CBA unveils tap-and-go smartphone payments

Commonwealth Bank customers may soon be able to ditch their wallets.


The bank has announced a plan to roll out small stickers which customers can attach to the back of their smartphone and tap on counters and checkouts to make payments under $100.

The stickers, which are about one-third the size of a regular credit card, will be activated and controlled via a revamped online banking app and will work with Android phones and iPhones.

Some Android phones have in-built contactless payment technology, meaning they will not need the sticker, but the bank did not specify which models have the appropriate technology.

The strategy reflects an increasing hunger among Australians for mobile banking and tap-and-go payments, Commonwealth Bank said.

Three years ago, 88 per cent of the bank’s online banking logons were via a desktop computer. Today, 56 per cent log on via a mobile device.

Meanwhile, Commonwealth Bank said contactless payments by their customers have risen six-fold in the last 12 months.

The Thursday unveiling came as retailer Coles announced a trial of 5000 of its own smartphone stickers, which use the same technology.

Contactless payments in Coles stores increased by 70 per cent in the last year, the company said.

A recent report from MasterCard, who helped pioneer the technology, said Australia was among a handful of “nearly cashless” countries.

It said just 14 per cent of the total value of consumer payments in the country are now made using cash.

But Matt Barr, the head of Australasian innovation at MasterCard, told AAP cash still dominated small value payments.

He predicted tap-and-go smartphone technology would “keep Australia at the forefront of the evolution of electronic payments”.

Commonwealth Bank said it will begin rolling out the stickers in the coming months.

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