With Square Knocking, Australian Bank Enters m-POS Market (Apr. 30, 2014)
Australia’s Commonwealth Bank could be looking to get out ahead of Square’s eventual arrival Down Under. The bank reportedly is set to launch a mobile payment device of its own in a bid to capture a chunk of the small merchant market before the famed m-POS startup’s rumored arrival in the country. Dubbed Emmy and set to be released in June, the device connects to an iPhone via Bluetooth and can accept chip-and-PIN or contactless payments.
While Square has yet to announce definitive plans to enter Australia, the company was reported in January to be eyeing the market, hosting the country’s communication minister at its San Francisco headquarters. But even with Square remaining on the sidelines for now, Oz’s m-POS landscape already is thriving. Among the providers already to market are Commonwealth rival Westpac Banking Corp., mobile payment processor Mint Wireless and PayPal, which earlier this month announced plans to launch a revamped version of its PayPal Here m-POS system, which first landed in Australia last year.
Commonwealth is offering competitive pricing. Emmy will cost AU$30 (US$28) a month, plus a 1.5 percent commission on all payments over $1,500 (US$1,390) each month. By comparison, Mint charges 3.2 percent per transaction, while PayPal Here takes a 1.95 percent cut, with an extra fee for invoices. Square’s pricing in the markets where it operates currently—the U.S., Canada and Japan—ranges between 2.75 percent and 3.5 percent per transaction.
But the Australian m-POS pie might be big enough to support multiple players. The Asia-Pacific region is considered one of the top growth markets for mobile payments, which are forecasted to increase from $73.8 billion in 2013 to $205 billion over the next four years, according to research firm Gartner.
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