Mobile Commerce

Australian Bank Coins Smartphone Pic Card Activation

For some Australian bank customers, activating cards just got as easy as taking a picture with a smartphone.

Westpac, a Sydney-based bank and financial services provider, launched its new mobile card activation capabilities that allow consumers to activate credit and debit cards using their smartphone cameras.

By applying what’s called Optical Character Recognition technology, Westpac enables its customers to use its mobile banking app on both iPhone and Android to activate those cards. The technology also streamlines the activation process by involving just three steps: scanning the card, confirming the details are correct and tapping to activate.

“We want to make mobile banking as easy and convenient as possible for our customers and that’s why we have launched card activation by smartphone camera. The new feature is a timesaver for our customers who can activate their card when and where it suits them without the need to call customer service, visit a local branch or manually type in card numbers,” said Mike Wood, Chief Information Officer at Westpac Group Consumer Bank.

“With over 2 million debit and credit cards activated by our customers in the past year alone, we are delighted to be the first financial institution to offer customers a simple solution that is safe and secure via the Westpac Mobile Banking app. Card activation via mobile is another demonstration of Westpac’s commitment to providing new and improved solutions to service customers’ everyday needs,” he added.

The card activation for smartphone is available for Visa, MasterCard and American Express credit cards and MasterCard debit cards. Westpac also noted that its card activation feature launch aligns with the rollout of Quick Balance on Apple Watch that can be paired with the Westpac Banking app for iPhone. That feature enables customers to find their account balance on the Apple Watch screen without logging in.

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