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Live Payments Launches LiveTap – contactless payments for phones and credit cards

Australian payment provider, Live Payments, has developed a tap-to-phone contactless payment system called LiveTap and plans to roll it out to merchants later this year.

LiveTap is powered by Malaysian fintech-as-a-service provider, Soft Space, and enables users to tap their phone, wearable or credit card on a merchant’s NFC-enabled Android device to accept contactless card payments.

The release says that LiveTap will help drive down the ‘Payment acceptance’ obstacles merchants face, and will enable customers to have a seamless experience for both in-store and mobile payments.

However, tap-and-go payments have already been normalised in Australia with the RBA stating, in 2019, that rapid acceleration had seen them grow to make-up 55 per cent of all transactions:

According to the Bank’s 2019 Consumer Payments Survey (CPS) – which was conducted in late 2019, prior to the onset of COVID-19 – contactless tap-and-go payments accounted for around 55 per cent of in-person transactions by number, following strong growth in preceding years.

Royal Bank of Australia

That was pre-Covid during which contactless payments soared with cash transactions effectively being banned from that time. Nowadays it’s common to see Australians make sub-$10 transactions from market stalls accepting payments on system’s like the Square Reader. As such there’s some doubt as to whether there are any acceptance barriers left when Live Payments states it’s, “Helping drive contactless payment acceptance in Australia”

Live Payments acknowledges this to some extent stating, “The news comes as card payments continue to rise in Australia, with 87 per cent of Australians in 2021 preferring to use cards including digital wallets, compared to only 7 per cent who choose to pay with cash.”

Nonetheless, LiveTap allows customers to simply tap their smartphone, wearable or physical card on a merchant’s Android NFC-enabled mobile device to accept contactless card payments.

CEO of Live payments, Reuven Barukh said, “The payments landscape is becoming increasingly fragmented. It’s now all about managing multiple payment methods, having simple and convenient options and adapting to customers’ needs – our LiveTap solution addresses this directly.”

The release states that Live Payments has harnessed the mobile card acceptance technology of its app-to-app payment partner, Soft Space, allowing its secure APIs to be integrated with Live Payments’ platforms.

It adds that, with no additional hardware or device required, LiveTap is an[other – ed] option for SMBs and micro businesses that may not have the resources for full point-of-sale infrastructure. SMBs (employing fewer than 20 people) make up 97.5 per cent of businesses in Australia.

Joel Tay, CEO at Soft Space said, “This solution takes full advantage of Australia’s love affair with contactless transactions. Live Payments has proven itself as an innovator in the market, serving not only large companies but those all-important small business merchants too and our synergistic partnership will go a long way to support them in this quest.”

Barukh added, “As more consumers prefer the speed and convenience of a cashless payment option, the rollout of LiveTap with our merchants will drive the adoption of this type of technology, helping both consumers and businesses benefit from convenience as well as reducing the risks of cash handling. And all this is achieved without the need for merchants to use a dedicated payment terminal.”

Time will tell how transformative the new system will really be.

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