LowResBanner_TapPay_2Mar14The 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!


Thanks: Anonymous Tipster!.
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    Nick Fletcher

    I’ve been trying this around the place. It doesn’t appear to work with the Westpac pay pass terminals. Works fine with the ANZ ones. Doesn’t work with the ones they have at Woolworths (can’t remember the brand – it wasn’t a major bank).
    So, not a great start, but better than nothing.


    It’s live on Google Play! Got it set up, just need to go test it out. Debit cards only at present


    Am I the only person not excited to use my phone to pay for things? I don’t see the attraction. I just see it as another thing to stress about should I lose or have my phone stolen.


    If you lose your wallet, all your credit cards are there to use with no PIN or anything. Paypass, full credit card numbers and CCV with your home address on your drivers licence, and all that. If it’s stolen from your house while you’re asleep, they have the whole night to use your info.

    If it’s on your phone, the thief can’t do anything without your PIN or trusted bluetooth device. You do have a PIN or trusted device synced with your phone, right? 🙂


    You still need to carry a drivers license regardless of how you pay for things – so I don’t accept that argument. Access to your cards without auth fine but if my wallet is stolen, I still have my phone to call the bank and cancel. Banks usually cover any transactions as a result of theft anyway providing you notify them soon enough. Also how do you pay if your phone is flat?

    In my opinion, phone payments are not significantly easier, they’re not significantly safer… To me it’s simply not the “game-changer” everyone makes it out to be.


    You may be unable to see why anyone would ever want to use mobile payments and that’s fine – not everything is made just for you and your needs. Just keep in mind that there are many other people in this world, and regardless of how absurd you think the idea is, others will find it useful. Just look at how popular Apple Pay is in the US. Not everyone drives a car every day, or at all. And here in QLD, you are *not* required to carry your licence with you when you drive your car or bike (if… Read more »


    So what you’re saying is because I disagree I shouldn’t post an opinion at all? These comment sections are called “Disqus” as in “discuss” for a reason. We don’t have to all agree 🙂 You’re the one that brought up the Drivers License and I have already explained that it is irrelevant to the argument. I’m happy that you’ve never had your battery die but my point is that plastic cards never go flat. For the record, I don’t think the idea is absurd I just don’t think it’s anything special and therefore demanding of the hype and interest surrounding… Read more »


    You’re totally misreading my messages. Did I say you shouldn’t post an opinion? Your original comment dismissed anybody who thinks it’s useful. You said it’ll cause you more stress if you lose your phone. I then gave an example of why it’s *safer* than losing your wallet. But you totally ignored the fact that it *is* safer, and instead started talking about flat batteries, and that banks will cover fraudulent transactions anyway, forgetting to mention that there is a lot of hassle in replacing all your credit cards and updating all your auto-debits and online accounts like iTunes, Paypal, etc.… Read more »


    You are inferring that because my opinion doesn’t take into account anyone else, it’s wrong. For the record I never said the technology is useless – just not dramatically better than what’s out there.

    You gave a fair example of increased security but unless someone else chimes in I get the feeling it’s not why the majority of people are excited about it.

    I feel like this discussion won’t reach a conclusion so I’m going to stop here.


    Might be enough to get me to switch.

    James Bryant

    And Westpac still insists that only Samsung devices are secure…. As opposed to the more likely reality that Samsung paid for exclusivity.


    this is nice but not sure it will get me to start using it


    I’ll believe it when I see it.

    Alexei Watson

    Debit only? Oh man, they’re just teasing. Your turn nab.

    Adrian Trimarchi

    Is it safe to assume 4.4 and up?

    Adrian Mace

    I would say so, it would be odd for them to not support lollipop.


    Will they use native NFC chips instead of a sticker? If I can use my Nexus 6 without a sticker I’ll probably jump ship to CBA. If have have to stick crap all over the phone, I’ll wait for a proper solution.

    Adrian Mace

    That is exactly what Host Card Emulation guarantees, yes. Start switching your accounts tomorrow.




    And I’m just finishing up closing all my CBA accounts. Bugger. Might see about keeping one around just to try it out.

    Adrian Mace

    Any reason why? I’ve found them to be excellent and they upgraded me to Platinum Debit so I can’t complain..


    Better interest rate with ubank for savings and use a westpac credit card, so no need for them any more.

    I do like the CBA more than the westpac one, but really a reason to keep the accounts.


    So you only have an online savings account and a credit card? No everyday account? Does that work in practice? Genuinely curious as to how workable that is.


    I do still have the everyday account at the moment because I’m waiting for my next pay to go in before switching it away from there. But overall, I don’t see a real need for an every day account (I’m assuming that means a debit account, yeah?). Pretty much everything that I buy I can pay with either the visa or amex card. I haven’t actually used my existing debit account at all this past month… until today. When we were at a market and a lady there didn’t except cards. Was a bit annoying but ended up getting my… Read more »

    Harrison Pace

    Sounds Awesome, having a Bamboo Moto X there was no way I was going to use that terrible sticker, will be glad to use the Commonwealth Bank App now great whenever I forget my Wallet at home.

    ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

    How did you get a Bamboo model without the moto maker?

    Avon Perera

    It’s one of the two officially available colour variants in Australia. Check the JB or HN website

    ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)