Coles Launches Mobile Wallet For iPhone And Android

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.


Comments

    I don't get it. If I've got built-in NFC, why do I need a tag?
    And why isn't this on Windows Phone too... oh wait...

      Plenty of Androids and all iPhones don't come with NFC chips, so I'm guessing it was easier to ignore it. (In fact, Coles' recommends that you switch NFC off if your phone has it.)

        Easier? Developer requests access to NFC chip, access granted. Done.

          Where do you then store your credit card details, ensuring they can't be used by anyone or any other app that's installed?

            Host Card Emulation?

              Security issues: vulnerability in OS (or giving an app root access) -> stealing credentials.
              It's a shame, though. Host card emulation is a great idea, but it just isn't really safe. (Mind you, neither is having your browser have you credit card in auto-complete but it happens...)

                Ahhh fair enough. Thanks for the clarification. I knew there would be some sort of security issues (as there always is). Though I am still intrigued by the idea of NFC payments.

                  I love the idea of NFC payments, to be honest.
                  The thing is that *some* manufacturers are including NFC chips that include a 'secure element' which allows storage of important secret data in such a way that it can be used for NFC but not read from the chip. The Galaxy S4 is one of these, and that (combined with the popularity) means there is a strong drive to implement NFC payments - as the Commonwealth Bank has.

                  I'm not 100% clear on who actually controls who has access to use the secure element on the phones. For example, in the US Verizon was able to allow one company to use the secure element, and not allow another. Also, SD cards and SIM cards can have secure elements integrated, but I have no idea how they link with NFC.
                  It is all a bit of a confusing mess.

      Once Google Wallet is available in Australia and not just the US, all these stick on tags will be redundant. You'll be able to store multiple cards in your google wallet and tap your NFC enabled phone to pay.

      Last edited 16/07/14 9:28 am

    The Coles PayTag is exactly the same size/format as the CBA PayTag, however it obviously looks different, and has your flybuys barcode printed on it.

      If it would fit on my key chain, then it may be a good idea. Though it still isn't as I'm not going to get a coles mastercard just for my shopping...

      Last edited 16/07/14 8:55 am

    Anyone who gets one of these is an idiot. Stop letting coles take over your life. This service exists for no other reason than to gather statistics and information on who bought what (or what age bought what and so forth), information that then contributes to the overall statistics they use to squeeze suppliers, enjoy being spammed too. wake up.

      It's exactly the same as people paying for their purchase with their Coles Mastercard & Flybuys.

      I don't shop at Coles, but at Woolworths always scan my Everyday Rewards card every purchase I make. Whenever they have sale on products I buy regularly - either the same brand or a competing brand, I get an alert. I'm not ashamed of what I buy, so couldn't care less. What do you buy that you're so embarrassed about and don't want people knowing?

      They already have that info already on your coles mastercard.

      Why are they an idiot?

      This service does not exist for no other reason to gather statistics. It's no different to CBA, ANZ, NAB. They all offer credit cards and CBA (maybe the others too) offer the stick on paytag for your phone.

      They can already get this information from your FlyBuys regardless of what card or payment method you use. If you've got your tinfoil hat on tight, then it would be best to just always pay with cash everywhere you go. I dont though, because I like to earn the points from FlyBuys, and paying using my debit card allows me to track my expenditures through my banks online portal.

      Btw, I dont get spammed from Coles. I've had FlyBuys with them for a few years now and I only regularly get their deals email which I can opt out of at any time (but dont want to).

    I don't get it... Why not just glue my current nab pay wave card to the back of my phone?
    What is the advantage of this idea, it's hardly integration.. If I tape my house keys to my phone can I then say "Audiofyle launches mobile house keys"?

    Am I missing something or is this just a credit card sticker?

      I don't know, I suppose if you're comfortable with having to remove your card if you need to swipe it, sure.

      It's about convenience. Sure, it might not take a lot of effort to take your wallet out, but if your phone's already in your hand, why not swipe that?

      I wouldn't call it integration either, but the mindset is, you wouldn't leave the house without your phone or your keys, hence the reason for the paytag or keyfobs.

    It's not less useful because it requires a pin for purchases over $100, it's less useful at merchants that don't have contactless payment terminals.

      Yeah, CBA's cardless cash feature almost makes me want to give up my wallet... except that I have student travel concession cards i need to carry, etc. Maybe I'll have a thinner wallet, though.

        I have a phone case with some card holders in it with my drivers licence and go card in it.

    so, if you stick the coles and cba on your phone?

      Why???
      If you have the CBA tag, then wouldn't the Coles one would be redundant? I see no reason for both.

    How exactly does it lessen the usefulness if you need to enter a PIN for purchases over $100? Is it really that hard to press a few buttons? You're still paying contactlessly.

    This is no different to paypass/paywave. It's still a hell of a lot quicker and more convenient than strip or chip.

      Really don't see the point over using a pay wave card.

    CUA announced a similar app too. Type in your CC details and your phone number and you can pay for stuff using NFC. It's about damn time, but I couldn't get it to work (I'm rooted and on 4.4.2)

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