The Commonwealth Bank Android App has been around for a while, and it’s been fairly useful for a while, too. Of all the mobile banking applications I use, I have to say I quite like the Commonwealth’s, but the Tap and Pay feature is one I can’t use, because I don’t have an iPhone or a compatible Samsung device.
It’s been twelve months (and a bit) since Commonwealth first released Tap and Pay for (a limited number of) Android users, and it’s about to change to let just about everyone in on the action.
Soon, though (and we do mean very soon) this tap and pay feature will be available for any Commbank customer with an Android 4.4 or higher device. How’s this possible? By finally making use of the HCE (Host Card Emulation) feature of Android Kitkat. Without going into the nitty-gritty, this basically means that your phone doesn’t need to be provisioned with a hardware secure element (think a SIM card with a special code on it), instead it can all be done in software while maintaining security of your accounts.
How confident are we that this is going to happen? Well, a Commonwealth Bank staffer who has chosen to remain anonymous has tipped Ausdroid with news of an “open staff pilot”, meaning Commonwealth Bank staff with compatible phones are quite likely walking around out there using their phones to pay for things. Surely this means access for the rest of us can’t be too far away.
What we know is that, for now, it’s only debit cards that are supported; credit cards aren’t yet, and there’s no ETA for them to be.
Are you a Commonwealth Bank customer, and excited by this possibility?
Disclosure: I am a Commonwealth Bank customer, and I am excited by this!