by Byron Connolly

Bankwest unveils ‘Halo’ payment ring

Jan 25, 2018
Risk Management

Bankwest on Thursday launched ‘Halo’, a ring that enables users to make ‘tap and go’ payments as an alternative to cash or a contactless card.

The $39 wearable device – secured by Mastercard TM – is waterproof up to 50 metres and does not require charging or an associated mobile phone app, the bank said.

The ring links to a customer’s transaction account and works like a contactless payment card. It is the result of a trial completed last year.

Bankwest said the device has been made possible through the organisation’s agile approach to working. Staff with skills in design thinking, software engineering, product development and marketing have worked with a multi-disciplinary team to bring the product to market.

Team practices included daily stand-up meetings which involved representatives from key areas such as legal, compliance and architecture providing feedback to ensure Bankwest maintained a robust approach to risk management during the initiative, the bank said.

Bankwest executive general manager, technology and transformation, Andy Weir, said in a statement that the bank’s new ways of working were crucial in bringing the ring to market much faster than traditional ‘waterfall’ delivery models.

“Bankwest is leveraging both new technologies and new ways of working, to meet rapidly changing customer needs and we’re transforming into an environment with the very best technology, design and creative professionals, who think and act differently,” he said.

“The team used a mixture of lean, agile and design-thinking, within an iterative test and learn approach. It’s been hugely energising and satisfying to see the new ways of working in action, which provide a great test case for our customer-obsessed approach,” he said.

In 2017, Bankwest recruited a team of experienced agile and ‘customer outcome-oriented’ software engineers from a local technology company.

Bankwest’s engineering manager and team member Michael Roberts, said agile principles have been carried straight through from the tech firm to Bankwest.

“We’ve adopted an iterative approach with our key business stakeholders which has given us the autonomy to make decisions quickly. The next phase will be exciting as we gradually expand new ways of working across Bankwest.”

The ring can be ordered through the Bankwest website, app, or in store.