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Commonwealth Bank to deliver true NFC tap payments

Across a number of improvements, the Commonwealth Bank's latest app update includes full NFC contactless payment integration to finally let customers turn their smartphones into digital wallets.

Across a number of improvements to the Commonwealth Bank app, it's the full near-field communication (NFC) contactless payment integration that will finally help customers turn their smartphones into digital wallets.

Embedded NFC will be supported in yet-to-be-named Android phones, while a PayTag sticker will make tap payments possible for other devices, including iPhones. (Credit: CNET Australia)

Commonwealth Bank has announced its latest app update, with a uniform app interface rolling out across iOS, Android and, for the first time, Windows Phone 8. The updated offering enhances the general interface but also sees the arrival of true NFC integration for certain Android smartphones.

Angus Sullivan, executive general manager of Cards, Payments, Analytics and Retail Strategy, said that supported Android handsets will be announced soon and that integration will deliver true embedded NFC contactless payments for the first time.

For those with unsupported Android devices and those with iPhones, Commonwealth Bank will make available a PayTag sticker solution that can be attached to your phone to enable the same tap payment system.

Whether you activate the service through an embedded NFC system or with the PayTag sticker, Commonwealth Bank will charge AU$2.99 for activation through the app. This includes postage for the PayTag sticker.

Contactless payments can be made up to a value of AU$100, the same as payments through existing PayPass and PayWave tap payment options.

Harte introducing the new Commonwealth Bank app update.(Credit: CNET Australia)

Through the app, you will be able to control whether your tap payment system is currently switched on or off, adding an extra layer of security for those concerned with turning their phone into an always-on payment system.

Michael Harte, Commonwealth Bank's chief information officer, indicated that the same 100 per cent money back guarantee enjoyed through other digital transaction services will also be offered for the new tap payment system to ensure that customers can take up the service without fear of unexpected surprises.

Apart from the NFC roll-out, the new app also includes BPAY bill payments via QR codes, as well as Bump payment options for paying friends through a direct tap of two smartphones.

Windows Phone 8 users will not receive the tap payment option at launch, and the Bump payment option is only available to iPhone users until Bump exits beta on Android.