A shameless gimmick, an everyday tool, or a digital payments revolution? The verdict may still be out, but one year on from its launch, Bankwest has hailed its novel, ring-based payments solution – dubbed ‘Halo’ – an unalloyed success, with more than a quarter of all Halo customer purchases made through the device.
Analysis from customer spending habits for 2018 reveals that more than one in four (28 per cent) ring-based payments were made by Halo-bearing customers with a joint debit Mastercard account; with around 15,000 rings in circulation, the positive results offer credence to further investment in unconventional, though practical, payments solutions.
Bankwest Executive General Manager, Customer Solutions and Insights, Pieter Vorster, was roundly impressed by its customers’ ready uptake of the digital accoutrement, revealing what he feels is Australians’ eagerness to embrace novel payments technologies.
“The speed at which using the Bankwest Halo has become the norm for so many of our customers shows how flexible Australians are in the manner in which they want to be able to pay for their goods and services,” he said.
The payment ring also saw a significant usage bump during the Christmas shopping period, accounting for more than a third (38 per cent) of all debit transactions over December by customers signed up to Halo.
Despite little to no learning curve, usage data for the payments accessory nevertheless showed an incremental process of trial and adoption by customers, revealing at least some initial reticence in vesting full trust in the technology.
“When the ring first arrives in the post it seems, perhaps understandably, the customer is a little wary and will test the waters by buying a few low-value items at first,” Vorster said.
“But, after a few days, they’re getting used to it and the value of the transactions they make go up and soon it becomes their main method of paying at the till,” he said.
The technology has also had somewhat unexpected benefits for an often marginalised group of customers. According to a Bankwest release last September, the “simplicity and ease of use” of Halo has given motor disabled customers “a level of independence” rarely considered in other payments solutions.
With our power of data combined
Of course, any customer service innovation is only as good as the data it brings in.
Vorster said Bankwest has made “conscious moves” to embrace a “data-driven and insight-led” development strategy, fully utilising data generated from their various payments technologies – now also including Apply Pay, recently adopted by Bankwest’s parent, CBA, as part of a company-wide rollout.
“[As] we tap into the potential of using this wealth of data, we’re constantly looking for new opportunities to innovate our digital channels, to make it simple and easy for customers to bank with us,” Vorster said.