CommBank app Android

Many Samsung Galaxy S4 users of the Commonwealth’s CommBank app are facing a problem of the app’s Tap & Pay feature, which utilises NFC for touch payments, no longer working after updating their devices to Android 4.4.x. Having personally come in contact (haha, puns) with the issue, I can confirm that regardless of the firmware’s region, if you update to Android 4.4.x and have to re-install the app, you are likely to face errors each and every time you try to set up Tap & Pay once again.

There are many posts on the Commonwealth Bank’s community support forum raising the issue, with the official response being that it was initially a problem facing Telstra firmwares, but is now being looked at by their development team. Nothing has been heard from the bank just yet as to how they’re going to fix the problem for users, especially when a lot of the devices in the country are being updated to Android 4.4.2 by our telcos.

This news comes right on the heels of Westpac announcing that they will be bringing — hopefully working — touch payment to the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S5 next week with it’s new app.

  • PuGZoR

    Can’t wait until we gets the NFCs payings for the HTC One (m7). Such keen. Very pay. Wow. Many transact.

  • http://www.mywebshare.com.au/ Usman Yousaf

    I have android 4.3 on S4. It wasn’t working for me as well.

    • Nick Fletcher

      Yep, I tested this a few times, 4.2 worked ok, but 4.3 and 4.4 never worked for me on the S4

      • DB

        Ditto for me too.

      • rk

        So you guys flashed a kk rom or receive ota upgrade?

      • http://www.mywebshare.com.au/ Usman Yousaf

        I am ota upgrade. The problem is with the app. When I call help line, the told me that their app doesn’t support 4.3 yet.

  • rk

    S4 got KitKat in Australia? I’ve got noon carrier branded international version. No 4.4 yet :(

  • whispy_snippet

    Westpac is going exclusively with Samsung as well for NFC?!? This is f%$&ing unbelievable.

    • kjmci

      To provide some context here, contactless payment requires use of a secure element to validate purchases and store your card information. Lots of phones have them, but access is locked down by the manufacturer so only trusted parties can use it.

      The other option is to use a secure element on a SIM card (this is what Vodafone mooted with their payment thing, but they’ve been silent since launch).

      This is why you’ll see banks having to partner up with either a carrier or a manufacturer, in order to get access to a secure element.

      • No_Underscore

        It was that they way Westpac announced it they were going to be supporting all android devices… hopefully Samsung just provided the quickest support, but they do hold a good market share so they would have been an obvious choice to buddy with. Doubt my GNexus will get support… so will this influence my purchase decision this year…

        Poor CommBank, they need to get there developers working on updating their apps to newer android versions before the update are rolled out.

      • http://ausdroid.net/ Daniel Tyson

        This is exactly right..till Android phones get to Android 4.4 which brings in Host Card Emulation. This will do away with the need to access the Secure Element to store credentials. Such is the case of providers such as Cuscal.

      • whispy_snippet

        Exactly. Android 4.4 had been some for quite some time now. Indeed the Nexus 5 has been ready and waiting for someone to take advantage of its NFC capabilities. What it’s really all about is Samsung paying big bucks and locking down exclusive deals with the banks.

      • http://ausdroid.net/ Daniel Tyson

        At only 5.3% Uptake on Android 4.4 so far and that wouldn’t be a majority of the Australian market, it’s hard to be harsh on banks for not investing in the HCE tech that allows for transactions. Wait and see which banks begin using Cuscal and maybe think about a switch…

      • whispy_snippet

        It’s 5.3% now but that number is only going to keep increasing. KitKat HCE is the future of Android NFC so why wouldn’t you develop for it? It’s been around for six months now which is quite an amount of time. Samsung is tying up exclusive deals at the expense of the platform as a whole. It’s happening with the banking sector, the television industry, and it’s even happened with major apps like Twitter. Surely as an advocate of Android this must concern you.

        If I switch I’d simply be doing exactly what Samsung wants. That’s the whole point of these exclusivity deals. I have no interest in switching away from Android (to go to another Android device) just to get the functionality I should already have.

      • http://ausdroid.net/ Daniel Tyson

        I haven’t seen anything to say Samsung is actually tying up exclusivity on these deals, more allowing CommBank access to the Secure Element. It’s more up to the other manufacturers – HTC, Sony, LG etc to approach banks at this stage.

        It’s a concern, but, well, not much we can do about it. There’s no official statements from either Samsung, nor banks (or Television services) saying they’re having exclusive arrangements, but it is obvious. But again, not much we can do.

        The fear with Android updates is that in the past they have been incredibly slow to rollout. With that in mind, the banks may be resting on their proverbial laurels, waiting for the figures to get to a point where they show an increased rate of adoption.

        The suggestion to switch to a bank that supports services such as Cuscal – remember Cuscal isn’t a bank, they simply supply the service for HCE – is just that, a suggestion. The again, you may find your bank will support it, and won’t require a switch. Perhaps email your Banks customer service about Cuscal to ask about it?

      • whispy_snippet

        Ah, I didn’t realise you were suggesting I switch banks – although that’s not really feasible for me at this point in time. Hopefully Cuscal can gain some traction but I’m not holding my breath.

        Samsung and Foxtel definitely have an exclusive partnership. You’ve only got to look on their official forum where a Foxtel representative has said “It’s no secret that we have a close working relationship with Samsung, they have been a partner of Foxtel’s from our first tablet application for the London 2012 Olympic games.”

        The same goes with Twitter when an official, tablet optimised app was released for Samsung’s 10 inch tablet – and here we are, many months later, and it’s never arrived on Android broadly. Flipboard was another to launch exclusively on a Samsung product (it arrived on the Play store later but non-Samsung users were still forced to wait).

        And now we’ve got our banks letting Samsung kiss up to them with cash for exclusive deals. Why is Android still suffering from a fragmented user experience? Why does the Android tablet ecosystem still lag behind iOS? It’s because of infuriating deals like this that do more harm than good to Android as a whole. Samsung don’t give a toss about the Android platform. We shouldn’t be standing for it.

        That said, what is especially frustrating is that (as you say) there’s seemingly not a lot we can do about it. We can get narky with our Play store reviews, we can recommend the products of Samsung’s competitors to friends and family, we can rant and rave on tech sites and forums – but in the end one has to wonder whether this makes any difference.

        I’m a huge fan of Android as a platform. I’m especially fond of Google’s vision of Android, but I respect and accept that other players in the ecosystem offer alternatives that others may prefer. But if one of those competitors starts to get so big that they’re a detriment to the experience of other Android users then I start wishing Google would get aggressive on them.

      • whispy_snippet

        /end rant