As Australia’s major banks take their time deciding their stance on Apple Pay, Samsung has partnered with local payment solutions provider Cuscal to enable almost 40 financial institutions to offer Samsung Pay to their customers.
Coming as Samsung Pay marks its first birthday in Australia, the partnership will see the payment functionality enabled for a combined total of 1.7 million cardholders of institutions including Credit Union Australia, Beyond Bank Australia, and Australian Unity.
Richard Fink, vice president, Mobile Division at Samsung Australia, said the partnership with Cuscal provides millions of Australians with a “convenient and safe” payment option.
“Every partner we bring onboard, whether it be a financial institution or retail brand through our Samsung Pay loyalty functionality, brings us a step closer to helping customers replace their wallets with their Samsung smartphone or smartwatch.”
Robert Bell, general manager of Product & Service at Cuscal, added, “Our aim is to allow all of our clients to offer their customers the newest and best payment options available, to help them compete with much larger players. With the addition of Samsung Pay we continue to fulfil this promise to them.”
With 870 bank partnerships around the world, Samsung Pay has processed over 240 million transactions over the last 18 months.
The deal with Cuscal follows that which Samsung signed with Westpac in April to see Samsung Pay provided to the bank’s Mastercard and Visa debit and credit cardholders.
Westpac was one of the banks in the group denied the right by the ACCC to negotiate with Apple as a collective, joined by the Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank.
The banks had sought permission to bargain as a group with Apple for access to the Near-Field Communication (NFC) controller in iPhones in order to offer their own digital wallet services to customers rather than integrate with Apple Pay.
According to the ACCC, the banks argued that offering their own digital wallets would lead to increased competition and consumer choice in digital wallets and mobile payments in Australia; increased innovation and investment in digital wallets and other mobile apps using NFC tech; and greater consumer confidence, leading to increased adoption of mobile payment tech in Australia.
However, the ACCC argued that giving the banks the rights they sought could impact Apple’s ability to compete with Google as it would affect Apple’s “current integrated hardware-software strategy for mobile payments and operating systems more generally”.
With this verdict, the banks stated they would individually review their digital wallet strategies. ANZ, Macquarie Bank, and ING have already signed on to Apple Pay.
Cuscal too announced last November its enabling of Apple Pay for 31 of its clients.
Image: Richard Fink.