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CommBank’s Kaching turns your mobile into a wallet

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The Commonwealth Bank is going to turn your smartphone into your wallet with the launch of a new world first mobile payment system.

At its core is Kaching (as in the sound of a cash register) – a new iPhone app which allows Commonwealth Bank customers to access their accounts and make payments on the go.

The app, available in the coming months, will make it possible to pay via mobile, email and Facebook and to make contactless payments with PayPass.  

This new social banking system will enable customers to make payments like never before.

Australia, a country with the second highest smartphone penetration (37 per cent) behind Singapore, has really taken to mobile banking.

In August alone there were 16 million mobile NetBank logons with 79 per cent coming from iPhone users and 12 per cent using an Android handset.

There are four main ways to use Kaching to make peer to peer and/or in-store payments.

Pay to mobile

If you don’t have cash and need to split a bill with a friend, Kaching can send money to your friend as easily as sending a text message. The app is linked to your address book on your iPhone.

The Commonwealth Bank's Kaching app on the iPhone and the iCarte case on the iPhone (right)

Pay to email

Customers can also send their friend a payment via email – whether they are  Commonwealth Bank customers or not. If customers choose this option, Kaching will access your contacts list so you can easily choose who you want to pay.

Pay to Facebook

Payment can be sent to a friend’s Facebook account and have the option of posting a notification on their wall. If this is the way you choose to make your payment, Kaching will present your Facebook friend list to make the payment to the person of your choice.

Kaching lets you choose the card you want to pay withMobile contactless payment

The iPhone doesn’t have an NFC (near field communication) chip so customers will require a special iCarte case to enable to the mobile contactless payment which will access your debit or credit card.  The case will be priced at the same price of an average hard case – between $30 and $50. In future when NFC becomes a feature of smartphones there will be no need for the iCarte case.

At the moment there are more than 42,000 PayPass stations across Australia with that number due to increase dramatically in the next 12 months.

Payments less than $100 can be made with a swipe while larger purchases require a signature or PIN just like a credit card purchase.

This new system will open up a number of convenient ways to make payments to family and friends, to tradespeople and in stores.

Non-Commonwealth Bank customers who receive a payment will be sent a code which can be entered into a Commonwealth Bank site for authorisation before the money is deposited into their bank.

Security is naturally a strong element of Kaching that will also be covered by Commonwealth Bank’s 100 per cent security guarantee.

Kaching has a number of security measures including authentication with a pin number and/or an account number.

None of your banking details cached on your device – they are all housed on the secure Commonwealth Bank backend system.

When making Kaching payments via mobile, email or Facebook, users will have direct access to their contacts and friend listsKaching adds another security level by being mobile device specific which means their account can only be accessed from a single smartphone.

So even in the unlikely event that your pin number and account number is compromised and someone tries to access your account from a different device it will detect this and halt any transactions.

The Kaching app will give users access to all of the cards connected to their Commonwealth Bank account and also enable any of these to be your default PayPass cards.

Users can also view all of their account balances and even transfer money between their accounts in real time on the spot.

An Android version of the Kaching app is also in the works.

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