Commonwealth Bank customers get access to Samsung Pay

​Adding Samsung Pay, the bank now boasts Android Pay and payments via Garmin smartwatches, but there's still no sign of Apple Pay.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

Customers of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) waiting for the bank to accept Apple Pay have had their patience tested once again, with the banking giant on Wednesday announcing it has made Samsung Pay available.

Adding Samsung's contactless payments platform means CBA's Mastercard card holders are able to load their credit and debit card details on a suite of Samsung devices, such as the Galaxy smartphone and compatible wearables, and pay in lieu of a card.

The announcement follows the bank in November adding Android Pay to its non-card payments, and making payments available using a Garmin smartwatch since September.

"With more than AU$6 billion of transactions across the CommBank app each week, we know that our customers love using their phones to make payments," CBA general manager of Everyday Banking & Payments Michael Baumann said in a statement.

"Since 2013, our customers have been able to use their smartphones to make payments. By offering customers the ability to pay with Samsung Pay we are combining choice and convenience."

Despite highlighting the importance of alternative payment methods to a physical card, the bank is yet to offer Apple Pay, opting instead for a tap and pay sticker for iPhone users.

CBA, alongside Westpac, the National Australia Bank (NAB), and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, were previously pushing for regulatory approval to collectively bargain with Apple for open-access to the NFC antenna on the iPhone.

After labelling Apple Pay alternatives "unrealistic" in the Australian market, the banking cartel had their request denied by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

In response, CBA, Westpac, and NAB announced a joint venture, Beem, in October that is charged with developing a mobile wallet for iOS and Android users.

According to the banks, customers will be able to use the app regardless of which bank they use, including organisations outside of the trio, with the end goal to be creating an "industry-wide payment solution".

CBA had a tap and pay function back in 2013 on the Galaxy S4.

Under an agreement signed with Mastercard and identity and security firm IDEMIA in December, small business customers of CBA using a Samsung device will be able to accept face-to-face payments from a contactless card or mobile wallet using their phone in the second half of 2018.

Meanwhile, CBA subsidiary Bankwest launched a new way to pay, a ring dubbed Halo that allows customers to "tap and go" at locations where they would otherwise use their card; and customers of CBA's New Zealand ASB Bank can also use their Fitbit Iconic to make payments.

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