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Aussies want to pay with their phones

A person paying a merchant with their phone

In the highly competitive environment of consumer banking, finding comparative advantage over major players is a rare opportunity. However, recent research by Telsyte shows clearly that the reluctance of major banks to adopt digital wallets such as Apple Pay, Google Pay (formerly Android Pay) and Samsung Pay has created an opportunity for those institutions who have led the way in offering their customers more choice in the way they pay.

Aussies will move banks to pay with their phones or wearables
Recent research shows that mobile and wearable payment solutions like Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay are increasingly influencing consumers’ choice of financial institutions.

The Telsyte study found that around one in five (22 per cent) iPhone users claim they are more likely to bank with a provider if it supports Apple Pay. This figure increases to 32 per cent for those who are also using an Apple Watch. This research shows a clear opportunity for financial institutions to differentiate from the major banks to acquire new customers – particularly those using Apple devices.

Mobile payments are growing in Australia
Although the number of payments made by mobile devices is still comparatively small, the use of mobile payments is growing quickly year on year. The RBA reported in its 2017 Consumer Report that only 2% of consumers had used a smartphone, watch or band to make a payment. This figure has grown exponentially to 14%, according to Telsyte’s study in 2018. This could be due to increasing understanding amongst consumers that mobile payments are more secure than Tap & Pay cards, which I discussed in my recent article on digital wallet security.

Other key takeaways from Telsyte’s research that have implications for financial institutions that are considering offering mobile payments to their customers include:

  • Smartphone sales were up 11% year on year, 9.2 million units sold in 2017
  • There are 19.3 million smartphones in circulation in Australia
  • Android/Google based smartphones made up 55% market share, Apple with 45%
  • Growing price is being driven by need for greater internal storage (supporting greater capabilities and use)
  • 85% of consumers replace an Apple iPhone with another iPhone, Samsung at 70%
  • For the first time, more smartwatches were sold than smart bands in 2017 (58% v 42%)
  • Apple watches lead the smart wrist wearables market in Australia, with now over 1 million Apple smartwatches in the country. FitBit were the leader in smart band devices

We were an early partner and adopter of mobile payment solutions, offering Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay to our clients. At Cuscal we support over 41 financial institutions offering Apple Pay, Google Pay and/or Samsung Pay to their customers.

By Trent Gunthorpe, Head of EFT, Acquiring and Digital

Apple Pay coming to eftpos for Cuscal sponsored FIs

apple pay is now available for eftpos cardholders

Sydney, 6 February 2018: eftpos, Australia’s own debit payments network, today announced eftpos-only cardholders from six Cuscal sponsored financial institutions can now use Apple Pay, which is transforming mobile payments with an easy, secure and private way to pay that’s fast and convenient.

eftpos Acting CEO, Mr Paul Jennings, said that leading independent payments company Cuscal has worked with eftpos to enable six financial institutions to launch eftpos for Apple Pay today, offering their eftpos cardholders the choice of using Apple Pay with eftpos.

The Cuscal sponsored financial institutions include CUA, FCCS, Nexus Mutual, People’s Choice Credit Union, SCU More Generous Banking, and Woolworths Employees’ Credit Union.

Mr Jennings said Apple Pay with eftpos will provide eligible eftpos cardholders with the ability to make eftpos purchases on their iPhone or Apple Watch using their own money, processed in real time.

Security and privacy is at the core of Apple Pay. When you use an eftpos card from participating financial institutions with Apple Pay, the actual card numbers are not stored on the device, nor on Apple servers. Instead, a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted and securely stored in the Secure Element on your device. Each transaction is authorised with a one-time unique dynamic security code.

“Today marks another significant milestone for eftpos as we enable more consumers with an iPhone or Apple Watch to choose eftpos to make a transaction from their CHQ or SAV account,” Mr Jennings said. “As Australia’s most used debit card network, we are thrilled to provide consumers from these participating financial institutions with more payment choice, with added benefits of enhanced security and convenience.”

In stores, Apple Pay works with iPhone SE, iPhone 6 and later, and Apple Watch. To set up Apple Pay, cardholders from participating banks and credit unions simply need to open the Apple Wallet app in iOS 11 and follow the prompts.

