New infrastructure aimed at bringing EFTPOS payments products such as online, contactless and mobile payments to market significantly faster and more efficiently went live last week, signalling a new era for Australia’s EFTPOS as a central payments hub.

EFTPOS, which accounts for about 70% of debit card transactions, is owned by the big four banks, financial institutions, Coles and Woolworths. It lost ground in recent years to Mastercard and Visa, which have grabbed fees from the banks in the contactless payments market.

But EFTPOS ‘tap and go’ cards are expected to be ready by Christmas and will also take on Visa and MasterCard in the mobile contactless payments space.

The move follows a trial where EFTPOS online payments were made available to 350 consumers via a Coles website, in order to test the solution that was developed in consultation with a wide range of Australian merchants and financial institutions. EFTPOS is also working with ANZ and CBA on various online trials.

Managing director of EFTPOS, Mr Bruce Mansfield, said Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, ING Direct, Suncorp Bank and Strategic Payments Services (SPS) were already connected to the hub, with ANZ to follow before the end of the year.

“Just 11 months after we signed a contract with FIS to build the EFTPOS Hub, we are now live with a number of financial institutions and processing EFTPOS CHQ and SAV transactions,” Mr Mansfield said.

“We expect all of our members to be connected to the hub by September 2015, marking a significant achievement in industry cooperation.”

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