Carrying a wallet full of credit and debit cards may soon be a thing of the past as more consumers sign up to pay-by-phone technology.

The uptake of consumers signing up for Apple Pay, Android Pay and ASB Virtual has led to banks touting the products saying it will not be long before shoppers can leave wallets at home.

The free apps use the phone the same way as contactless cards - by holding the phone close to the terminal.

Transactions under $80 do not require the phone to be unlocked but purchases over that amount require a pin or thumbprint.

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Users will need an iPhone 6 or later or an Apple Watch to use Apple Pay, an android phone for Android Pay or a Samsung phone for ASB Virtual.

Consumer NZ spokesperson Sue Chetwin said there were sure to be some security breaches - but didn't think the risk was any greater than carrying a walletful of cards around.

"As long as people are careful with their phone it seems like the new technology is a lot safer.

"It is more convenient for consumers so I think it is a good thing."

Chetwin said fradulent use of phone technology was protected in the same way as contactless cards and stolen credit cards.

"The technology has improved so I believe it is probably safer than cards," Chetwin said.

BNZ lauched Android Pay in December and spokesperson David Bullock said uptake had "exceeded expectation."

"Our existing customers have loved it ... with increased interest around mobile payments and how they can easily set up their money on their mobile."

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Bullock said there was also interest from new customers wanting to access Android Pay.

Around 40 per cent of the new users fell into the 20-29 year age group.

"It's really proving a useful addition to how [young people] pay."

Bullock said the technology made shopping faster and more convenient.

"I believe we are getting closer to when you will be able to leave your physical wallet at home."

He said the technology was safe with a unique token created to verify and approve each payment limiting card numbers and details being passed on.

More than 90 per cent of transactions were for $80 or less.

ANZ chief executive New Zealand David Hisco said more than 50 per cent of ANZ Visa transactions were contactless.

"Adding Apple Pay ... will make it fast and convenient for more customers to securely make everyday purchases wherever there is a contactless terminal," he said.

Like Android Pay the actual card numbers are not stored on the device, or on Apple servers.

Instead, a unique number is assigned, encrypted and securely stored on the device.

Apple Pay also allows customers to purchase goods online without a credit or debit card.

ASB said it was keeping a watchful eye on developments with Apple Pay but in the meantime offered customers ASB Virtual.

The product worked in the same way as Apple Pay but was only for use with Samsung phones.

Meanwhile even children are moving toward cash-less saving and no longer have to wait for parents to stump up cash for chores.

Ten of thousands of Kiwi Kids have signed up for ASB's cash-less money box Clever Kash. The yellow elephant, reminsicent of popular Kashin money boxes of the 1980s, is paired with a mobile app and bank account.

Clever Kash from ASB allows parents to
Clever Kash from ASB allows parents to "swipe" money from their account to the cash-less money box. Photo / supplied

Whenever a parent wants to give a child their allowance or earnings, they can transfer between accounts and then swipe virtual coins to show how much they're transferring.

The screen on Clever Kash's tummy keeps count and shows the child's progress towards their savings goals.

ASB chief executive Barbara Chapman said parents had struggled to teach their children the value of money because physical notes and coins were seen and touched less often.

How it works

• Download the free app from either GooglePlay or the Apple Store
• You will need an android device for Android Pay or an Apple Watch, iPhone 6 or later for Apple Pay
• The phone is linked to an account with an available balance
• As long as the Android screen is lit you can make a payment up to $80 when holding the phone up to a contactless terminal. Apple Pay requires a thumbprint or code.
• Android Pay requires a thumbprint or code for purchases over $80
• The phone will buzz with a message to tell you the purchase has been accepted