CommBank makes NFC play with Kaching

CommBank makes NFC play with Kaching

Commonwealth Bank of Australia has unveiled Kaching, a mobile phone application and case capable of conducting NFC-based, e-mail P2P, and Facebook payments from a single handheld device.

Commbank Kaching combines peer-to-peer payments via the phone's contacts and email addresses, and 'social payments' via a user's Facebook friends along with NFC contactless technology.

Reflecting customer uptake of CBA mobile banking services, Kaching will initially be available on the iPhone only. Seventy-nine per cent of smartphone log-ins by CBA customers arrive via an iPhone, says the bank.

CBA is mounting a big investment in mobile technology on the back of a recent surge in uptake by consumers. Figures reveal that in August this year, over 16 million logons were made to CBA's online platform NetBank using a mobile device. This represents a 229% increase from the same period last year.

David Lindberg, executive general manager cards, payments and retail strategy says: "The recent explosion in uptake of digital and smartphone technology has revolutionised how we all transact, interact and communicate with each other, and this new application will make the dream of mobile payments a reality."

The Kaching app will be freely available from Apple's app store. Once the customer has selected an account to both receive and make payments from, Commbank Kaching will enable them to pay anyone via MasterCard PayPass, an email address, phone number or Facebook friendship. Depending on the format selected for payment, the transaction will either take place instantly, or generate a unique code for delivery to the recipient, allowing them to access their payment online at a convenient time.

Users wishing to activate the NFC functionality will need to use an iCarte cover - billed as an interim technology by the bank - which is available for purchase during the app installation process. With the cover in place, customers can make payments of up to $100 by a simple tap of a phone in retailers with MasterCard PayPass-enabled terminals.

"Mobile and online social payment is the next step in transaction technology," says Lindberg. "Already, more than half our 10 million customers own a smartphone, and Australians are 65 per cent more likely than the British to bank on their phones. Now, for the first time, Australian consumers will no longer have to rely on cash or cards to make payments to family, friends or even businesses."

Comments: (2)

Pat Carroll
Pat Carroll - ValidSoft - London 25 October, 2011, 15:00Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

It’s good to see a bank putting mobile payments right at the centre of its customer relations. A really positive step, and given Australians’ far greater tendency to use mobile payments, this could be a case of Oz taking the lead again. But I’m surprised that the 1.30 minute accompanying video doesn’t mention security once, given that security concerns regularly show up in surveys as the main reason for customer caution about mobile payments. It’s great for new-style payments to be so easy, customers need to know that they are secure. There is a great opportunity for some customer education and winning mind-share here

Paul Penrose
Paul Penrose - Finextra - London 25 October, 2011, 15:16Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Pat, from the Commbank PR: "Security is always top priority for Commonwealth Bank, and Commbank Kaching is no different. Password encryption technology ensures that a lost or stolen phone will not enable someone to access a user’s personal banking details. The app is authorised to be used on only one handset, and no personal banking information is stored on the phone.  Receivers of payments are also protected, with all un-retrieved funds being credited to the payer after 14 days."