St. George joins mobile payments race

St. George launches mobile payments appWestpac subsidiary St. George have launched a pay-to-mobile app, which allows the transfer of funds to a recipient's mobile number.

The app follows Commonwealth Bank's breakthrough Kaching app, launched earlier this year, which also allows payments to be transferred to mobile numbers.

ANZ is the other of the major banks to have created a mobile payments app, goMoney.

Both mobile payments and P2P (peer-to-peer or person-to-person) payments are being heralded as great opportunities for banks to deliver useful and convenient experiences for their customers, as the ever-mounting ubiquity of smartphones drives a trend for instant, any-time transactions. The trend for P2P payments to allow for easier funds transfers amongst friends is also an opportunity for banks, telcos and other players to make better use of social networks to facilitate payments.

In addition to allowing transfers to mobile numbers, Kaching also allows Facebook accounts to replace the awkward BSB and account number system.

Interestingly, Westpac have chosen to use their subsidiaries as a testing ground for their app, rolling it out to St. George, Bank SA and Bank of Melbourne customers. This could be a trial for something bigger, with Westpac CIO Clive Whincup indicating in May that they are eyeing off NFC technology.

Are you a payments expert? Applications are now open for presenters in the 2013 Cards & Payments Australasia event. Email charles.king@terrapinn.com if you would like to contribute to the region's leading payments programme.

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