ASB and Westpac banks have taken out the top honours in the 2015 Canstar banking Innovation Excellence Awards with clever new technology-driven products.
ASB Bank's PayTag and Westpac New Zealand's Augmented Reality Banking user-friendly products were the clear stand outs from 17 submissions, according to Canstar research manager Mitchell Watson.
Canstar's judging panel was impressed with the ideas and concepts presented in each submission which was examined in minute detail and measured against strict guidelines.
"New Zealand has a reasonably small population but consistently every year we find that it punches above its weight in terms of innovation," Mr Watson said.
"Over the past few years we have seen some amazing financial services innovations and this year is no exception.
"Our research team thoroughly enjoyed going through the list of submissions and debating each product or service according to our innovation methodology, including the 'wow' factor."
This included how different the product or service was, how it would impact people's lives, whether it was a first for Kiwis and what the impact was on the market.
ASB Bank PayTag is a Visa payWave sticker that attaches to the back of mobile phones and can be used in a similar way to existing Visa credit and debit cards to make contactless transactions at the point of sale.
With PayTag punters hold the phone over the terminal and wait for confirmation that payment has been approved, a potential lifesaver if a wallet is left at home.
While the concept is not new, ASB PayTag has added extra parts to the service with the big difference being security.
The function can be turned off and on depending on when it's needed, even at the point of sale. This is done by using the ASB mobile app or online banking.
The other feature of PayTag is that it can easily switch between accounts. ASB PayTag is compatible with iOS, Android and Windows phone platforms.
For Augmented Reality, Westpac New Zealand created an app using AR to give users 3D images and engaging content delivering real time account information and insight in a visual and interactive way - by placing a debit or credit card underneath the phone camera.
Using the free app for iPhones, users can check credit and debit balances on the go, see their last five transactions and spend locations, categorise spending over a five week period, be reminded when payments are due, and even check hotpoints balance.
When travelling the app will automatically convert the cost of an item into New Zealand dollars and at the same time show an active credit card balance so users can see if the item is affordable.
Soon the app will tell users the estimated value of houses for sale, likely monthly mortgage repayments, and even provide conditional approval for the home loan needed.