Optus have launched a new way to pay for things with the "Cash by Optus" range which promises "no more scraping for change or digging through your bag, simply grab your phone or payment accessory, wave and pay."
Only available to Optus customers, with a number of contactless device payment options, we tried it out to see if it does what it says on the box.
After loading up to $500 on to the Cash by Optus app, you can use a range of products utilising contactless Near Field Communication (NFC) and Visa payWave technology to make purchases under $100.
You can choose from a band that contains an NFC chip, a SIM for NFC ready smartphones, and a sticker for non-Android smartphones.
The band is similar in look and feel to a fitness band, but a little thinner. The chip can be easily removed for attachment to any existing band you may own, which is handy and stops you from looking like an avid festival attendee.
Although a scenario when you leave the house without your phone seems a little unusual these days, there are definite benefits with the band option for runners, surfers, or even kids that need to access funds without carrying anything else.
Some teething problems using the band were anticipated, but everything went smoothly. Vendors offering the service (any that took contactless payments) reported no additional setup to accept the payments.
The sticker option is similar to those offered by banks like CBA, but since it doesn't link to your bank account directly there is an element of extra security.
The bottom line is, yes -- it works. The extra step of adding funds to a separate app can be inconvenient, but safer. The service is only available to Optus customers -- which may prove limiting to its popularity -- but it is free.
Ben White, Acting Managing Director of Product and Marketing at Optus said, "Optus is excited to expand Cash by Optus with the introduction of the new payment Stickers and Bands. It has always been our aim to bring the ease and convenience of Cash by Optus to as many customers as possible, across a range of smartphones and these new payment accessories enable us to do just that."