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Commonwealth Bank goes NFC

  • Commonwealth Bank has announced support for NFC payments
  • Make PayPass payments with nothing by your phone
  • Is this the end of the wallet?
Written by James Sandri


On the 17th of October, 2013 The Commonwealth Bank of Australia announced their support of NFC (Near Field Communication) for customers of their Kaching App. NFC is a technology allowing phones to transmit secure transmissions over a short distance. Most people have used this before as it’s widely available in most credit and debit cards (PayPass) and other “tap-on” cards such as Melbourne’s Myki. A few years ago phone manufacturers began to include NFC with their handsets essentially allowing any owner to use their phones as a replacement for their PayPass credit cards or transit cards. While popularized over the US and UK, phone NFC products have been weirdly devoid from the Australian market.

Commonwealth’s new announcement is one of the first by a big Australian company. Arriving in the “next few months” is an update to Commbank’s popular Kaching application, for mobile payments, allowing any user that has an NFC enabled phone to download their debit/credit card to their phone and use PayPass.

The good news is that CommBank has thought this through. For users without NFC enabled phones, there is an option to purchase a CommBank “PayTag” that sticks to the back of a phone or case and allows NFC payments for non-NFC enabled phones.


The uses are endless with the upcoming update. No longer do you need to carry around a wallet everywhere you go, all you need is your phone to pay for your morning coffee via contactless payment terminal.

It’s a shame that only CommBank is adopting NFC for it’s customers but hopefully this will signal a change for the industry. Will other banks now adopt NFC as well? What about tickets for shows as well? QR codes are used right now for bill payments, ticket booths and many other uses so hopefully vendors will update their technologies to include easy tap-to-pay methods such as NFC. In the future we may see our entire wallets compacted into our phones as even transit cards like Myki can be used via NFC.

It’s a slow death for the wallet but also a welcomed one. NFC is a secure, fast and easy alternative and hopefully CommBank’s announcement rings true with the Australian public and we can throw away the leather wallets for good.


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