Just prior to Christmas the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s Kaching application went live in Apple’s iTunes store, marking the official launch of the service almost two months after it was first announced.
The application, now available for free from Apple’s iTunes App Store here, comes after more than 18,500 customers signed up for information about the service that was announced in October promising customers easy, secure mobile payments using their smartphone in an Australian first.
Kaching - which works using an Near Field Communication (NFC)-enabled case because Apple’s iPhone range does not yet natively support NFC – is a big bet by the CBA on payments via smartphone devices.
To use the app, users must have an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S running iOS4.3 or above, along with an iCarte cover that provides the NFC capabilities.
CBA says an Android application is currently in the works based upon user demand.
It is the first Australian bank to launch such a comprehensive NFC-enabled offering, with others left trailing in it’s footsteps. Combined with the bank’s near real-time payments platform, the CBA is banking on it’s technology attracting customers and differentiating it from the competition.
The NFC and smartphone payment arena is warming up with numerous rivals, including search giant Google with its new Google Wallet service, unveiling services allowing customers to pay with their smartphones.