Westpac unveils more flexible payment solutions in a bid to keep Millennials happy

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  • Payments functionality launched that allows customers to make money transfers through iMessage

  • Westpac have launched a suite of more flexible payment options recently, including a link up with Alexa and Beem

  • Banks are still the most expensive way to send money internationally, many money transfer companies offer similar flexible timesaving payment options at a fraction of the cost

The Australian international bank launched a new payments function which will enable customers using the iOS11 (Apple’s iphone operating system), as well as the Westpac banking app, to open up payment services while using iMessage. Customers will be able to activate the service, within their text message window, by clicking on the Westpac icon. This will allow them to make payments, generate a cardless cash code, share account details and more. The functionality will support customers to make international money transfers, within the iMessage set up, to family and friends, without the need to leave the text window screen that they are in. Android users will be wondering when the service will be made available to them.

This latest release is announced hot on the heels of a recently announced link up with Alexa, Amazon’s voice activated service. The new solution will allow customers to access their Westpac account details, recent transactions (up to 50) and reward points through the service. Amazon launched in Australia last December and it plans to roll out the voice activated Alexa service on the continent in February.

Traditional banks are working hard to offer flexible services to their customers in a bid to up service levels, and remain competitive, as new fintech startups challenge the industry. In 2017, Westpac along with NAB (National Australia Bank) and Commonwealth Bank announced a collaboration to  launch a new person-to-person payments service app called Beem (similar to Paym).

All of these flexible payment options will make it easier to transfer money between friends and family, regardless of location, although it will not necessarily be the cheapest route. Many banks charge a transaction fee for sending money abroad and offer less than favourable exchange rates usually 4% over the interbank rate. Partner with a money transfer broker, many of whom offer similar flexible payments options, apps and links with iMessenger, What’s App and others. You could also save considerably on transfer fees (some do not charge for this service), as well as gaining a rate that is between 0.5% to 1.5% away from the interbank rate. Use one of the peer to peer platforms and you may even beat the interbank rate. Take a look at our comparison quote tool to find the best international currency exchange brokers when sending money from Australia globally.

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