In early March, ANZ Bank, a major financial institution based in Australia, partnered with credit giant Visa launched a trial that would test the interest in NFC-based mobile payments in Australia. The trial area included Sydney and Melbourne, which had previously shown promising levels of interest in the technology.
NFC chips were given to participants in the trial and enabled smart phones to interact with proximity card readers. Both ANZ Bank and Visa had high hopes that the trial would be a resounding success, but as the trial comes to a close, the results are little more than lackluster.
While consumer interest in the technology has not waned, ANZ attributes the trial’s supposed failure as an issue of technology as opposed to consumer adoption. Currently, ANZ Bank believes that the NFC technology currently available is not adequate enough to meet the needs of the bank’s interests. Until the technologies improve, the ANZ has announced that they will no longer pursue mobile payments.
The trial may not have been successful as planned, but both Visa and ANZ will be exploring ways to support contactless payments in the Australian market as other companies launch their mobile payment platforms.
Currently, Google is the only company that is reporting better than expected results from field reports regarding their NFC initiative, the Google Wallet. Their trails have been confined to the U.S. but have been sharing their insights with other companies interested in incorporating the technology.