CBA launches CommBank app with NFC support

CBA launches CommBank app with NFC support

Summary: The revamped app for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 8 sees a merger of the bank's CommBank and Kaching apps.


The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has reduced its app portfolio with the merging of its existing CommBank and Kaching apps into a new CommBank app that will support near-field communication (NFC) payments.

The app will be available on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 8 (WP8) platforms; however, WP8 will miss out on the payment functionality. NFC payments will be supported using the secure element built into Android devices, but the exact devices to be supported were not announced by CBA.

PayTag on the back of an iPhone
(Image: Seamus Byrne/CNET)

For iOS devices, due to the lack of an in-built NFC element, a MasterCard PayTag sticker on the back of the iOS device will provide compatibility with MasterCard's PayPass technology. The bank said that the infrastructure to support PayTag was built predominately in-house, and that no actual communication occurs between the CommBank app and the PayTag sticker; all verification of payments takes place within the CBA core banking facilities, meaning that there is no actual requirement for the sticker to adorn the case of a phone, and it could be put onto any object that the user desires.

Users who wish to make use of the payments functionality in the app will have to pay a one-time AU$2.99 fee, and if they choose to use the PayTag, they will have to wait to have the sticker mailed to them.

Other functionality offered in the app includes new swipe gestures to quickly see a nominated account balance and ATM locations; the ability to pay bills via QR codes; changing a card PIN number within the app; and Kaching functionality that allows for payments via Facebook, email, or phone number.

The original CommBank app, launched in 2011, has been downloaded over 3.7 million times, and has almost 2 million active users.

The bank said that it has seen contactless payments grow sixfold in the past 12 months, and that Australia is the leading PayPass market in the world.

"As the only Australian bank with an NFC payment solution for both iPhone and Android devices, this will transform the way our customers make everyday payments," said Angus Sullivan, executive general manager, cards, payment, analytics, and retail strategy.

The app will be rolling out across its three supported platforms throughout the rest of the year and into 2014.

Topics: Mobility, Banking, Australia


Chris started his journalistic adventure in 2006 as the Editor of Builder AU after originally joining CBS as a programmer. After a Canadian sojourn, he returned in 2011 as the Editor of TechRepublic Australia, and is now the Australian Editor of ZDNet.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Wait, am I on drugs or...

    My 920 which has native NFC can't use tap and pay but the iPhone which doesn't have NFC can???
    Admanus Rex
    • Glue helps the iPhone

      With a credit card (without the magnetic chip, name in-prints, and chip contacts) stuck to the back of it, sure can.
    • Nope, the iPhone isn't getting NFC payments

      It's just a small credit card stuck to the back of the phone, there is no communication between the phone and the mini credit card stuck to the phone.
      I can stick my myki transport card to the back of my phone also, effectively doing the same thing, lol.
  • I want NFC payment on my Windows Phone!

    I have a Lumia 920, with built in NFC, and CBA aren't going to bring NFC payments to it in the app update, are you kidding?
  • Not in a million years

    There have been enough cases locally (I'm in a rural area) where "Pay-Wave" readers have picked up on a card in the user's wallet instead of the one being presented, that many local businesses have disabled "Pay-Wave".

    When I can walk past a person and harvest credit card information with a "netbook", why would I trust this technology at all?