Paving the way for mobile payment systems

Vector illustration of mobile payment via smartphone.

It seems like your smartphone can do everything these days, and now it’s even capable of wireless payment. Traditional wallets could end up joining watches, maps and cameras as items made redundant by the ever-expanding functionalities of smartphones.

The trend of mobile payments began to catch on in 2015 and it’s predicted that 2016 will be the year it’s really embraced and more widely adopted. So to keep you up to speed, here are 10 things to know before you jump headfirst into the world of mobile wireless payment systems.

What is it?

This seems like a good place to start. Put simply, a mobile wireless payment system is a way to process payments using your smartphone, negating the need for those credit and debit cards stuffing the slots in your wallet. To use it, you just need to hold your phone up to be scanned at a reader, the same way you’d use PayPass.


NFC makes it possible

Near-field communication (NFC) is the way your phone shares payment information with these readers. This is the same technology that has let users of phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S5 wirelessly share data by bringing their phones into close contact.

They won’t work everywhere

The only problem with hopping straight on the mobile payment system bandwagon is that not all outlets have the technology available. This makes leaving your actual wallet at home a bit of a risk.

Hesitant retailers

As we just mentioned, not all retailers currently have the technology in place and until they can be sure a majority of shoppers will be using the payment system, companies might be hesitant to go out of their way to adopt procedures that have little benefit for them.

Increased loyalty

Companies that do decide to integrate a mobile wireless payment system scheme make it easier for customers to take advantage of loyalty rewards programs. This benefits all parties involved, as customers might be more inclined to visit repeatedly knowing they don’t have to worry about toting around a card that needs to be punched, scanned or stamped.

loyalty cards

Dangerous dealings

There’s no foolproof way to ensure the safety of your money when it comes to non-cash transactions. Skimming credit and debit card information has become uncomfortably commonplace in this digital age, with account details being stolen from seemingly everywhere. Because of their digital nature, mobile wireless payment systems of any type may be vulnerable to cyber-attacks, in the same way your credit card is.

Sharing your information for better or worse


Mobile wireless payment systems can also allow your information to be shared in a less insidious manner. Your phone holds demographic data that can help retailers stock their shelves with your favourite goods.

Electronic payments can also provide easier tracking in terms of what is sold and when. This could potentially help companies tailor their business to the needs of their customers. But sharing information like this doesn’t always sit well with consumers.

Choose wisely

As with most facets of smartphones, some mobile wireless payment systems have features that might accommodate certain users better. Just like you would when making app or handset selections, make sure to do your research to see which option best fits your situation.

The impact of the big boys

Like it or not, the tech giants from Cupertino have a massive say in the technology market. With the unveiling of its Apple Pay system on the iPhone 6, the company is once again flexing its muscles. The same goes for Google and its Android Pay system.

While these products might be unavailable or unattractive options for you, you can be sure that they will have great influence over future versions of mobile wireless payment systems.

Great potential

Despite some of the drawbacks, a mobile wireless payment system can be of huge benefit for users. It frees up your pockets and purse from carting around as much gear and gives you one less thing to worry about losing. With impending improvements to the technology, it’s only a matter of time before more retailers decide to get with the wireless program.

Will you be a supporter of mobile payment technology? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo Credit:

Wikimedia commons

Wikimedia commons

Nick Webb


  1. ian says:

    Does NFC technology work only after you have identified yourself as the owner e.g. With fingerprint recognition?

  2. Casilda says:

    Safety issues

  3. graeme long says:

    i want to be able to pay my iinet bills at a post off i dont own a smart phone and dont like paying that way anyway you seem to forget about older people like me that dont use all this new Technology stuff im old school and i think there would be alot of people out there just like me that like to pay cash and not pay by smartphones think of us hey for a Change dont just cater for the younger ones

    • Brianna Burgess says:

      We aim to provide various payment options to accommodate for different payment preferences, Graeme. Don’t hesitate to raise any concerns with our Billing (13 22 58) team, a Customer Service Representative will be able to run through both clarifying processes and scheduling payments to make it as easy as possible.

      – Brianna

  4. Lyn says:

    I’ve used an app whereby my loyalty cards are on the iPhone and when I shop the retailer scans the loyalty card. Financing online is not an issue with me. Looking forward to this technology in Australia. Jeepers, PayPass is not yet nationwide so it will be a long while I think before ApplePay arrives. For me, that’s a pity.

  5. Kym says:

    I would love to use my phone for payments. So much easier for me!!!

  6. rick says:

    This is all getting very very sad indeed! When will the human species wake up and see what the globalists have done to them over the past hundred years? Do you people truly know what you are advocating here? Common sense and logic and the English language is being morphed and hardly anyone is noticing, what a disgraceful lot we have become!

  7. Missis Robbo says:

    yay great… only have to lose one thing and its ALL in the hands of the finder or thief to use as soon as they’re past your security, oh hang on, its all free for under $100.Pays for lunch while you hack away……. Beauty.

  8. stefan says:

    NFC technology I think is just brilliant. I am all for it, this makes life just a little bit easier and simpler. The sooner it comes on stream the better. Before long we will see all of this on a watch, even better still. Wallets are getting to fat and heavy and that’s not because there’s a wad of cash in them !

