Eftpos in Australia

EFTPOS: The Front Lines Of Australia’s Bank Technology

Each day, EFTPOS handles just shy of 6 MILLION debit card transactions.

Wow. That’s a lot of Australians buying stuff digitally.

Aside from money, what drives something that massive? In the case of EFTPOS debit transactions, there are 14 of the largest banks in Australia and at least one Fortune 500 company in Citigroup Inc., which happens to be one of the single largest banking and real estate brokerages in the world. There’s some *big* money behind this program.

How do you even manage that many transactions per day?

Pretty simply actually, if a bit on the expensive side.

Transaction types happen in several different ways; point-of-sale debit swipes at a gas station counter, ATM transactions, sales via computer, and sales via telephone happen at a near-endless pace over the entire world. With 2.17 billion in money moved at 750,379 different EFTPOS terminals in 2011 in Australia alone, you start to see where 6 million debit transactions a day could happen.

Find out more about debit and credit cards on this site please click here.

EFTPOS is on nearly every debit or credit card in the entire country of Australia, often used by simply pressing CHQ or SAV.

Now, with the advent of smartphones and powerful mobile computing tools everywhere in the commercial world, there have arisen many new opportunities to expand how people do their business.

With a “simple” cell phone using the globally popular Android, iOS, and Windows phones providing users near-constant connection to the internet all over the world, consumers have begun to use their cellphones to manage their banking account and their spending, taking full advantage of the ease of use involved in purchasing online.

Also appearing are contactless debit cards called Paywave or Paypass cards, introduced by Visa and Mastercard respectively. These work by passing them in front of the card readers, removing the need for PIN numbers or another sort of identification. To prevent fraud, the transactions are often limited to $100 or less and these measures haven’t been integrated into bank cards.

Lastly, a recent release from Hitachi has consumers scanning their fingerprint as opposed to using cards. Already being rolled out in Japan are a line of cardless ATMs than scan a customer’s palm. EFTPOS is expected to move toward a similar function itself rather quickly, depending on the success they show in Japan. This would link these security measures to Citigroup, which is based in the US, and would likely have a quick impact on the global money market, such devices seeing spread into European and US marketplaces should they prove both successful and cost-effective.

Would be interesting to see Australia help change the way money is handled internationally, I think