Cuscal’s General Manager Product and Service, Robert Bell said: “Tens of thousands of eftpos cardholders can now pay with their iPhones, providing greater choice for our clients’ customers. We provide leading digital payment solutions to our clients, helping them to compete on a more level playing field with the big banks.”

For more information on Apple Pay, visit:

This press release was originally published by eftpos.

About eftpos
eftpos is the most widely used debit card system in Australia, accounting about 2 billion CHQ and SAV transactions in 2017 worth more than $130 billion. For more information on eftpos, please visit:

About Cuscal
Cuscal is Australia’s leading independent provider of payment solutions including card and acquiring products, mobile payments, NPP, fraud prevention, EFT switching and direct entry. We process 14% of Australia’s EFT transactions, have over 7.5 million cards under management and switch and acquire for around 35% of Australia’s ATMs. W: L:

Media inquiries:

Warwick Ponder, eftpos
0408 410 593

Jo Savill, Cuscal

Smartphones – high security digital wallets

Customer paying with a digital wallet on a smartphone

When it comes to purchase convenience and security, Tap & Pay cards are the current leaders. But it is becoming clear that digital wallets are in the running to replace them. It is no longer a matter of “if” but “when”, with today’s announcement that eftpos cardholders can now use Apple Pay, adding to the suite of card schemes available on digital wallets. In addition to the convenience and ease-of-use benefits of digital wallets, it’s their cutting-edge, multi-layer security that makes them the better and safer option for payments.

However, surveys consistently show that customers are concerned about the safety of digital wallets. This concern arises in part from poor communication on how digital wallets are implemented and how they work. Digital wallets were designed to address the security flaws in cards and create a more secure payment method. They are safer than cards, by design, and their security starts with the smartphone.

The multi-layer security of the digital wallet
The security advantage digital wallets have over cards begins with their access to the computing power and features of the smartphone, including specialised security hardware for protecting personal information. This gives the digital wallet app secure storage for payment information where other apps or malware cannot access it.

  1. The first layer of security in a digital wallet comes into play when cards are added to the digital wallet app. Cards can be added using the phone’s camera, typing them in, or transferring them directly from some financial institutions’ apps. The app requires that the person adding the cards is verified as the owner of the cards before they can make payments. This may involve a one-time password sent via SMS to the phone or via email, or even a quick chat with customer service.
  2. The second security layer is the customer and how they control access to their phone. That control can be a PIN or pattern passcode, and, on more recent smartphones, biometric verification using their fingerprint, face or eyes. If the phone is lost, no one can use its digital wallet to make purchases without passing verification. However, for ease of use, some digital wallets do allow the customer to make small purchases without unlocking their phone.
  3. The third layer of security is called tokenisation. To increase transaction security, digital wallets do not store card details or share them when a payment is made. Instead, a token is generated when a card is added. This token is transmitted instead of the card details when a payment is made.

The token is a unique number that links the card to the customer’s device and digital wallet. This allows a customer to register the same card on multiple devices and with multiple digital wallet providers. It is generated by the payment infrastructure provider used by the digital wallet. The payment infrastructure provider stores the original account information on a heavily secured system called a Token Vault.

When a transaction is made the token is used by the payment processor to retrieve and verify the original card information from the Token Vault and complete the transfer of funds. The merchant never sees the actual card details and the account information never travels outside of secure networks. An additional benefit of tokenization is if the user loses their phone they do not need to cancel their card, but they do need to lock or remove the card from their digital wallet. Digital wallet providers have online services to do this in the event of a lost phone.

Finally, digital wallets are protected by the same 24/7 computer-based fraud monitoring and zero liability protections as Tap & Pay cards.

More than POS payments
Digital wallet providers are actively expanding the functionality of their apps. Digital wallets can be used to make purchases within apps and for online purchases. Some digital wallets can automatically provide your delivery address as part of an online transaction. The digital wallet may also store loyalty cards, event tickets and boarding passes that can be scanned from the screen of the phone.

As more transaction types are handled by digital wallets their use will continue to grow. With that growth will come a demand for financial institutions to offer their customers access to the digital wallet provider of their choice. Banks that won’t or can’t will lose customers.

