Contactless technology arrives for Melbourne merchants

21 September 2009

New payment technology enables customers to pay with a wave of the card

Customers will soon be able to pay for lunch with the wave of their hand, with NAB and Visa today announcing they will roll out contactless payment technology to more than 500 merchants in Melbourne this month.

Retailers including Sumo Salad and Pancake Parlour will install NAB Contactless Readers at their counters which are designed to speed up customer service and shorten queues.

Customers simply hold their Visa payWave-enabled card at the reader, which can read the information securely and immediately provides a transaction approval, without the need to sign or enter a PIN for purchases up to $100.

Steve Aliferis, NAB Executive General Manager Working Capital Solutions, said that contactless payments deliver multiple benefits to customers and merchants.

"Contactless transactions allow customers to simply hold their cards in front of a card reader to pay for purchases up to $100, without the need of a signature or PIN to get in their way," Mr Aliferis said.

"For merchants, the transactions can be up to three times faster than paying with cash1 , which means they can serve customers quicker and reduce queuing.

"The motivation for merchants to go contactless is customer convenience and the cost savings and revenue uplift associated with faster throughput and reduced cash handling costs. NAB expects to have deployed over 2,500 NAB Contactless Readers to merchants by Christmas 2009," he said.

Visa's General Manager for Australia and New Zealand, Chris Clark, said contactless payments are an ideal solution for merchants such as convenience stores, fast food outlets, cafes, supermarkets and petrol stations.

"The lead up to Christmas is the busiest time of the year for retailers, so the ability to serve customers quickly will greatly improve the experience on both sides of the counter," said Mr Clark. "With Visa payWave, customers don't need to juggle loose change or even take the card out of their wallet for it to work. We believe contactless payments will transform the retail environment in much the same way that contactless tolls have reduced traffic congestion."

NAB Contactless Readers are based on highly secure EMV chip technology with payments made via radio frequency. The payment information includes an encrypted security code that is unique to each transaction, making counterfeit fraud virtually impossible

Sumo Salad is one of the many merchants to have installed NAB Contactless Readers at their counters, ready for use for customers with a contactless card.

Luke Baylis, Managing Director of Sumo Salad, said: "We're in a competitive environment and customers want speed of service. From a business perspective, contactless payments offer an improved service for customers and also increase our ability to process more transactions per hour."

Mr Simon Meadmore, Director of The Pancake Parlour said "We see the introduction of contactless payments as a valuable step forward as Australians are increasingly moving away from cash transactions. Visa payWave readers are attractive to us as they create ease of use for both the customer and staff."

Contactless payments are well established globally. Worldwide Visa has launched Visa payWave programs with more than 40 issuers in 15 countries and territories.

For further information contact:

Yolande Hutchinson – NAB Business Banking
Ph: 0409 656 136

Judy Shaw – Visa Corporate Relations
Ph: 0418 415 965 or

  1. Average Visa payWave transaction including printing of receipt takes 4-6 seconds, compared with 12-14 seconds for cash (Visa Smart Card Deployment Study in Taiwan and Malaysia, conducted by Deloitte in 2006).