CBA’s Kaching payments app, launched for the iPhone in late 2011, has from the get-go been able to make payments to people via their Facebook accounts. The Kaching Facebook app, scheduled for release by the end of the year, marks the first time that a major bank has attempted to allow customers to do their core banking transactions entirely within a social network.
It is a move which is likely to force other financial services businesses to reconsider their strategy. If CBA’s approach works then it will afford it a beach-head position in terms of being able to reach social network savvy customers, and especially young customers who perhaps shy away from traditional bank branches.
According to Andy Lark, who was formerly with Dell and is now the chief marketing officer for CBA; “The wars about the best way to pay someone - those wars are over.”
David Lindberg, executive general manger cards payments and retail strategy, today gave a demonstration of an early version of the app, which is currently under development. Speaking in Sydney where the bank also announced the long anticipated Android version of the Kaching payments app, Mr Lindberg said that Facebook users would be able to look at their different bank or credit cards from within Facebook and see what was available or owing, see a history of all their payments and transfer funds without leaving the social network.
Facebook users of the app will also be able to use it to send requests for payments to other Facebook accounts – and CBA expects both consumers and small businesses to be early adopters of the system.
The bank will rely on its netcode SMS message system as the security key for Facebook transactions. While CBA is not abdicating its responsibility for security – it is separating security and privacy.