A combined effort by some of New Zealand’s biggest banks and telcos is set to see the launch of Semble, a SIM-based NFC mobile payments service. Vodafone, 2degrees, Telecom and bank-owned payments network Paymark are set to launch the service to allow New Zealanders to make secure payments, collect loyalty points and use public transport with their mobile phone.
According to the details of the launch, close to one million Kiwis can download the free Semble app to their Android handsets and request a new SIM from their telcos which represents between 20 and 25% of the total population. Users can then add credit and debit cards and make contactless payments via their mobile device.
Commenting on the launch Semble CEO Rob Ellis, “We have produced a mobile wallet that can cater for a wide range of services and what we are launching today with payments is just the beginning. We look forward to welcoming many more service providers to the Semble marketplace, including more banks as well as loyalty cards, public transport cards, ticketing, offers, vouchers and much more.”
In the United States, the collaborative effort of Softcard failed to gain traction and has subsequently been sold to Google. In New Zealand, there is a similar potential issue in that the top two banks in New Zealand have opted to leave the JV and launch their own mobile wallet solutions. As a result it will be interesting to see how Semble evolves in the future and whether the industry collaboration model can work.
Overview by Tristan Hugo-Webb, Associate Director, Global Payments for Mercator Advisory Group
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