news The Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s ‘Kaching’ mobile payments app has been approved by Apple and is now available through the company’s iOS App Store, the bank said this afternoon.
Kaching is a new combination smartphone application and associated hardware accessory that allows customers to make quick payments from their mobile phone to anyone with an email address, phone number or Facebook friendship, as well as to merchants via near field communications (NFC). Dubbed ‘Kaching’ to mimic the sound of a cash register draw closing, the app will initially launch on Apple’s iOS platform, although a version for Google’s rival Android operating system is in the works.
Customers who download Kaching will be required to complete a fairly straightforward registration process to use it, utilising their online NetBank login details. They will then select an account to both receive and make payments from. The app will then allow the user to make payments to “anyone” via an email address, phone number or Facebook friendship. Depending on the format selected for payment, the transaction would either take place instantly, or generate a unique code for delivery to the recipient, allowing them to access their payment online “at a convenient time”.
Because Apple’s iPhone line does not support the Near Field Communications standard (unlike a number of rival Android phones), NFC payments — or ‘tap to pay’ at merchant terminals supporting MasterCard’s PayPass standard — will take place through the addition of an iCarte case to customers’ iPhone handsets. The iCarte case is only compatible with iPhone 4 and 4S models, while Kaching will require iOS version 4.3. The iCarte case is to cost $54.95 (including postage) and is available to order through the Kaching app directly. The app will also allow customers to check their balances and transfer money between their accounts, in addition to allowing bills to be paid through the BPAY system.
David Lindberg, Executive General Manager Cards, Payments and Retail Strategy, said the arrival of Commbank Kaching heralded the beginning of “a new and exciting journey” in mobile payments and NFC technology. “Commonwealth Bank is delighted and proud to lead innovation in this space, delivering a world-first app that we believe will help to transform the industry,” said Lindberg in a statement this afternoon.
“The anticipation and appetite for this app has shown that Australia is one of the earliest adopting markets in the world. We’re confident Commbank Kaching will become the most popular banking app in Australiam” he added. Some 18,500 people had pre-registered to download Kaching when it became available. “This is just the first step in an evolving journey. Commonwealth Bank plans to roll out regular updates, with further enhancements and functionality of Commbank Kaching in the coming months.” Lindberg added.
Along with similar apps such as ANZ Bank’s goMoney system and Pollenizer’s Pygg, Kaching represents a growing interest in the use of payments technology in Australia which do not directly require users to directly transfer money into each others’ accounts; focusing much more on social networking credentials than financial account details.
Image credit: Still from a CBA video