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CommBank smartwatch app brings cardless cash to your wrist

Commonwealth Bank has launched its first app for wearables, offering customers a quick overview of their accounts, the location of nearby ATMs and the option of requesting cardless cash.

The CommBank app is coming to wearables. Commonwealth Bank

As Australia gears up for the launch of the Apple Watch, Commonwealth Bank is jumping on the wearables trend with a new CommBank app for Android and iOS.

Launching "in a matter of weeks" for smartwatches running Android 4.3 or later, the app will also be coming to the Apple Watch, though the bank says it is still completing final testing and won't give a firm launch date.

While CommBank is not the first financial institution to come to the wearable app party -- St. George launched a smartwatch app in 2014 -- it is one-upping its competitors with the inclusion of Cardless Cash functionality on its app.

Already a service available to existing CommBank customers using the smartphone app, Cardless Cash lets customers withdraw cash from any CommBank ATM using an 8-digit code sent to their device.

On the wearable iteration of the app, users swipe to select the amount of money to withdraw, and after a short wait the withdrawal code and a 4-digit pin are sent to their smartwatch with a countdown timer showing when the code will expire.

The app also allows them to use the ATM locator feature to find their nearest ATM to withdraw cash, while a Simple Balance feature shows a simple summary of their bank accounts and savings at a glance.

CommBank has been forging ahead in the mobile payments space, launching cardless cash for smartphones just under a year ago in a bid to advance its "mobile wallet agenda". Cardless cash transaction now account for some 60,000 withdrawals a week.

The bank also launched an update for its Android app last month bringing contactless payments to any NFC-enabled device running Android 4.4 (KitKat) or later. The update does away with the need for additional hardware such as CommBank's PayTag, and allows customers to use Tap & Pay just using the app.

Anticipation is also building for the launch of local apps for the Apple Watch, with pre-sales beginning on Friday April 10 and the device due in Australian stores on April 24.