Transitioning to digital wallets
Customers are already choosing financial institutions that are compatible with their phone and digital wallet provider. This is a clear signal that the technology is proven and spreading from early adopters to the mainstream. At the same time, the back office technology has been tried and tested. Deploying digital wallet services is now easier than ever.

Today or tomorrow, your customers are going digital. Be there for them. Find out more about our digital solutions.

By Trent Gunthorpe, Head of EFT, Acquiring and Digital

Cuscal partners with Samsung Pay

Using Samsung Pay to purchase items in a store

Sydney, 15 June, 2017 – Samsung Electronics Australia today announced a partnership with Cuscal, Australia’s leading independent provider of payment solutions that will enable 38 financial institutions to offer Samsung Pay.

Samsung Pay is a secure and easy-to-use mobile payments service available on compatible Samsung devices including the Gear S3 smartwatch and the Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones1.

People’s Choice Credit Union, Credit Union Australia (CUA), and Teachers Mutual Bank are among some of Cuscal’s clients now offering Samsung Pay and the partnership will enable mobile payments for a combined total of 1.7 million cardholders.

Cuscal joins Westpac, Citibank and American Express as Samsung Pay partners.

Richard Fink, Vice President, Mobile Division at Samsung Australia said:

Through Samsung Pay’s partnership with Cuscal we are providing millions of Australians a convenient and safe payment option. Every partner we bring onboard, whether it be a financial institution or retail brand through our Samsung Pay loyalty functionality, brings us a step closer to helping customers replace their wallets with their Samsung smartphone or smartwatch.

The announcement comes as Samsung Pay marks its first anniversary in Australia. During its year of operation in this country, Samsung has now partnered with over 40 payment card brands and has over 100 different types of loyalty cards loaded onto Samsung Pay – making everyday payments and loyalty point collections simple and secure for Australians.

Robert Bell, General Manager of Product & Service at Cuscal said:

We’re really pleased that our clients’ customers can now use Samsung Pay. Our aim is to allow all of our clients to offer their customers the newest and best payment options available, to help them compete with much larger players. With the addition of Samsung Pay we continue to fulfil this promise to them.

Cuscal’s 38 financial institutions now available on Samsung Pay are: Australian Unity, Bank Australia, Bank of Sydney, Beyond Bank Australia, Big Sky Building Society, Catalyst Money, Central Coast Credit Union, Central Murray Credit Union, Community First Credit Union, Credit Union SA, CUA, Customs Bank, Defence Bank, Firefighters Mutual Bank, First Option Credit Union, Holiday Coast Credit Union, Horizon Credit Union, Illawarra Credit Union, Intech Bank, MyState, Nexus Mutual, Northern Beaches Credit Union, P&N Bank, People’s Choice Credit Union, Police Bank, QT Mutual Bank, Queenslanders Credit Union, Reliance Bank, SCU, Select ENCOMPASS Credit Union, South West Slopes Credit Union, Teachers Mutual Bank, The Mac, The Rock, UniBank, Unity Bank, WAW Credit Union Co-Operative, Woolworths Employees’ Credit Union Limited.

Samsung Pay has more than 870 bank partnerships worldwide and there has been more than 240 million transactions processed over the past year and a half.

For more information about Samsung Pay visit

Media contact
Jake Waddell 0417 312 902
Jo Savill 0447 555 018

1 Samsung Pay is available on the Samsung Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6, S6 edge, S6 edge+, Galaxy A5, Galaxy A7, Galaxy S7 and S7 edge and from April 28, 2017, the Galaxy S8 and S8+. Compatible wearable devices include the Gear S2 and Gear S3 smartwatches. Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge do not support the MST functionality of Samsung Pay.

Cuscal enables clients to offer Apple Pay

Lady buying a coffee with Apple Pay

Sydney, 15 November 2016: Cuscal, Australia’s leading independent provider of payment solutions, today enabled 31 of its clients to offer Apple Pay. Apple Pay offers an easy, secure and private way to pay that’s fast and convenient.

Our clients offering Apple Pay include People’s Choice Credit Union, Credit Union Australia and Teachers Mutual Bank. With all clients together this makes over 4 million cardholders. This continues our history of enabling our clients and their customers to use the latest payment innovations.

