Commercial mobile payment rollout in Australia


Australia’s largest bank, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, is adding multiple mobile phone-based payment options to its range of mobile banking services. Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) is providing the technology to allow secure contactless payments using mobile phones featuring NFC.

The most important of the components to be provided is G&D’s turnkey Trusted Service Manager (TSM) solution. In its role as TSM, the technology provider will be taking responsibility via the mobile network for services including the personalization of the payment function as well as management of the payment application over its entire lifecycle.

In the first phase, Commonwealth Bank is giving iPhone 4 and 4S owners the opportunity to transfer their MasterCard PayPass details onto their smartphone. Since the iPhone does not currently feature an NFC chip for contactless payment, a special cover with a Secure Element has been developed for iPhones to enable NFC data transfer.

The iPhone cover, which can be ordered through Commonwealth Bank, is hooked up to the iPhone data interface and automatically communicates with the ‘Commbank Kaching’ app installed on the iPhone. In the next phase, this set of mobile payment functions will also be made available to Android users.

Over the last few years, Commonwealth Bank has pioneered the deployment of contactless technology in Australia. It has supplied the bulk of its customers with contactless dual interface cards which are accepted for making payments at over 42,000 locations in Australia.

This fact, it is hoped, will help ensure a speedy launch and acceptance of NFC-based mobile payment functions. The NFC payment application needs to be activated by the user and the NFC capability remains active for 60 seconds thereafter. As with the current dual interface cards, amounts below 100 dollars do not require users to enter a PIN at the point of sale.

‘Our Trusted Service Management solutions allow our customers to implement robust and reliable mobile phone payment systems simply and securely via the mobile network,’ says Michael Kuemmerle, group executive of mobile security at G&D. ‘Our highly secure and certified TSM centers in various regions are an important building block in the NFC ecosystem that will help to speed up the spread of mobile payment systems.’