Samsung and Bendigo Bank opt for QR codes over NFC payments

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank telecommunication subsidiary, Community Telco Australia, and Samsung Electronics Australia have launched its retail point of sale mobile payment solution, redy. The payment solution offers customers the ability to make payments using their Android or Apple mobile device with the redy app by scanning a QR code that is displayed on a dedicated Samsung redy tablet at the point of sale. To maintain security, each QR code is automatically and uniquely produced by the bank's system every time a new transaction is processed. At the same time, no customer information or shopping data is passed onto the merchant, and all transaction receipts are kept on the app. The app can be linked to a Bendigo Bank savings account, and for non-Bendigo Bank customers they are able to link it to any Visa or Mastercard account. But redy is not just a shopping tool. It can also be used for donations as well. For every purchase, customers are rewarded with "creds", virtual currencies earned in real-time and worth half a percent of every transaction. With these "creds", customers can choose to either donate it to a charity or local initiative, or keep it and use it for future purchases with redy-enabled businesses. Customers will also have the chance to access their own funds via redy to make donations too. Community Telco Australia CEO David Joss said while mobile payments is in an emerging segment, there has been no other solution that represents enough value to drive a change in consumer behaviour. "We've developed a solution that is secure and offers quick payments, but it's certainly more than that. It engages shoppers with businesses and communities around a cause, and that cause drives enough value to change consumer behaviour," he said. "We believe this engagement between the consumer and the business and community will make a change in the behaviour to bring people to mobile technologies because we believe ours is a purpose driven technology." For merchants to use redy, they need to be a Bendigo Bank customer and it will cost $25 a month for a redy-enabled Samsung terminal that relies on 3G/4G network connections, plus 1.5 percent service fee per transaction. However, the terminal has been designed to complete only redy transactions. Joss said the initiative will encourage consumers to shop locally — a fight that many local businesses have been struggling with since the rise of online shopping. "We see the advent of online shopping really take off, but sometimes that's at the expense of local retailers," he said. "Although we are a business looking at embracing new technologies, we're looking at doing so in a manner that drives a deeper level of connection with customers, and we're doing that by using technologies to assist our customers to solve the problems they face every day." Craig Gledhill, Samsung vice president of enterprise and small and midsize business for Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia, echoes the cause of redy and suggests it's more than just another mobile solution. "What Bendigo has done is built a platform that engages the community that looks at the needs and solving a business problem and challenges that companies and small businesses have out there," he said. "It's really about survival and how can I be more relevant to my customer base and how can I bring value to them. And this payment platform takes it to that capability because it engages with their customers, which will engage with their customers, and gives them a reason why they should belong together and transact." Joss said the bank opted to use QR codes over the use of NFC or low-energy Bluetooth technology because it's a "common denominator" across all mobile devices, complimenting the "openness" of the app design. Redy was piloted earlier this year across two communities in central Victoria where the response was "overwhelmingly strong". From today, the service is being expanded to Melbourne, Adelaide, Bendigo, Geelong, South West Queensland,Tasmania and in Victoria's Yarra Ranges, with Joss indicating that it will be expanded into NSW in coming months. In addition to this, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank lead of customer led connections Andrew Cairns said in the second half of the year there'll be "considerable deployments of new customer experiences" that will be taken up by the bank, "across convergence, across mobile banking, across electronic banking, and new ecosystem designs".

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