New Zealand's first mobile wallet has been launched this morning by technology company Semble in collaboration with national mobile operators and banks.
The free application will be available to android users and customers with ASB or BNZ from today, and Semble chief executive Rob Ellis said the collaboration of the groups including Paymark, 2degrees, Vodafone and Spark, was unique globally.
"Other mobile wallets have launched around the world, but Semble is the first to present a united front, with many industry leaders working together," Ellis said. "Semble is a tremendous achievement for New Zealand."
Semble uses a free app and secure SIM card that houses a chip similar to those in debit and credit cards, allowing android phones to be used at payWave terminals.
Ellis said the release of Semble was just the beginning of the application which would also include development of public transport and loyalty card additions to the Semble product.
"We look forward to welcoming many more service providers to the Semble marketplace, including more banks as well as loyalty cards, public transport cards, ticketing, offers, vouchers and much more," he said.
This will begin in April with trial testing of vouchers and special offers for fast food restaurant Burger Fuel and the addition from June of Snapper card holders being able to use their smartphones for public transport.
Since the launch of payWave, Contactless payments have grown rapidly, with almost 40 million transactions last year totalling more than $1.4 billion and over 11 million transactions this year so far. The number of contactless terminals has also grown by 66 per cent since January last year, and this is expected to continue.
Semble has been developed to international security standards with both ASB chief executive Barbara Chapman and BNZ chief executive Anthony Healy saying they were confident in the security of the system, something Ellis said had been vital during development.
"It was important to design a product using the highest international security standards while still being something that's easy for Kiwis to use and simple for businesses to join," Ellis said. "I'm proud to say we have achieved that and I encourage New Zealanders to give it a go."
Ellis said the company were talking to other banks about the product and would be talking to Apple about the addition of the technology for iPhones as well although he did not give a timeframe around this.