Mobile commerce is here in a big way: Visa Checkout launches in New Zealand

  • Technology
  • December 10, 2015
  • Elly Strang
Mobile commerce is here in a big way: Visa Checkout launches in New Zealand

New Zealand is the 16th global market that Visa Checkout has been launched in.

The technology allows customers to store their card and shipping information in a secure account, so that they only need to enter a username and password at the checkout.

Visa New Zealand and South Pacific country manager Marty Kerr says it brings online payments closer to the simplicity and speed of payWave in a face-to-face environment.

From a retailer’s perspective, Kerr says, it solves a couple of big challenges.

“Drop out [by customers] at checkout is a big problem at the moment, and we’ve seen encouraging results in overseas markets with a 67 percent improvement in checkout conversion. As part of the checkout experience, you never leave the merchant’s website.”

A survey Visa commissioned showed that more than half of respondents have stopped an online transaction on desktop, laptop, mobile or tablet because filling in information was too much of a hassle.

Repeatedly entering shipping and payment details each time they bought something was also a frustration commonly felt by 35 percent of Kiwis.

Kerr says for consumers, the massive pain point of constantly having to enter card details is solved.

In many instances, he says the payment method is as quick as two clicks of a button.

Head of Visa Checkout for Asia Pacific, Greg Storey, says there’s a growing trend for people using smaller and smaller devices, such as tablets or smartphones, to buy items.

“We know from the data that there’s an abandonment [in payments] we want to solve. Merchants want high conversion and people are buying things on buses and trains in a hurry, so they want an easy, fast experience.”

The new payment system syncs across all of a user’s devices, from desktop to smartphone.

New Zealand retailers who have already signed up so far include Flight Centre, The Warehouse Stationery, The Warehouse, Torpedo 7 and Noel Leeming.

The Warehouse Group will roll out Visa Checkout in 2016.

Chief digital officer Craig Jordan says there’s been a huge increase in the number of customers shopping online and on mobile devices, with over 50 percent of its traffic coming from mobile.

“Visa Checkout is a natural step. Couple that with the launch of two Warehouse Money Visa cards this year, and we are leading the way in providing value, ease and choice for our customers,” Jordan says.

Hoyts and Event Cinemas are also embracing the new technology.

Event Cinemas saw the value in offering the service because of how important mobile commerce is for the business.

General manager of operations Carmen Switzer says mobile is the fastest-growing way its customers are buying tickets.

“Our customers pick their movie, session time, their seats and even candy bar treats on our mobile website and the Event Cinemas app,” Switzer says. “Completing their transaction with us quickly, in a trusted and hassle-free way, is critical to our business.”

Storey says the technology is also helping merchants to encourage customers towards mobile commerce.

“With the cinema industry, their goal is not only to increase sales but to move people from the physical box office queuing up – a mobile initiative and agenda. In many countries they’ve incorporated Visa Checkout into their process. Their goal is to migrate behaviour to mobile, they report to us that consumers love it and find it easy to transition to mobile.”

Storey says New Zealanders have been known to embrace mobile shopping in a big way.

A survey undertaken by Frost and Sullivan of the New Zealand Mobile Commerce Market in 2014 has shown that over 80 percent of Kiwis aged 15+ own a phone. A YouGov survey of 500 people in 2014 saw more than half of respondents made their last purchase on a mobile device, and 77 percent of them said they’d make an online purchase using their smartphone.

“The premise of Visa Checkout is perfect for the New Zealand market,” he says.

ASB, Kiwibank, BNZ and Warehouse Money are all part of the new service, but consumers can load cards from other banks as well.

Other recent mobile payment developments:

  • ANZ’s mobile wallet called goMoney launched this month and is available to around 90,000 of its customers. Payments can be made in the same way as a contactless card, with a pin required for transactions over $80. “Mobile wallets are the next evolution in payments, and will enable customers to make purchases with just a tap of their mobile phone. Ultimately, this could mean the end of physical wallets of cards and cash,” ANZ managing director of retail and business banking Fred Ohlsson said.
  • New Zealand’s first mobile wallet, Semble, launched in March this year in partnership with ASB and BNZ customers and more recently added a public transport card to its offering. Nine months on and just under a quarter of terminals in New Zealand allow contactless payments. Semble hasn’t disclosed how many customers it has, but said in a recent report “thousands of Kiwis” are using it.

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