15,000 PIN-free CBA EFTPOS terminals

15,000 PIN-free CBA EFTPOS terminals

Summary: Commonwealth Bank of Australia said today that it intended to extend its network of contactless payment terminals by 15,000 before the end of the year.

TOPICS: Banking

Commonwealth Bank of Australia said today that it intended to extend its network of contactless payment terminals by 15,000 before the end of the year.

Contactless card and reader
(Credit: Commonwealth Bank)

The bank said last year that it would implement 2000 readers by the end of the year, but just missed its target, only reaching 1900. The bank had not then known exactly how many terminals it intended on rolling out this year.

The bank has around 160,000 terminals in total, meaning that only around 10 per cent would be equipped with the new technology, allowing holders of cards with relevant technology to pay bills quickly by card. Instead of swiping a card and then entering a PIN or providing a signature, those customers just tap their cards on the reader for purchases under $100.

The idea is to provide a quick, secure payment method to merchants for small and frequent purchases which customers would usually use cash for. According to Kelly Bayer-Rosmarin, Commonwealth Bank's executive general manager of business products and development, customers have been noticing the terminals and have been using them "organically".

"Contactless transactions are proving to be really simple for cardholders to use," the spokesperson said. "The readers have a green light that starts flashing to indicate the cardholder should 'tap' their card. The reader then 'beeps' to show the card has been read, and then 'Approved' is displayed on the screen to show the transaction has been completed successfully."

National Australia Bank (NAB) has also been rolling out contactless terminals. It had set itself a target of 2500 readers by Christmas, which in November the bank announced was already met.

The bank has not yet answered queries on how many more terminals it intends to change over to the new technology.

NAB's contactless payment service is a two-tiered one, with Visa payWave customers not required to sign or enter a PIN for transactions under $100, while the limit for MasterCard PayPass customers is $35.

NAB is now moving to equip its customers with cards carrying the Visa payWave technology. Commonwealth Bank has a head start in this area, having already issued over three million cards with the rival MasterCard technology.

Topic: Banking

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for the site.

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  • Security?

    So what i and im sure may other people will ask... what is stopping someone from stealing a key/credit card and spending money using these terminals?
  • No different

    Exactly the same system as someone stealing your wallet and spending the cash.. Nothing.
  • This seems insane to me.

    I generally have $50 or less in cash in my wallet, and almost never more that $100. If my wallet gets stolen, I'm not likely to loose that much in cash. But with this I could easily loose several thousand dollars before I notice my wallet was missing and reported it. I sure hope we can opt out of this.
  • Fools

    If its stolen you wont be liable, these technology's are already successfully being used around the world... try google maybe?
  • No different

    Except I cant steal the contents of your wallet with a RFID card reader from a distance of 2 metres.

    Contactless payment is a very poor idea.
    Do you like the idea of your wallet squawking its contents to any radio that listens?
  • Security is an issue

    You can't just discount a security issue with the argument that "everyone else is doing it so it will be ok".

    This story has appeared one working day before ZD NET has reported a security breach for the Qld Go Card system- another contactless card system.

    When it comes to people accessing their money in public, it is up to the banks to provide us with enough measures to ensure that we can transact safely and so far there hasn't been much publicity on this front.

    Systems with extra security (PIN / signatures) are breached daily, why should consumers put their faith in a system without even this basic form of identity protection?

    Yes if our cash is stolen it would be up to the banks to reimburse us, but I'd rather not go through the hassle of that and the intrusive feeling that someone has acceessed my account.
  • What about the merchants??

    If businesses are forced to accept these terminals, do we lose the money if it is a stolen card? I believe so. Not only do we lose the goods, the banks snatch the money back as well. Time to go back to cash only. With the exorbitant merchant fees banks charge, they can more than afford to cover our losses if their system is compromised.