Australia’s mobile wallet Beem It eschews new fast-payments platform in favor of debit rails
Beem It, a startup owned by three of Australia’s largest banks, has launched a free real-time social payments app designed to run on older debit networks instead of the country’s new faster payments platform.
Market research commissioned by Beem It indicates that, because of unpaid small debts between friends, Australia’s national unpaid “mate” debt is worth A$6.2 billion. To get around the embarrassment of asking a friend for repayment, Beem It offers the ability to request money through an app. Rather than use the New Payments Platform (NPP), Australia’s faster payments system, Beem It links to users’ debit cards as a means of achieving scale.
“There are about 43 million debit cards in Australia for a population of 24 million, so debit cards are ubiquitous,” said Mark Wood, Beem It’s CEO. “We think people prefer to receive their funds in the bank accounts they already have, instead of a third-party wallet. In Australia, millennials are highly skewed towards debit, while older demographics use both debit and credit cards.”
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