Commonwealth Bank app launches NFC payments

The Commonwealth Bank app has finally launched contactless NFC PayPass payments — but there's a catch.

Michelle Starr Science editor
Michelle Starr is CNET's science editor, and she hopes to get you as enthralled with the wonders of the universe as she is. When she's not daydreaming about flying through space, she's daydreaming about bats.
Michelle Starr
2 min read

The Commonwealth Bank app has finally launched contactless NFC PayPass payments — but there's a catch.

(Credit: Commonwealth Bank)

With most phones on the market now supporting NFC — with the glaring exception of iPhones — it feels like we've been waiting forever for an NFC payment option. The Commonwealth Bank has now started rolling it out in its app for Android — but it's still in its early stages.

The update, which launched yesterday for Android phones, only supports NFC natively for "select Samsung Galaxy S4 phones" — otherwise users have to attach an NFC PayTag — which costs users AU$2.99 and can be ordered from inside the app — to your phone.

Additionally, i9506-variant Galaxy S4 owners will have to wait until early next year to download a software update to enable them to use NFC.

The service is not yet available for iPhone — it's coming in January 2014. iPhone users will need to purchase a PayTag to utilise the service.

That said, as the first bank in Australia to offer NFC payments, it's great to see it finally arriving — we hope it's only a matter of time before the Commonwealth Bank can figure out how more phones can offer it natively.

Lisa Frazier, CommBank's Executive General Manager Digital Channels, said, "Today marks a significant leap forward in how CommBank customers can both pay and receive money and manage their finances on-the-go. Whether that's using downtime on the bus to pay a bill; transferring the cost of dinner to a friend's mobile number or Facebook contact; or leaving your wallet at home and using your phone to pay for a coffee — CommBank app brings speed and convenience to mobile banking and payments from a smartphone anytime, anywhere."

You can find out more on the Commonwealth Bank website.