Australia Supermarket Chain Launches NFC Pilot (Feb. 20, 2013)
Feb. 20, 2013
Australian supermarket giant Wesfarmers Ltd.’s Coles is conducting a small pilot of a MasterCard mobile wallet that enables customers to pay using NFC-equipped phones through an app that automatically links to the store’s loyalty program.
The three-month pilot, conducted in partnership with GE Capital Australia, Vodafone and Gemalto, involves 60 Coles supermarket consumers in a limited experiment, but Coles plans to expand the mobile payment pilot to include more consumers and stores later this year, according to various media reports. Customers participate by downloading the store’s payment app and linking a credit or debit card to it. Each time a customer pays using the mobile app, they automatically earn points in Flybuy, a brand loyalty program in Australia that includes Coles, Target, Kmart and other merchants.
Coles, which ranks second behind Woolworths as Australia’s largest supermarket chain, last year upgraded all of its grocery store payment terminals to support contactless payment. MasterCard this month said 10 percent of all transactions in Australia under $100 are conducted using its PayPass contactless technology. Coles operates more than 2,200 retail outlets in Australia, including 749 Coles supermarkets. Coles also owns other Australian stores, including Bi-Lo supermarkets, First Choice Liquor Superstores, Liquorland, Vintage Cellars and Coles Express. Coles’ retail locations together amount to 18 million transactions per week, Wesfarmers said.