‘Perfect for side hustles’: NAB targets micro-merchants with contactless app
The National Australia Bank will look to fight back against US fintechs such as Square by launching a phone based contactless payment product designed to help micro merchants and individuals operating “side-hustles” receive payments from customers.
The business focused lender will launch the new offering, Easy Tap, which it claims will allow users to accept contactless payments when customers tap their card or phone on an Android phone or tablet.
NAB banking boss Andrew Irvine announces the Easy Tap app, tap on phone payment technology in a first for a major Australian bank.
“This is perfect for Australians with a side hustle,” NAB’s business banking boss Andrew Irvine said. “Think your local farmers market, coffee carts and mobile hairdressers who don’t want to lug around a payment terminal or dongle and who are looking for instant insight into how their business is performing”.
The move will pit NAB against PayPal and Block, Inc., whose subsidiaries Zeller and Square provide contactless payment solutions. The difference, said Irvine, is that Easy Tap will not require an additional purchase a dongle or payment terminal.
There will be no upfront fees for Easy Tap, charging customers a flat transaction fee of 1.4 per cent. Other competitors, such as the Zeller, run by PayPal, charge between 1.4 to 1.7 per cent depending on the type of transaction, whereas Square, run by Block, Inc. charges between 1.6 to 2.2 per cent.
The downside of a no-dongle or terminal product is that Easy Tap will only be available for customers with an Android phone. Apple, which has built its brand on privacy, does not give third parties access to its software – so iPhone users who are hoping for technology will have to hold out for the tech giant to launch its own version.
NAB isn’t the only bank to throw its hat in the ring of contactless payment solutions: Germany’s largest bank, Deutsche Bank, launched a similar product in Germany on Wednesday with merchant acquirer Fiserv. The product, known as Vert, offers the typical terminal devices offered by Square and Zeller, as well as an app which operates similarly to NAB’s Easy Tap.
Easy Tap comes as Australia catapults itself further into a cashless society. According to the Reserve Bank around 75 per cent of card payments in Australia were made with a debit card between 2021 and 2022, as the share of debit and credit card transactions via mobile wallets doubled between 2020 and 2022.
Last year, the average Australian made 650 electronic transactions, compared to 300 a decade earlier, and around 75 per cent of those transactions used debit and credit cards, the most commonly used retail payment methods in Australia.
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