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Monday, 19 December 2011 13:55

55 days for Kaching


It took 55 days between the all-singing, all-dancing unveiling of the Commonwealth Bank's Kaching iPhone App in October and its eventual arrival today on the iTunes store. It doesn't leave much time for anyone hoping to do any Christmas shopping using the new peer-to-peer payment app.

But like the Charlton Heston epic 55 Days in Peking - there may have been a long wait, but eventually at least they made it out.

Given that the iTunes store was already home to apps including Kaching, Ka-Ching and Kerching, the CBA has however been forced to rebadge the app as Commbank Kaching.

When it was originally unveiled the bank's chief information officer Michael Harte said the app could be available within a matter of days. In fact it took almost eight weeks.

And although the bank was originally predicting that its Near Field Communication enabled iPhone case, which in conjunction with Commbank Kaching allows an iPhone 4 or 4S to operate as a digital wallet, would cost $30-$40, that has come in with a $49.95 price tag (plus $5 for postage and handling).

With the phone slipped inside the NFC case, and Commbank Kaching loaded up, people can pay using contactless technology on MasterCard's PayPass terminals. The bank's claiming it as a world first.

Commbank Kaching allows users to make a payment to another Commbank Kaching user via their mobile, transfer money via email or to a Facebook friend. People with the NFC cover can also choose which of their accounts or cards can use the NFC capability.

For security purposes the app is designed so that the NFC capability only works for the first 60 seconds of Commbank Kaching being activated, after that it is automatically disabled, although it can be switched on again by the user. CBA is providing the same reimbursement guarantee regarding unauthorised NFC payments from Commbank Kaching that it offers on the 5million PayPass cards that it has issued.

To protect user's privacy and security all transaction and banking information is stored in the CBA's data centres, rather than the iPhone and to access the app people need to log in via Netbank or using a PIN.

CBA has signalled that it intends to track patterns of activity and the use of the app for Facebook payments, which will be important to identify and arrest any money laundering attempts. For payments made to Facebook friends the recipient will have to be sent separately, via SMS or email for example, a special code that they can then input along with their bank account details to complete the transaction and have the funds transferred.

The bank today claimed that more than 18,500 people have so far pre-registered for the app.

An Android version is in development.


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