CommBank to bring NFC payments to Android and iOS

NFC CommBank PayTag
You can put the PayTag on your phone or on your forehead, it'll still work!

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) is poised to be the first bank in Australia to offer NFC payments with the release of its new app.

The new app will merge CBA's current CommBank and Kaching apps into a new CommBank app, allowing customers to pay for things up to $100 using their smartphone device at retailers that support tap-and-go payments.

However, the app isn't yet available, with CBA Executive General Manager for Cards, Payments, Analytics and Strategy Angus Sullivan saying only that it will be made available "in the next coming months".

For NFC payments, the app use the secure element built into Android devices, with Sullivan saying when the app is released, they will announce which handsets will be able to support this payment option.

For iPhone users and other Android devices that don't have NFC inbuilt, CommBank will be also offering a "smart" PayTag, which is basically a sticker that can be placed onto the back of your phone (or anywhere, really) with NFC built in.

The CommBank PayTag will then work similar to a credit card with a chip in it at terminals, with the added function of it being tied to the new app. Again, the PayTag's availability will be announced in coming months, probably around the app's launch date.

The app tie-in

The new CommBank app will allow you to turn enable or disable NFC payments, as well as switch the account it is tied to.

For anyone worried, CBA says that security remains a top priority for the bank. In any case, all CommBank transactions will be backed by its 100% money back guarantee.

"As the only Australian bank with an NFC payment solution for both iPhone and Android devices, this will transform the way our customers make everyday payments," said Sullivan.

Sullivan also explained to TechRadar that while the new app will be free, for customers to access the NFC payment option, whether with NFC touting handsets or with the PayTag, it will cost a one-off fee of $2.99.

Other new features of the app includes new swipe gestures that moves between 3 "pages", the first being a login screen to access payment options throughout the app, the second shows a quick view of the balance in a nominated default account, and the third shows ATM and branch locations.

The app will also give you the ability to pay bills via QR codes, quick fund transfers between accounts, activate a card or change a card's PIN number within the app, and Kaching payment options, which allows you to pay people via email, Facebook or a phone number.

The app will be available to iOS, Android and Windows Phone 8 users, but Windows Phone 8 users will miss out on the payment options.