Commonwealth Bank app launches NFC payments

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Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

The Commonwealth Bank app has finally launched contactless NFC PayPass payments — but there's a catch.

(Credit: Commonwealth Bank)

With most phones on the market now supporting NFC — with the glaring exception of iPhones — it feels like we've been waiting forever for an NFC payment option. The Commonwealth Bank has now started rolling it out in its app for Android — but it's still in its early stages.

The update, which launched yesterday for Android phones, only supports NFC natively for "select Samsung Galaxy S4 phones" — otherwise users have to attach an NFC PayTag — which costs users AU$2.99 and can be ordered from inside the app — to your phone.

Additionally, i9506-variant Galaxy S4 owners will have to wait until early next year to download a software update to enable them to use NFC.

The service is not yet available for iPhone — it's coming in January 2014. iPhone users will need to purchase a PayTag to utilise the service.

That said, as the first bank in Australia to offer NFC payments, it's great to see it finally arriving — we hope it's only a matter of time before the Commonwealth Bank can figure out how more phones can offer it natively.

Lisa Frazier, CommBank's Executive General Manager Digital Channels, said, "Today marks a significant leap forward in how CommBank customers can both pay and receive money and manage their finances on-the-go. Whether that's using downtime on the bus to pay a bill; transferring the cost of dinner to a friend's mobile number or Facebook contact; or leaving your wallet at home and using your phone to pay for a coffee — CommBank app brings speed and convenience to mobile banking and payments from a smartphone anytime, anywhere."

You can find out more on the Commonwealth Bank website.

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LouisJ posted a comment   

So although windows phone 8 has had this tech since it's release, they are now sticking nfc tags to the back of phones. Why cant the telecom providers in Australia get their act together and release Secure-Sim here, that being the only barrier for us Windows Phone users making PayPass transaction with our phones.


The Stav posted a comment   

I may have to renew my relationship with the Commonwealth.
Why has this tech taken so long to come to fruition and where
are the other banks?
Are there any potential security concerns that c/net are aware


EricJ posted a comment   

I have an S3 4G running Cyanogen and have just updated to this app. Ive received the NFC tag and it works awesome but... Ive had several local retailers not accept using my phone as payment, Ive actually received free fuel ($20 from Caltex) because of this. I said this is all I have to pay with, You accept pay-pass, You must accept my phone. They said they cant accept it so I video'd myself trying to pay (but being refused) and then simply drove away after they refused to accept my phone.

People need to get with the times and start realising that this technology is not only out, but it should have been out 2 years ago.

Back to the original topic though, I have heard that you can emulate your phone model etc so that non-compatible apps work with non-compatible devices etc.

Can I make commbank think my phone is an S4, and will it work?


Im Batman posted a reply   

Nice story, yeah friends are having slightly better experiences, like that the seller just standing there in utter amazement.

in some regards, the sticker is not that dissimilar to the "pay wave" credit card... but agreed it has taken far too long coming.

Not sure on making your device prance around convincing its an S4... but anything is possible. The NFC system does use a separate Samsung app to support the communications to the secure element in the phone.

I doubt support for the S3 is far off.


AlexG4 posted a reply   

You can fake your device, but you cant do it for one app. All yours apps will think you have an S4 and I'm not willing to do that.


Rodimus posted a comment   

Most Lumia's have NFC, my fingers are crossed.


LTLsisaleo posted a comment   

well that sucks for any1 who doesnt own a s4


Im Batman posted a comment   

Great news...Hope the S4 users find it an easy system to use.
I will live vicariously through my S4/Comm Bank using mates until they open it up to other phones or when Westpac launches their system next year.

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