Contactless Payments

When it comes to paying for your purchases these days, ‘tap and go’ is fast replacing cash. In August 2016, Australians were estimated to spend $2 billion a week on contactless payments according to MWE Consulting.

‘Tap and go’ payments’ chief advantage is they don’t require the user to authenticate purchases under $100 with a PIN.  Contactless payments are not exclusive to cards, either. In fact, the old ‘keys, phone, wallet’ mantra might soon be down to just ‘keys, phone’, as present-day smartphones frequently act as wallets. Left your cash or cards at home when going grocery shopping? No dramas whatsoever – contactless payment to the rescue. Just tap your phone on the reader and be done with it!

Over the course of the last couple of years, the concept of ‘digital wallet’ has indeed become a reality. We’ve already talked about smartphone payments. On this page, we’ll discuss several more contactless payment methods.

Apple Wallet

Formerly known as Passbook, Apple Wallet can store just about everything – credit and debit cards, store cards, boarding passes, rewards cards, movie tickets, the lot – on your iPhone. You can also add credit and debit cards to your Wallet to pay for your purchases with Apple Pay.

Google Wallet

Google’s own payment service allows users to send and receive money from their mobile device or computer at no cost. Initially only launched in 2011 in the US, the Google Wallet has since become available to Australian Google account holders. You can either use it either for POS purchases or for online shopping, and it is available via iOS and Gmail as well – unlike Android Pay.

Android Pay

Perhaps the most time-efficient of them, Android Pay only requires you to hold your phone to the terminal to pay for your purchase. No unlocking or reauthorisation is needed – just flip it open and be done in the space of a few seconds. Currently, Android Pay is accepted at a wide number of participating stores and even a few government outlets, and is also partnered with several participating banks.


Already a middleman of sorts for online payments for the likes of eBay, PayPal has recently started using NFC-enabled stickers that let the user make contactless payments from their mobile phone. In addition, the company presently sells its own mobile phone-paired card reader – PayPal Here. This device lets vendors accept Visa, Mastercard or Amex payments for the same rate, without monthly fees or lock-in contract.

Mastercard PayPass Wallet

PayPass isn’t just a payment method – it’s also a digital wallet in its own right. Much like Android Pay, the Mastercard version is fast, safe and doesn’t charge you when a fraudulent transaction takes place (given that you can prove it).

CommBank Kaching

A pioneering Australian digital wallet that allows users to “bank with confidence anywhere, anytime”. Kaching lets you pay anyone you know using your mobile, email or Facebook contacts, as well as make contactless payments where possible. Ka-ching!

Stratos Card

Although it’s got more in common with a physical wallet, the Stratos Card is as digital as they come. It is basically a credit card that stores all your cards, be they debit, credit or rewards cards. As a bonus, the Stratos Card is also able to track your location via GPS through its accompanying app.

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