18 February 2004

Australian Banks, Telcos Testing Wireless POS - ePaynews.com

To facilitate POS transactions at temporary locations or for events such as trade shows, kiosks, market stalls, or in remote areas, Australia's Commonwealth Bank and telco, Braintree Communications, are collaborating on a wireless terminal that operates over a GPRS network. Other banks are testing the system, which delivers better mobility, simplifies network management and lower transaction costs, ahead of an expected rollout in March or April 2004.

In pilots of the wireless terminals, transaction data rates were reported to be"exceptional", and a CDMA version of the product will be released after the spring.

One year ago, Commonwealth Bank announced that its POS network would be upgraded to facilitate value-added services such as the sale of prepaid wireless services, ringtones, logos, gift cards, cinema vouchers and bill payments. By extending its POS network for future and wireless services,

Commonwealth Bank is effectively helping its retailers to recoup their fees from standard debit and credit card transactions, while generating new revenue streams. In mid-2002, another bank, St George, had participated in a small-scale deployment of new-generation POS terminals with a view to full rollout some 12 to 24 months later.

Businesses in Canberra, Australia, have meantime been advised to disable their POS terminals outside hours, after a spate of attempts by burglars to use the terminals to obtain refunds or credit on stolen or forged cards. Police have suggested that POS terminal owners change the log-in and password details on their devices as a preventive measure, and not keep these details near the machines. In other news, consumers in Australia are being warned not to give out their credit card details to a scammer who telephones on pretext of helping to resolve a fraudulent charge to their credit card, but who is in fact
using the information to his benefit.



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