The Commonwealth Bank is capitalising on Australians’ predilection for smartphones and social media, unveiling a new service that allows customers to make mobile payments through Facebook and their mobile phone address books.
Commbank Kaching introduces the ability to make peer-to-peer payments using a phone’s contacts and email addresses, and via their Facebook account to friends- a world first for any bank.
The service will also allow processing of business payments to occur through near field contactless (NFC) technology.
According to CBA, the move to contactless transactions will open up a range of payment options for businesses, to be paid on the spot through their email address, phone number, BPAY or Facebook account.
Business Products and Development general manager Kelly Bayer Rosmarin said sole traders and small businesses stood to benefit from the flexibility of mobile payment functionality.
“It’s perfect for those who operate on a mobile basis (such as personal trainers or electricians), require quick payment or those for whom cash is not always the preferred option. Even better, if both parties have Commbank Kaching, the business will be able to receive instant payment through mobile peer-to-peer payment functionality.”
Australians have been quick to adopt contactless technology, with more than one million “Tap & Go” transactions taking place in August 2011. There are now over seven million MasterCard PayPass enabled cards in Australia and over 42,000 merchant terminals where MasterCard PayPass can be a means of payment.
“Commbank Kaching represents the next, exciting evolution for contactless payments, giving customers the power to pay with their smartphone at any of the 42,000 MasterCard PayPass terminals already installed at merchants locations across Australia,” Rosmarin added
Commbank Kaching will come with password encryption technology and the app is authorised to be used on one handset only, with no personal banking information being stored on the phone.
Currently over half of CBA’s 10 million customers own a smart-phone. Those with a Netbank login who adopt the new service, can have the new Kaching service set up and running in minutes, following installation of the free app from the App Store on their phones.
Users can register their interest for the app, and CBA will let them know when it’s available for download from the iTunes store.