Optus muscles in on mobile payments with NFC accessories range

Optus cashes in on contactless

Apple Pay may be officially available in Australia, but thanks to its restriction to American Express cards, it can hardly be considered ubiquitous.

And while Google has confirmed Android Pay is arriving this year with local bank support, there still a lot of opportunity for mobile payments to take off before then.

Optus recognises this, and has today launched a range of accessories for its Cash by Optus platform, which will turn your smartphone into a Paywave-compatible device for cashless payments under $100.

Banding together

Optus' new accessory lineup consists of three different options. The first, which is mostly for iOS users but will also work on Android, is an NFC-enabled "Optus Sticker", that brings mobile payment options to almost any device.

Attaching to the back of your smartphone, the sticker pais with the Cash by Optus app and lets you use your phone as though it were a contactless credit card.

The second option is a Cash by Optus SIM card for compatible Android devices. When inserted into an NFC-enabled Android device, the SIM card allows users to make contactless payments via the Cash by Optus app.

The third option, and perhaps the strangest, is a dedicated NFC wristband, which allows customers to make payments without using their phone at all. The Cash by Optus band is designed for joggers who want to leave behind their phone or wallet, but still want the freedom to buy stuff.

Give Optus your money and then spend it

The catch with the Cash by Optus is that it to make it work, you need to manually transfer funds to the Cash by Optus account before you can spend it using one of the above accessories.

By comparison, Apple Pay and Android Pay will connect directly with your bank account, allowing you to spend your money without an interim step along the way.

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Nick (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Australian editor, covering all the latest news and reviews from the Great Southern Land. Having spent the past decade editing some of Australia's leading technology publications, Nick's passion for the latest gadgetry is matched only by his love of watching Australia beat England in the rugby.