Cash by Optus is the latest mobile payments solution to enter the local market and the first to be offered by an Australian telco. Like other contactless payment systems, it allows customers to instantly pay for goods and services below $100 with their Android devices. Best of all, the service isn't tied to a specific bank and uses your phone's inbuilt NFC which means no sticker is required. Hurrah!
Singapore picture from Shutterstock
Cash by Optus is the fruit of a new partnership with Visa and Heritage Bank. It allows customers on a monthly Optus mobile plan to replace cash purchases with Near Field Communication (NFC) and Visa payWave technology. The app can be linked to any Australian bank account.
The service requires an NFC SIM card that will be sent out upon request, as well as the Cash by Optus app which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. (Both products are provided free of charge.) Naturally, you'll also need a compatible Android smartphone -- head to Cash by Optus' website to check if your phone is supported.
In a similar vein to online payment services like PayPal, Cash by Optus requires users to load funds from their bank account into the application. The banking aspect of the app is handled by the aforementioned Heritage Bank. Once your account has been topped up with funds, you can also use it to make online purchases of up to $250.
According to Optus' VP of mobile marketing, Ben White, Cash by Optus is the first in a range of new contactless applications that are waiting in the pipeline. These will cover specific areas like public transport.
In terms of security, Cash by Optus uses the international EMV chip standard; the same used for Visa payWave transactions. Your account can also be closed upon request your balance returned (if your phone gets stolen, for instance).
Cash by Optus is available now. If you're one of the first 10,000 customers to sign up, Optus will also credit your Cash by Optus account with $15.