Wednesday, 11 March 2015 15:29

CommBank app adds NFC Tap & Pay for Android users


Which bank is enabling contactless NFC payments via Android smartphones to a user base numbering 3.2 million registered users? The bank than can.

Australia’s Commonwealth Bank has launched a new version of its CommBank app, which it says is Australia’s most popular, with 3.2 million unique users and approx 2.35 million of those logging in each week to securely manage everyday banking and payments.

The newly updated app introduces various new features today, alongside ‘innovations’ included in the app last year which the bank says is ‘resonating’ with its customers.

Lisa Frazier, the Commonwealth Bank’s Executive GM of Digital Channels, said: “Our evolution of CommBank app is focused on delivering a simple and convenient mobile experience with relevant and valuable features that exceed user expectations. CommBank app’s most recent features Cardless Cash, Lock & Limit, and International Money Transfers are proving popular.

“Cardless Cash has helped around 370,000 customers withdraw cash without their card at an ATM or enable a loved one to withdraw cash in an emergency. Lock & Limit has given our customers peace of mind, with over 360,000 transactional locks and limits set within the app.

Over 35,000 credit cards have been temporarily locked whilst their owners determine if they’ve lost or simply misplaced their card, while PIN changes and card activations remain the favourite self-service features in the app.”

But that’s what has already been introduced, so what’s new in the Commbank app zoo?

Tap & Pay for Android, that’s what. From today, this feature will be available on Android phones with NFC capability running Android OS Kitkat 4.4 and above. It uses Host Card Emulation (HCE) technology to enable Tap & Pay payments ‘on the most popular Android handsets’ and replaces the need to purchase a physical PayTag to make payments with a smartphone.

The CommBank App’s download page at Google Play notes that: “Payments from eligible transaction accounts only, not available for credit cards at this time)” and notes that you can “Also set up a widget for quick access to Tap & Pay”.

Angus Sullivan, who is another Executive GM at Commbank but in the Consumer Finance Payments & Strategy Division said: “Customer demand for convenient mobile payment technologies continues and we are focused on innovative payment features which deliver on this. Today, we are providing Android customers with a real mobile wallet solution which simplifies payments on-the-go.”

Andrew Cartwright, the SVP and Country Manager of MasterCard Australia said: “This collaboration between MasterCard and Commonwealth Bank places the power of mobile payment technology in the hands of more Australians. It also delivers the highest level of security for our cardholders who want a fast, easy and secure way to pay using their smartphone.

“We have seen rapid adoption of contactless payments in Australia, with more than 60 per cent of MasterCard transactions under $100 now made this way. MasterCard will continue to invest in technology that provides all Australians with a convenient and secure alternative to cash.”

The Commonwealth Bank has also banked several awards for its app, with its most recent being the Canstar Innovation Excellence 2015 award for its Cardless Cash, and Lock, Block and Limit features, getting the ‘Best’ designation, alongside the Innovative Online Banking Service in Money Magazine’s 2015 Best of the Best Innovation Awards, and finally the National iAward for Best Consumer Product.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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