eftpos is attempting to a take a new, low-cost approach to secure online and mobile digital payments through a new trial in partnership with two banks and a large retailer.

The trial, which will involve Commonwealth Bank, Coles and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank and up to 50 merchants, will see the trial of ‘eftpos digital payments,’ a mobile solution that could be used on any smartphone without costly additional hardware, and had the potential to work with a range of technologies such as Wireless, NFC, Bluetooth and QR Codes.

eftpos managing director Bruce Mansfield said the trial is a major step forward for the company because it would bring eftpos, Australia’s most-used payments service, into the online and mobile environments via a secure digital payments platform for the first time.

“The trial ‘eftpos digital payments’ solution is designed to be a secure, real-time and low-cost solution for the industry because it leverages existing payments infrastructure and other assets such as merchant terminals he said.

“It enables eftpos and its Members to keep pace with the rapidly changing technology landscape, while preserving existing relationships with customers.

The trial will cover a number of distinct phases and is expected to continue in early 2014. The solution will not necessarily require the use of traditional card-based technologies, such as EMV.

Mr Mansfield said that once an eftpos digital solution was validated in market trials, it should be relatively easy to deploy for industry participants connecting to the new eftpos Hub.

“Coles is pleased to be involved in the trial of eftpos Digital because it has the potential to give our customers more payment options and even greater control over how they choose to use their own money,” said Coles general manager of financial services Richard Wormald.