Australia’s Westpac to Launch First Project with Visa on Samsung Embedded Chips; HCE Gears Up in Market

A second of Australia’s big four banks, Westpac Banking Corp., said it will finally be ready to launch its long-planned NFC contactless payments service with Visa using embedded chips in Samsung phones by the end of April, the bank told NFC Times.

Westpac joins Commonwealth Bank of Australia, which launched on embedded chips in the Samsung Galaxy S4 in December with MasterCard. Both banks told NFC Times they plan to offer the service on embedded chips in the Samsung Galaxy S5, which will be released in Australia April 11. As NFC Times has reported, Australia is one of the few markets globally where Samsung is including an embedded chip in its new flagship smartphone. 

The Westpac launch would be the first under Visa’s agreement with Samsung–announced more than a year ago–to enable its payWave application on chips in major Samsung devices. 

The launch will happen as other Australian banks and financial institutions are believed to be planning to introduce NFC-mobile payments using host-card emulation. 

In fact, all four of Australia’s big four banks, Westpac, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and ANZ, are considering HCE, with the latter two banks endorsing the technology publicly with Visa last month. In addition, credit unions in Australia, via payments services provider Cuscal, are interested in HCE. 

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Table: Embedded Secure Elements: Payment Projects to Date 

Among Topics Covered: 

  • Plans by Australia’s Westpac to launch the first project using embedded chips in NFC phones, under the long-standing deal between Visa and Samsung
  • Update on Commonwealth Bank eSE project with MasterCard and Samsung
  • Interest in host-card emulation in Australian market
  • Small internal HCE trial launched by credit union payments services provider Cuscal.
  • Failure of other hope-for embedded chip projects to materialize
  • Security considerations by Westpac and Commonwealth regarding HCE
  • TSMs for Westpac and Commonwealth Bank embedded secure element projects
  • Recap of state of Samsung’s eSE strategy 

Sources Quoted:

James Kirby, head, payments strategy, Westpac Group
Michael Baumann, GM, payments development, Commonwealth Bank
Adrian Lovney, GM, product and service, Cuscal 

Among companies and organizations mentioned:

Westpac
Commonwealth Bank
Cuscal
Samsung Electronics
Visa
MasterCard Worldwide
National Australia Bank
ANZ
Sberbank
Bell ID 

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