BNZ launches new, cheaper contactless pay option for Android users

Payment via contactless phones
There is no word when Apple's similar phone payment functionality will hit Aotearoa. Photo credit: Getty Images

Small businesses in Aotearoa have a new option for accepting payments after the Bank of New Zealand launched BNZ Pay this week.

The mobile app transforms an Android device into a contactless payment terminal, enabled by new 'tap-on-phone' technology.

According to the bank, it's the first of its kind in New Zealand and provides the "lowest cost solution in the market" for contactless card payments.

In February, Apple announced functionality that would allow payments to be accepted by tapping iPhones together.

However, Tap to Pay was only made available to businesses in the United States, with Apple unable to confirm whether it will come to Aotearoa in the future.

BNZ executive of customer, products and services, Karna Luke, said the bank was excited about how BNA Pay will change the game, particularly for smaller businesses.

"Whether you're a weekend market vendor, a local café or food truck, a sole trader or taxi driver, you’ll now be able to accept contactless payments – Kiwis' preferred payment option – for the lowest cost in the market by simply using an Android phone.

"NZ Pay is safe, secure, and easy to use with an intuitive interface and a dashboard where the business can see all the sales and business info, it can issue invoices, manage customer profiles, and send receipts by text or email," Luke said.

The use of contactless payments has been increasingly popular in New Zealand, although retailers - and particularly small businesses - can be impacted by the cost of such solutions.

That's led to many introducing 'convenience fees' or the likes for contactless payments.

"We've seen a seismic shift in consumer preferences around payments, especially since the beginning of the pandemic. In branches, cash use is way down, and according to RBNZ's report only 70 percent of Kiwis now use cash at all," Luke said.

"That's a big decrease from 2019 when the survey found 96 per cent still used cash. Businesses need to be prepared and able to take payments from their customers in the ways they want to pay them."

To help with costs BNZ was also making the functionality free for merchants who settle into a BNZ account free until January 2024, it said.

"After that, BNZ Pay will only cost $10 per month, and only in the months it's used. That's less than half the cost of the next cheapest option and means a reduction in overheads," Luke said.

"When BNZ Pay is combined with Packaged Pricing, a small business would be paying fees of around 1.1 percent on average for all contactless cards."