Bankwest’s Halo is Australia’s first payment ring

By Addie Thomes

Aussie lender Bankwest has launched the country’s first payment ring in conjunction with Mastercard.

Costing $39 and with a transaction limit of $100, Halo is waterproof to 50m and works like a contactless bank card.

Cash as a payment method is on its way out of the Australian economy. Between 2010 and 2016, the proportion of payments made in cash dropped from 62% to 37%, now accounting for just 18% of the overall value of transactions.

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Bankwest General Manager, Customer Communications and Brand, Nichole Banks, commented: “Our customers’ lives are so varied and this ring offers them complete freedom to pay wherever and however they want. The likes of cyclists, swimmers, surfers and joggers will love the Bankwest Halo’s convenience.”

Mastercard Australasia’s Senior Vice President of Core and Digital Products Matt Barr is well-placed to comment on the country’s payments scene. In an exclusive interview with ANZ Business Chief, he observed: “It is certainly an interesting time for the Australian market. A lot of investment is being made in payment platforms, tokenisation platforms and ways to get customers embracing new digital experiences like P2P and push payments.

“I think you can see Australia coming close to cashless in the medium term. Cash will still be around for quite a long time in parts of the economy, but the data is showing pretty rapid declines in cash usage. Cash is expensive to handle and process, and many organisations I have spoken to are trying to take cash out of their operations.”

Last year Bankwest trialled a choice of wearable devices for colleagues and customers to use, and Halo is a result of the feedback generated from this phase of research.

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