The Commonwealth Bank has become the latest bank to target small businesses with its newly launched payments app, which offers near-field capabilities but is limited to iPhone users.
CBA is the second bank to launch an app of this nature, following ANZ’s debut into the market with its goMoney app.
goMoney enables transactions between individuals using a mobile phone number as identification, with a secure website completing the transaction.
The Commbank Kaching app combines peer-to-peer payments via the phone’s contacts and email addresses, social payments via a user’s Facebook friends, and NFC contactless technology.
The free app will be limited to the iPhone, although CBA has indicated Android users will also be catered for in the future.
As there is no NFC chip within the iPhone, CBA will offer a specific NFC-enabled iPhone case to its customers to equip the phone with NFC capabilities.
According to CBA spokesperson David Lindberg, the payment process will take “roughly the same amount of time as it takes to send your friend a text message”.
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Kaching customers will receive money directly into their accounts in real time. While non-CBA members can still use the app, there’s an additional online step involved when transferring funds.
The app users a four-digit pin, while a countdown timer enables the NFC chip for a 60 second period. It also shows the nearest ATM location via the GPS chip within the iPhone.
Users can top up their credit cards via Kaching, as well as set a specific card to be PayPass-enabled or switch it off whenever they choose.
Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, CBA executive general manager of business products and development, says sole traders and small businesses stand to benefit from the flexibility offered by Kaching.
“We know that a key concern for sole traders and small businesses is the time it can take for them to be paid for a product or service,” Bayer Rosmarin says.
“Kaching provides an additional opportunity for these businesses to be paid on the spot through their email address, phone number, BPAY or even their Facebook account.”
“[These features are] perfect for those who operate on a mobile basis, require quick payment or those for whom cash is not always the preferred option.”
Bayer Rosmarin says if both parties use the app, the business will be able to receive instant payment through mobile peer-to-peer payment functionality.
Password encryption technology ensures that a lost or stolen phone will not enable someone to access a user’s personal banking details.
The app is authorised to be used on only one handset and no personal banking information is stored on the phone. Receivers of payments are also protected, with all un-retrieved funds being credited to the payer after 14 days.