Australia: Bank Launches iPhone App Supporting Contactless and P2P Payments
With its “Commbank Kaching” mobile-payment and banking app, Australia’s Commonwealth Bank enables its iPhone-packing customers to make peer-to-peer payments via email, SMS and Facebook and to transfer funds among their accounts. And for those with the latest two iterations of the phone, the iPhone 4 and 4S, they can make contactless payments of up to A$100 (US$99.32) without a PIN code or signature with an NFC-enabled attachment. Customers can order the attachment from the bank’s Web site for A$49.95 plus $5 for postage.
The service helps put Australia on the m-payments map. Commonwealth Bank offers one of the few mobile-payment services worldwide integrating both P2P and physical payments, via an iPhone app. The contactless portion of the service uses the iCarte attachment from Canada-based WirelessDynamics, though it's unclear whether consumers who want to use contactless payment will want to spend more than US$50 for the attachment when they can continue to tap their contactless cards. Overall, Commbank said it had received 18,500 preregistered customers for the m-payment and banking service leading up to the December 2011 launch. The bank considers the iCarte a bridge technology until more phones come with NFC built-in. Since it’s unclear when Apple will support NFC in its devices, especially for payment, NFC-enabled iPhone attachments could figure into the bank’s m-payment offerings for some time to come.
* Trusted Service Manager: Defined loosely to include companies or other organizations securely distributing, provisioning and managing applications, generally over the air, on secure elements in NFC mobile phones; or licensing their platforms for this purpose.
N/A: Not available or not applicable.
Last update: Dec. 2011