Westpac customers who are owners of a Samsung Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge or a Note 3 and 4 now face the real possibility that they could be up for hundreds of dollars in costs if a Westpac Tap and Pay transaction is compromised on their smartphone.
It could also result in Samsung facing a backlash due to an incompetent Westpac Banking customer support operation.
Earlier today Westpac announced that Westpac Android customers with a new Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge can now use their device as a digital wallet, with Westpac announcing that Tap and Pay functionality will be available on the new devices from tomorrow.
Last week in New York my Westpac MasterCard was compromised when over $1,400 in fraudulent transactions appeared on my credit card.
Calling the Westpac support number on the back of the Westpac credit card I was left on hold for a total of 28 minutes which from New York added up to over $200 in call charges.
When I did finally get through an operator said that I had to be put through to their fraud department, after waiting another 14 minutes an operator answered and I was immediately cut off.
After calling back and going through the process for another 12 minutes I was finally able to talk to an operator who actually had access to my account. 2 minutes into the call I was again cut off after being put on hold.
After returning the call I asked whether a replacement card could be issued in New York, and that was another drama that I ended up walking away from after six minutes of talking to a computerised system that kept returning me to the MasterCard robotic menu system.
Yesterday on returning to Australia I again called Westpac to get a replacement card, after being passed to three call centre operators who could not help me because they did not have access to my account details, I finally got through to an operator who had access to my account I was now able to get access to Westpac documentation needed to report my fraud claim. Total time on the phone in Australia 1 hour and 35 minutes.
This is what happens when you deal with an organisation that makes billions in profits, charges over 18% interest on a credit card, late payment fees and dishes out fees for just about everything that is related to basic customer service.
The new Westpac Tap and Pay service will be available on the Samsung Galaxy S4, Galaxy S5, S5 Mini, Galaxy Alpha, Note 3, Note 4 and Note Edge handsets as of tomorrow.
Westpac claims that it allows Android customers who download the Westpac Mobile Banking app to make purchases by simply holding their mobile device to a contactless payment terminal providing a faster and more convenient experience.
In a Westpac press release Andy Kerr, Westpac’s Head of Retail Banking Products and Services blabbered on that “Australia leads the world in contactless payments and mobile banking experiences – banking is now something people do anytime, anywhere. With the existing mobile Tap and Pay service, our customers love the ability to keep paying for things even when they don’t have their wallet”. There was no mention of the fact that if anything goes wrong when a Samsung customer is overseas Westpac is forcing their customers to spend hundreds of dollars simply to report a problem.
“Recent Westpac research also showed that young Australians regard their mobile phone as more important than their wallet or card, so it’s great to be bringing the convenience of contactless payments, safely and securely via the Westpac Mobile Banking app, to even more smartphones.”
Westpac Tap and Pay is available for Visa, MasterCard and American Express credit cards and Debit MasterCard cards.