  9. Sally says:

    No I wont be supporting it.Saying a benefit being it frees up your wallet etc is silly .One card is all you need and that takes up no room.Security is just not good enough at this time and to leave yourself vulnerable with ALL the info from your phone would be madness.Its easy to get hacked and that would be like Christmas getting everything at once.

  10. Phillip Robinson says:

    All sounds wonderful but the proof will be in the pudding, I’ll be watching the developments on this one with interest

  11. As a Coordinator /Director of a not-for-profit organisation, it would be a huge help if the “retail” machine could be available to us for smart phone payments at movable events, eg exhibitions, markets, displays and workshops to receive donations, memberships, enrolments and product sales. What do you think? How could we get such a receiver.

  12. Kel Day says:

    Yep, mobile payment tech sounds good to me.

  13. Debs says:

    Cashless society…not really a fan but do see some benefits. But privacy a BIG issue

  14. Paul says:

    Will I have a choice! I doubt it. From what I’ve observed of paywave, it often doesn’t work or works when it shouldn’t. One person told me they scratched their card so it wouldn’t work at all, save it going off when it shouldn’t. I can imagine using one’s mobile will have its own tech problems, not to mention security ones. I guess if your cash is stolen that’s it, if your phone or card is stolen/lost, they can be cancelled, so the loss is contained if not avoided totally.

  15. GJ says:

    Great to hear of the new technology but where you say there is no secure way of making transaction can I refer you to POP (point of pay) technology already developed and in use by some banks, private companies and govt departments. This is a Subiaco based company which puts a secure net around all transactions and prevents ‘hacking. This technology has been around a while but now being rolled out to general market through 2016. Look up POP on internet for more information.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I don’t like the thought of my wallet going flat

  17. Franciscus Schutte says:

    I have a small metal wallet to protect my credit cards from being scaned by thieves
    How would I protect my phone from being scanned without my approval?

  18. Caroline Horton says:

    My main concern with wireless payments would be the security of my personal and banking information. I realise that the security of personal information can be stolen through a variety of means, but, does wireless payment systems create more of an opportunity for details to be stolen?

    Although I have raised this concern, I’ll probably still adopt this technology as I LOVE new technology and do try to take it up as quickly as I can.

  19. Don says:

    There was not enough information in this article to explain exactly how this swipe system works. If it is as easy as it looks then mobile phones would be more of a prime target by thieves than credit cards, and you could lose your money very quickly. It would also seem a very long time away before one could walk around without cash, or cards in the pocket, so I won’t be rushing in until the system is well proven

  20. Harald Peterson says:

    What are the risks if my phone is stolen?

    • Brianna Burgess says:

      Security risks would be dependent on the applications in use, Harald. We’d recommend contacting the supplier should you have any concerns!

      – Brianna

  21. Peter says:

    Once established in majority of retailers and security issues have been proven

  22. Wayne says:

    I am very hesitant to go that way, for security reasons!

  23. Anonymous says:

    great innervations keep going the future is ours

  24. Leon says:

    As a small business operator I welcome this technology and look forward to more banks embracing it and making it easier for the home services small businesses to adopt.

  25. Murray says:

    My “phone” does everything else, why not this.

  26. Gary says:

    I use PayPass often and think it’s great. Commbank (netbank) already have a tap and pay system in there phone application and iv been able to use this. I don’t see any problems with it and would like to see more stores use this function.

  27. S Kelsey says:

    who pays for the technology? Will this be a grab by the banks for the transaction costs. Surely the fraud risk is higher and will have to be funded from somewhere. User will be paying no doubt.

  28. Gordon says:

    I imagine it works like PayWave, which I use frequently. My phone has NFC capability but I’ve yet to see it available in retailers. Until then it remains deactivated. BTW I usually carry at least 2 means of paying for good One always needs a backup option contingency.

  29. Mrs Margaret Anne Ryan says:

    I will not be using it, never use my mobile phone for any financial transactions, never use the internet for financial transactions either. I know I am a dinosaur however even the pay pass system is not one hundred percent accurate, had a recent issue where by the bank at the other end of the service I used did a double deduction from my bank account. Only because I do not trust things and I checked the bank balance straight away was I able to get my bank to check it out. My only income is the age pension and I can not afford this sort of error, sorry will stick to cash, my eftpos card from my bank and the normal usage of my credit card .

  30. Mark Taylor says:

    We all want to feel safe in our way in which we do our normal transactions.. However, technology will continue to change everything to do with our lifes let alone financial transactions. Just reflect how far we have come from barter system to cash and now E.F.T. (electronic fund transfer) and its various ways…
    Simply put, changes are a part of life. Embrace it or not but hold on, the ride will still go… Smartphones are only the tip and start of the technology… Mark my words… in 20 yrs we wont recognize 2016..

  31. Paul Anderson says:

    I’ve been using ApplePay on my iPhone for a couple of months now, mainly for the gimmick of paying with my phone. I believe it’s more secure than PayPass as it won’t process the transaction until I approve it with my fingerprint. Only downside is that it currently only works with Amex, which not all retailers accept.