The Commonwealth Bank has officially released a new mobile banking app for Apple iPhones, Kaching, almost two months after unveiling the software.
First announced in October, Kaching allows users to wirelessly pay for goods and services using NFC (Near Field Communication) technology. It works with a specially designed case for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S smartphones, and is the world's first commercially available iPhone app that utilises NFC technology.
In addition to wireless NFC payments, the Commonwealth Bank's Kaching app is also the world's first to provide peer-to-peer payments (P2P) via mobile, e-mail and Facebook. The Kaching app links to the iPhone's address book to enable mobile and e-mail payments, while the app links directly to your Facebook ID to enable payments via the social networking service. The Kaching app enables mobile, e-mail and Facebook payments to non Commonwealth Bank customers by directing these users to a secure, external site to collect payments.
Outside of NFC and P2P payments, the Commonwealth Bank Kaching app enables access to all basic banking transactions including account balance check. The bank says that 99 per cent of Netbank's current features are available through the app. Users can also top up credit and debit cards linked to their account and pay bills through the BPAY service. "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 David Lindberg, executive general manager cards, payments and retail strategy, Commonwealth Bank Australia.
"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 Australia." “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," he said.
Kaching's compatible iCarte case has a built-in NFC chip that allows users to pay by tapping their phone on a contact-less PayPass transaction terminal: CommBank says it takes around one and a half seconds to make a payment. The case can be ordered now on Commonwealth Bank's Web site or through the Kaching app itself for $49.95 plus $5 for postage and handling.
CommBank says the NFC-enabled case is "interim technology" until NFC chips are built into the iPhone itself. Apple is widely expected to introduce built-in NFC technology into the next generation iPhone.
CommBank says the Kaching app and its NFC features will eventually be rolled out to Google Android smartphones, with the app "currently in development."