“Our clients were clear, they wanted their customers to be able to use Apple Pay. So we made it happen. Today we have enabled 31 clients to offer Apple Pay and we expect even more in coming months. Our digital wallet (Pays) solution connects our clients’ cards to Apple Pay and it also connects our market-leading white-label mobile banking app directly to Apple Pay,” said Craig Kennedy, Cuscal Managing Director.

Apple emphasises that security and privacy is at the core of Apple Pay. When you use a credit or debit card with Apple Pay, the actual card numbers are not stored on the device, nor on Apple servers. Instead, a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted and securely stored in the Secure Element on your device. Each transaction is authorised with a one-time unique dynamic security code.

Australians are world leaders in adopting contactless payments and Apple Pay is the next step in making payments even more convenient, safer and easier to use.

Apple Pay is easy to set up and users will continue to receive all of the rewards and benefits offered by credit and debit cards. In stores, Apple Pay works with iPhone SE, iPhone 6 and later, and Apple Watch.

Cuscal’s 31 clients which made Apple Pay available to their customers and members today are:
Bank Australia, Bank of Sydney, Beyond Bank Australia, Big Sky Building Society, Australian Unity, CAPE Credit Union, Central West Credit Union, Illawarra Credit Union, Catalyst Money, Community First Credit Union, Northern Beaches Credit Union, Credit Union Australia (CUA), Credit Union SA, Defence Bank, EECU, First Option Credit Union, Goldfields Money, Goulburn Murray Credit Union Co-Op, Holiday Coast Credit Union, Horizon Credit Union, Intech Credit Union, Laboratories Credit Union, My State Bank, The Rock, Northern Inland Credit Union, People’s Choice Credit Union, Police Bank, Customs Bank, QT Mutual Bank, Select Encompass Credit Union, South West Slopes Credit Union, Sydney Credit Union, Teachers Mutual Bank, UniBank, The Mac (Macarthur Credit Union), Warwick Credit Union and Woolworths Employees’ Credit Union.

For more information on Apple Pay, visit:

Media contact:
Jake Waddell 0417 312 902

Cuscal will connect clients to Android Pay Day 1

Mobile phone paying at POS terminal
Sydney, 16 December 2015
: Cuscal, one of Australia’s leading providers of end-to-end payments solutions, is pleased to announce that it will be ready to connect its financial institution clients to Android Pay as soon as it launches in Australia.

Cuscal’s clients include over 70 Australian financial institutions to which it supplies a range of products including credit and debit cards and a mobile banking app with HCE contactless payments capability. All of these will be able to connect to Android Pay.

Commenting on the launch of Android Pay Adrian Lovney, Cuscal’s General Manager of Product and Services said:

“It’s a very exciting time for mobile payments in Australia and Cuscal is right in the thick of it. We have been working with Google to make sure that our clients will be able to connect to Android Pay from Day 1, giving them a level playing field to compete with the big banks for their share of customers’ mobile wallets.”

Media contact
Jake Waddell 0417 312 902

Shoppers switch to smart phones


Sydney, 21 May 2015: Customers using their Android phone for ‘tap and pay’ purchases are most likely to be buying their groceries or a takeaway meal, spending an average of $27 per transaction, according to new data to be released at a national conference in Melbourne today.

In July last year, customer-owned financial institution CUA became the first banking provider in the Asia-Pacific to roll out a free mobile app using HCE technology, which allowed customers to ‘tap and pay’ with any compatible Android phone. The mobile app – CUA redi2PAY – was developed by CUA’s payments provider Cuscal and works on any NFC-enabled Android phone running on KitKat 4.4 or later.

CUA Head of Customer Insights Chris Malcolm and Cuscal Head of EFT, Acquiring and Digital Colin Sultana will share insights into how customers are using their ‘mobile wallets’ as part of a case study on the redi2PAY implementation at the Australian Cards and Payments Summit taking place at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre today.

Mr Malcolm said groceries were the top retail category for redi2PAY transactions, followed by fast food, petrol stations, restaurants/ dining and alcohol purchases.

“Interestingly, the top five retail categories for redi2PAY mobile payments are the exact same retail categories where CUA customers make the highest number of Visa PayWave purchases using their debit card,” he said.

