CommBank expands Android NFC payments

Android app now only requires KitKat 4.4 and an NFC chip

A Samsung Galaxy S4 is no longer required to tap and pay using the Commonwealth Bank mobile app for Android.

Using Host Card Emulation technology, CommBank has today made contactless payments available on any Android smartphone with a near-field communications (NFC) chip and running KitKat (4.4) or later.

Previously, only customers with phones in the Samsung Galaxy S4+ range could make payments using their phone’s internal NFC chip. Customers without that phone could buy an NFC-enabled sticker to attach to their phone.

While the Apple iPhone 6 includes an NFC chip, it is tied to the Apple Pay service. Apple users can pay $2.99 to get a PayTag sticker from CommBank to make mobile payments.

Customers can make payments of up to $100 per transaction with the CommBank app.

CommBank collaborated with MasterCard on the upgrade of its mobile digital wallet.

“Customer demand for convenient mobile payment technologies continues and we are focused on innovative payment features which deliver on this,” said Angus Sullivan, CommBank executive general manager of consumer finance payments and strategy.

The CommBank app, launched in 2013, now has 3.2 million unique registered users and sees 2.35 million people logging on each week. More than $100 billion in payments and transfers have been made using the app.

Mobile payments is an increasingly competitive space, with not just banks but also telcos, tech companies and credit card companies all developing mobile digital wallet services.

For a look at where Australia’s top banks are on mobile payments, check out our feature, Mobile payments in Australia: state of the banks.

Adam Bender covers telco and enterprise tech issues for Computerworld and is the author of dystopian sci-fi novels We, The Watched and Divided We Fall. Follow him on Twitter: @WatchAdam

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