Westpac together with MasterCard are trialling an NFC (near-field communication) chip embedded into a smartphone’s SIM card for a contactless payment application.

The pilot will see Android handsets use the new SIM card with NFC chip inside, which will mean no additional hardware attachments will be required. Together with the user’s virtual Debit MasterCard on the phone, participants will be able to pay for items with value of $100 or less, by tapping their phone in-store on a contactless NFC MasterCard PayPass payment terminal.

Participants in the pilot will provide feedback from the initial phase before the application is rolled out for an official launch at a later day.

Westpac’s head of mortgages, cards and merchants, Axel Boye-Moller said Westpac is committed to embedding mobile payments into all aspects of its core business and providing a product offering that redefines the customer experience.

“Online and mobile are the cornerstone of Westpac’s business. Currently 3.4 million Westpac customers are digital customers, 43 per cent of whom use their mobile phone to process payments online.  The pilot enables simple mobile payments for purchases and reflects our approach towards progressive payment solutions for our customers.

“Mobile banking represents a significant change in the way customers and banks do business and Westpac customers will be instrumental in helping design the final application.”

MasterCard Australia’s head of market development and nnovation Matt Barr says it won’t be long until the wallet as we know it, changes for good.

“With the number of contactless terminals throughout Australia increasing significantly, the desire from both consumers and merchants for fast, convenient mobile payments solutions is ever-increasing. MasterCard’s vision of a world beyond cash is being realised as organisations like Westpac take bold steps toward a mobile payment future.”