus off the small business owner to check signatures and the consumers seem to like it”.

Strong says it is also likely to save retailers money spent on printing multiple receipts per transaction and “every saving is a good thing”.

“The banks seem to be handling it all quite well. The important thing is for them to get the information out to businesses so they know what’s happening,” he says.

Mansfield says eftpos is keen to receive feedback from small businesses as the new services roll out, particularly through organisations such as the COSBOA and the Australian Retailers Association.

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