In a move that is sure to boost the profile of mobile payments in Australia, CBA has announced that its customers will now be able to Tap & Pay using their mobile. The service will be available to the 3.2 million registered users of the Commbank app that have an NFC enabled Android smartphone.
The news has emerged during a period of speedy evolution for mobile payments, with the latest Apple iPhone having ‘Apple Pay’ pre-installed in the US, and Samsung announcing its foray into the market with ‘Samsung Pay’. CBA has chosen to rollout the feature following strong contactless payments figures in Australia, with 60% of purchases under $100 now being made this way.
‘Customer demand for convenient mobile payment technologies continues and we are focused on innovative payment features which deliver on this,’ said Angus Sullivan, Executive General Manager of Consumer Finance and Payments Strategy at CBA. ‘Today, we are providing Android customers with a real mobile wallet solution which simplifies payments on-the-go.’
The bank has collaborated with Mastercard on the project and will use both NFC technology and Host Card Emulation (HCE) technology to enable smartphones to replace cards in the Tap & Pay process. The service is available on Android phones with NFC technology and running on an operating system of 4.4 and above.
For the largest retail bank in Australia, the move is about enabling customers to make transactions as smoothly as possible. With increasing importance of the smartphone in their customer digital lives, the bank sees it as a positive step:
‘Our evolution of [the] CommBank app is focused on delivering a simple and convenient mobile experience with relevant and valuable features that exceed user expectations,’ said Lisa Frazier, Executive General Manager of Digital Channels at Commbank.
With this news, many pundits will be awaiting news from the rest of Australia’s leading banking institutions about their mobile banking ambitions. ANZ has already stated it will release a mobile wallet this year and like CBA, noted the uptake of the Tap & Pay system as being a positive step for innovation:
‘Australian’s have taken to contact payments at an enormous level, we are noticing that the majority of customers who have cards that are contactless are using them,’ Peter Tilton, head of digital secure channels told OmniChannel Media in November. OCM.
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