After announcing their open-source Pi retail Point of Sale system back in July 2012, the Commonwealth Bank this week finally made their EFTPOS capable Android tablet ‘Albert’ available to businesses.

Albert is a 3G capable Android tablet which is capable of running a range of applications to which facilitate retail activities. The tablets 3G connection lets the tablet be used almost anywhere with a number of functions such as Split Bill, Cash Counter, Daily IQ, Open Tab and Community Giver pre-loaded, along with a Commonwealth bank payments app.

If you’re interested in the hardware behind the tablet, Albert is running :

  • 1280×800 multi-touch screen.
  • 1GB RAM and 16GB Flash Memory.
  • 8MP Camera.
  • EMV chip and PIN interface for contactless payments.
  • NFC Reader for coupons and wallet.
  • Magnetic stripe reader.
  • 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity and option for ethernet.
  • OS is based on Android 4.0 and runs Pi
  • Printer

Albert - Commonwealth Bank Tablet

The Commonwealth Bank released a video on Pi and Albert in action back in 2012 and as far as we can tell, it hasn’t changed:

The Commonwealth Bank is already partnering with a number of businesses to trial Pi and Albert in the real world, with David Jones and Amalgamated Holdings Limited (AHL, which features leading brands – Event Cinemas, QT Hotels and Resorts, Rydges Hotels and Resorts and Thredbo), while one of Australia’s leading hospitality providers, The Keystone Group (Jamie’s Italian, Chophouse, Kingsleys Steak & Crabhouse, Manly Wine, Gazebo Kings X, The Winery Surry Hills and The Loft) all signed on. With its open nature, there’s a number of businesses including Foot Locker, Mogas Regional and EasyFuel all building custom apps to work with the system.

Gary Roach, Managing Director Payments & Cash Management Services,Commonwealth Bank spoke about the potential of Albert to revolutionise the point of sale experience.

The payments landscape is rapidly evolving as Australians embrace new technology and there is a growing need for a more powerful, open platform which can adapt to changing customer needs, and provide real-time analytics and business insights. Albert has the potential to dramatically shift the way businesses take payments, offering merchants the ability to completely customise the customer experience from start to finish.

As we said back in 2012, “The concept looks pretty good to me, however as a custom system it’s success will be dependent on developers creating applications for it”. Businesses and Developers can register their interest in Pi and Albertat the Commonwealth Bank Pi website.

Source: Pi.
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    Sujay Vilash

    Albert & Pi are already out in the wild. I work in Camberwell, Victoria and a coffee shop very close to work already uses this. So I think it has already been unofficially released.


    Must have been a test site…. What’s it like? Have you used it?

    Sujay Vilash

    Sorry, man! This cafe was a 100% cash only cafe. So we didn’t realise he had Albert and paid with cash. BTW, forgot our $50 note was yellow.


    well if he had a Albert, then he wasn’t 100% cash only! But oh well….. Always next time, I’m sure lots of them will start appearing soon enough!

    Sujay Vilash

    You misunderstood. This cafe was 100% cash only. A couple of weeks ago, we went to get our coffee with cash in the pocket (left the wallet in the office since the boss bought the coffee and the cafe didn’t take cards) only to find out that he had Albert. Didn’t know what it was at the time but I remember admiring the Android tablet based POS system. It was only when I read this article that the penny dropped on what I had seen at that cafe.

    Sujay Vilash

    If you are still interested, I visited this cafe again. And I did use Albert. Very smooth. MasterCard Tap & Go used. Unit provides the receipt so it is truly a all-in-one device. What blew me away was the ability to split the bill. I hope they roll it out to everyone. And the best part, it actually looks good.


    yeah it does sound like a nice little unit…. and the split the bill feature would be VERY handy for cafe owners too!

    I’m going to have to hunt down one of these cafes to try it out. Care to share the name of the cafe? 🙂

    Sujay Vilash

    Don’t know where you are but the cafe I am referring to is Cafe Punto, 224 Camberwell Road, Hawthorn East VIC 3123. It does say Hawthorn East but it is in the Camberwell Junction. And if you do make it there, try their coffee. One of the best in Camberwell.


    Thanks for the reply. Yep I’m in Melbourne…. So might have to swing by one morning for breakfast when in the area! And if its got great coffee, even better!!!

    Sujay Vilash

    Message me if you are near -by and I’ll shout you the coffee.


    This is the way forward – I reckon the CommBank could design a Charity Donation app, and have a few loan Albert’s in every bank. Charities could use them when doing a drive in the local shopping centre. At my shopping centre, there are people raising funds every week (Surf Lifesavers, RSL etc…), and I don’t carry any “real” money on me anymore. Perhaps a “donate” button in the app of $1, $2, $5, $10 and custom for larger amounts – then the money could be transferred via the CommBank (or other bank) app on your phone via Tap and… Read more »


    Chuggers….. Urgh, you do know these people get a cut of the money donated? Between 10-20% of the donations!!! If you want to donate, do it directly to the company via other methods