When it comes to payments, the ‘Land Down Under’ advances faster than many other developed e-commerce markets, particularly those in North America or Europe. For proof look no further than the rapid adoption of contactless card payments via Visa payWave or MasterCard PayPass. In July 2014, Australians completed more than 58 million Visa PayWave payments, a more than 100% year-on-year growth in transaction numbers. More than 70% of the adult population possesses a contactless debit or credit card and merchants reacted to accommodate consumer habits. Contactless payments average $31.38 AUS ($100 is the limit) and are frequently used for small purchases such as coffee or fast food where the speed of a transaction affects a merchant’s bottom line.
Contactless payments and the “wallet wars”
This rapid adoption of contactless payments makes Australia an interesting area to watch as the “wallet wars” heat up. Everyone has heard of Apple Pay, Apple’s foray into the in-app, mobile, and contactless payments worlds, yet Apple is hardly alone. Samsung recently acquired LoopPay, a widely accepted mobile wallet, and plans to launch Samsung Pay this summer. PayPal purchased Paydiant, Google obtained SoftCard, and many other players such as Alibaba are launching or improving their own e-wallets. Although Apple Pay has no Australian launch date—it is expected sometime in 2015—consumers’ early acceptance of contactless payments means Australia could become one of the first wallet war battlegrounds and indicate potential winners and losers.
The 2015 Cards & Payments Australia agenda—which is the must-attend event for the Australasian payments industry—has several panels and case studies that focus on contactless payment forms such as app and pay, tap and pay, Apple Pay, and others. It will be an opportunity to hear where contactless payments, and possibly even the wallet wars, are headed.
Evolution of cybercrime puts payment security in the spotlight
Advancements in payment technology have, unfortunately, led to innovations in cybercrime. Cyber-attacks on Australian businesses rose 20% last year and featured increasingly sophisticated methods, according to the Australian Signals Directorate. Australian businesses have not been victim to the high-profile data breaches that made headlines in the U.S., however, payment security rightly remains a concern.
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Cards & Payments Australia will address payment security concerns and innovations. Panels will discuss biometrics, tokenization, and other hot topics in the context of mobile shopping, wallet solutions, and payment technology. The event will be a valuable opportunity to glimpse the future of Australian payments.
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