Supermarket giant Coles made its Mobile Wallet available to the public today, allowing customers to buy groceries at the register with a tap of their mobile phones. Here's what you need to make it work.
Coles' Mobile Wallet is a contactless payment system aimed at customers of its credit cards. As its name implies, it allows grocery shoppers to pay for their purchases via a mobile phone app. The service requires a Pay Tag which attaches to the back of the user's smartphone, along with a mobile app available for iOS and Android devices.
Contactless payments can be made at Mastercard PayPass terminals with the charges appearing on the customer's Coles Financial Services credit card account. In other words, you need a Coles MasterCard to take advantage of this service.
"Effectively a credit card and flybuys card in one, Coles Pay Tag features an adhesive side which allows customers to stick the small card to the back of their mobile phone," MasterCard Australia manager Andrew Cartwright explained in a statement. "Using existing PayPass terminals in store, including all Coles stores across Australia, customers can simply hold and pay."
We're a bit leery of any retailer that uses incentives to tie customers into credit card schemes, but the Coles No Annual Fee MasterCard actually isn't too bad. The card offers up to 62 days interest free on purchases, followed by 17.99% p.a. It comes with a rewards program of one flybuys point per $2 you spend and you can also get free delivery on card purchases of $100 or more. Not too shabby.
We've not seen the Pay Tag sticker so can't vouch as to how obtrusive it is. However, if you're already using competing Pay Tag stickers such as CBA's CommBank offering, you're phone is going to run out of real estate pretty quickly.
The service is restricted to purchases of $100 and under — for larger purchases, customers will be required to enter a PIN. While this is good news from a security perspective, it does lessen Mobile Wallet's usefulness somewhat; especially if you're shopping for a family. (Personally, I can't remember the last time my weekly groceries cost under $100.)
The Coles Mobile Wallet is a free service for Coles credit card holders. You can also use the app to access your account balance, available credit and transaction history.