Recently, Westpac showed off a new development in its banking services, but now it’s talking up something that interests us a whole lot more: contact-less payments handled by Android handsets.

Mobile payments could change for the better in the next year as Westpac joins forces with MasterCard to test a new virtual Debit MasterCard system.

Different from the Commonwealth Bank’s iPhone NFC accessory, the Westpac program will take advantage of a special customised SIM card, Samsung Galaxy S3 handset, and MasterCard mobile payment application when used in conjunction with MasterCard PayPass terminals.

When money is about to change hands, the phone will link up the NFC in the SIM card to check security and then allow a payment to occur.

“Mobile banking represents a significant change in the way customers and banks do business and Westpac customers will be instrumental in helping design the final application,” said Westpac’s Axel Boye-Moller.

Currently, the technology is undergoing a trial with participants including employees of Westpac and MasterCard, as well as external vendors, though Westpac does anticipate a launch for the card-less payment next year.