The Commonwealth Bank would have to be regarded as the leading innovators in Australian Banking.  Sometimes when they announce things you wouldn’t believe the announcement is coming from one of Australia’s “big four” – the ideas they introduce are the stuff of startups in Silicon Valley.  This morning the Commonwealth introduced three new things – one of which I reckon is a cracker!

The first product is a “small business app” with an accompanying mobile payment terminal called “Emmy”.  “Emmy” allows small businesses to accept card payments via chip and pin or tap and go contactless payments.  Paired with the app, the business can produce invoices, receipts, get cash flow information and reporting.  It’s an all-in-one solution for people operating business on the go, like perhaps tradies or those businesses without a full-on point of sale system.

Comm Bank small business app and "Emmy" payment terminal

Comm Bank small business app and “Emmy” payment terminal

For Commonwealth Bank app users with a credit card there’s another new feature coming called “Lock and Limit“.  With this feature of the app, you can choose to restrict or allow in-store international payments, online international payments, you can block ATM transactions or limit the amount available for all transactions – all within the app.

It’s a great added level of security and peace of mind that customers can use to manage their accounts and not have to worry about being ripped off in credit card scams.

Finally, and I reckon the most innovative from the Comm Bank is the idea of using your smartphone to withdraw cash at ATM’s.  Now don’t get ahead of yourself, this is not tap-and-go with your phone.  In fact, this is the CommBank app doing all the work.

You open the app and choose a “Get cardless cash“.  Then you choose to get the cash yourself, or send to a friend.

Get Cardless Cash with the Comm Bank app

Get Cardless Cash with the Comm Bank app

Enter the amount, and if you’re getting the cash yourself you’re given an eight digit withdrawal number, and separately a four digit pin number.

If you want to send some money to a friend or family member, you enter their mobile number.  They are send a text message with the eight digit withdrawal number, and a note from you, and then a second text with the PIN.

The Cardless Cash screen on a Comm Bank ATM

The Cardless Cash screen on a Comm Bank ATM

Walk up to any Commonwealth Bank ATM and choose the cardless withdrawal option, then enter the eight digit number and PIN.  Presto – the cash is dispensed.

It’s limited to $200 per day at the moment, but if the launch goes well, you can expect that to become a flexible limit set within the app.

Since the bank introduced its mobile payment technology in October last year the numbers in terms of usage are staggering.  There are 15,000 logins to the app every 20 minutes, with $1.1 billion transferred using the app each and every week.

10% of app users have chosen to use the tap and pay via mobile technology, with $1 million in payments each week being made using the mobile app tap and pay.

That’s amazing, but counter that with a reality check – there are still 500,000 Commonwealth Bank customers using a Passbook to manage their banking in a branch.  That’s a lot of minds to change.