St George meanwhile has released the Pay to Mobile feature for iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 7 and BlackBerry devices (even though a report in today’s Financial Review suggests that it only had 33 customers download a BlackBerry app during the whole of May, compared to over 18,600 iPhone downloads).
To use Pay to Mobile customers enter the mobile number of the person they want to pay, the amount they want to pay and hit transfer; the recipient is then alerted to the payment and directed to a website which allows them to input their BSB and account details to complete the transactions.
Asked what would happen if someone input the wrong mobile number and inadvertently sent a transfer to the wrong person, Mr Tyler said that the bank allowed users to cancel the transaction at any time. He said similar risks already existed for people using online banking who inadvertently input the wrong BSB or account details, but that of the 5.5 million transactions handled each month the bank typically had to perform a recall on fewer than 300 transactions.
St George has also limited the amount that can be transferred to what it calls “everyday” amounts. Mr Tyler declined to say what amount that might be, but said it was more than $100.
With regard to contactless payment and trials of Near Field Communication enabled technology, Mr Tyler said those trials were ongoing within the broader Westpac group. The iPhone 5 is expected to be NFC enabled, and Mr Tyler said that while the bank wasn’t waiting for that phone to be released “we are definitely planning for it.”