It appears that CUA’s early adopters of mobile payments technology are literally swapping their debit card for their mobile phone, using it for the same kind of purchases as they would have made with a traditional plastic card.”

Customers using redi2PAY are also using it more frequently – the number of customers using redi2PAY more than 35 times per month was around three times higher in March than it was six months earlier in October. The number of customers using mobile payments semi-regularly (5 to 14 times per month) is up 63 per cent for the same period.

The data also shows:

  • Customers spend an average of $27 per transaction when using CUA redi2PAY – the same as the average amount for Visa PayWave purchases.
  • The number of redi2PAY transactions spikes towards the end of the week (Thursday to Saturday). Saturday has the highest number of redi2PAY transactions, while
  • Sunday has the least. Visa PayWave transactions also peak on Saturday, while Monday has the lowest number of payments.
  • Most mobile payments occur between 12pm and 8pm, with a spike from 1-2pm. The trend is similar for Visa PayWave payments.
  • The number of redi2PAY transactions each month has increased by more than 16 per cent since September 2014.
  • December 2014 recorded the highest value of redi2PAY transactions for a single month, coinciding with the lead up to Christmas.

CUA and Cuscal have already been recognised in Australia and Asia as pioneers in mobile payments. A leading financial research company in Asia, IDC, recently named CUA redi2PAY as one of the top 25 mobile innovations in financial services for 2014-15.

“There is huge potential for this technology to fundamentally change how people pay for purchases,” Mr Malcolm said.

“People tend to take their smart phones everywhere they go and now, the need to also carry cash and cards in your wallets is becoming a thing of the past.”

He said approximately eight times more CUA customers now have a compatible Android phone which could be used for redi2PAY, compared to a relatively small group of customers who had the required technology when redi2PAY was launched 10 months ago.

“We’re seeing increased take-up of this HCE technology across the banking sector, as others follow our lead. The use of ‘mobile wallets’ will only continue to grow as customers become more familiar with the technology and its security features, and upgrade their Android devices to the latest models.”

Media contact
Jake Waddell 0417 312 902

Cuscal set for early adoption of Apple Pay solution

group meeting

Cuscal is excited about the announcement from Apple today that it will support payments in its new iPhone 6, together with iOS8 and has called it Apple Pay.

Adrian Lovney, General Manager, Products and Services believes that Cuscal is in a prime position for early adoption to the new Apple Pay solution.

“With Cuscal’s work to date regarding tokenisation we can leverage the ongoing development of our HCE app, previously only available for Android devices,” said Adrian.

“This ensures that we are in a key industry position for early adoption to the new Apple Pay solution. As you might expect, Apple’s announcement positions themselves as the gatekeeper to the Apple ecosystem (unlike the Android HCE approach which is more open).”

Apple has announced that as part of iPhone 6 they will be launching their NFC enabled mobile payments service (Apple Pay) in partnership with the key schemes, specifically Mastercard, Visa and Amex as well as initially the top six issuers in the USA, covering 83% of cardholders. This includes tokenisation through the schemes and a secure element embedded in the phone itself. Substantial hardware upgrades of existing iPhones to the iPhone 6 will be required before Apple Pay is widespread, however with the launch of Apple Watch also incorporating NFC capabilities in 2015 we understand that this will bring NFC capability to the current iPhone 5 and iPhone 5c.

The device will have preloaded applets for each of the schemes, which Apple will provision secure credentials directly into the embedded element from iTunes or add new by taking a photo from the iSight camera.

Adrian continued that “While Apple has clearly indicated their intent to launch this in the USA in the first instance we anticipate that Australia will be a focus as a fast follower to this initial roll-out. As Australia has one of the highest rates of contactless availability Cuscal is excited to welcome the new Apple capability and provide our clients with a quick-to-market solution ready for the Australian Apple launch.”

“When we can we will incorporate this functionality within Cuscal’s payment platform, as well as within Cuscal’s mobile banking and payment suite.

“As a major Australian issuer we intend to be on the frontline of this exciting new development by Apple, allowing our clients to continue to be at the forefront of mobile payments.

“We believe that a combination of Apple’s NFC based solution and Cuscal’s HCE offering will finally bring an end to the Secure Element (SE) wars and allow consumers to access NFC payments on the device of their choice at an affordable price point,” he concluded.