Launched by Australia’s Commonwealth Bank, Kaching is a set of mobile and Facebook apps that let customers make instant peer-to-peer transactions via SMS, email and Facebook. Kaching also allows customers to manage their accounts from their mobile phone or Facebook, and allows iPhone users to make contactless payments at MasterCard PayPass terminals.
Kaching has been recognized as an innovative new product and has successfully encouraged almost a million customers to adopt these new channels of banking. Forrester analyst Benjamin Ensor reported:
“In the 18 months since launch in October 2011, some 800,000 people have downloaded the Kaching app (compared with the bank’s 4.3 million active online banking users). Those customers used Kaching to transfer or pay more than $1 billion in 11 months from October 2011 to September 2012.
“Since then, Kaching users have transferred or paid a further $5.7 billion, for a total of $6.7 billion in transfers and payments in the first 18 months.”
To use Kaching, customers must first register for the bank’s NetBank service and then download the iPhone or Android app. Then, they can sign in using their netbanking details and select an account from which they will make and receive P2P payments.
People use Kaching to send money to anyone in their phone address book or in their Facebook friends list (they can also manually enter the phone number or email ID of the person they want to send money to).
Blogger Ross Catanzariti explains how it works:
“Kaching for Android allows Commonwealth Bank customers to make peer-to-peer payments (P2P) via mobile, e-mail and Facebook. The app links to the phone’s address book to enable mobile and e-mail payments, and links directly to your Facebook ID to enable payments via the social networking service.
“The Kaching for Android app also enables mobile, e-mail and Facebook payments to non Commonwealth Bank customers by directing these users to a secure, external site to collect payments.”
P2P payments among Kaching users are deposited directly into their accounts. Non-Kaching users can use the collect payment feature on CommBank’s website. App reviewer Jenneth Orantia explains:
“Once you make a payment through the app, the recipient gets notified via Facebook, email or SMS. This is all well and good, but you’ll still need to send them a unique payment number separately – which Kaching generates – by copying it to your smartphone’s clipboard, and pasting it into a second message to that person. Recipients then enter that payment code, along with all their account details, into the Kaching website to claim the money.”
Kaching aims to make payments extremely easy and secure. People can opt to create a 4 pin password instead of using their netbanking password for each log in. Renai LeMay reports on some of the app’s security features:
“The app will be locked to only one smartphone handset for security, users’ passwords will be encrypted and no personal banking information will be stored on customers’ phones. In addition, all funds which are not retrieved through the system after 14 days will be credited back to the original payer.”
John Kavanagh points out:
“And you don’t even need to know the payee’s account details.”
People can also use Kaching as a typical netbanking app, to check and manager their bank account and cards. A new update to the app allows people to pay off their bills online using BPay.
Non-Kaching users can explore the mobile app using this interactive demo, or watch the introduction video below.
Kaching for iPhone allows customers with MasterCard PayPass enabled cards to make contactless payments under $100 at PayPass terminals across Australia. PayPass works on NFC technology.
The Financial Brand provides an overview of the PayPass penetration in Australia:
“This NFC (Near Field Communications) payment system only works in those retailers with MasterCard PayPass enabled terminals. However, there are currently over 42,000 such readers installed across Australia, and over seven million MasterCard PayPass cards already in circulation. In August this year, the number of Mastercard PayPass transactions processed in Australia topped million for the first time.”
ogger Alex Kidman noted:
“There is, as you’re no doubt aware, no NFC chip within the iPhone; instead the Commonwealth Bank will offer a specific NFC-enabled iPhone case to its customers to make the phone NFC capable.”
iPhone users will have to order an NFC-enabled iCarte case for an addition $50 to avail of this service.
PayPass contributes to Kaching’s goal of making payments easy and secure. Gizmodo reader Steve commented:
“Personally, paying with my phone doesn’t really interest me when i can do the same thing with my credit card these days but the idea of being able to easily transfer cash without having to exchange bank details sounds excellent.”
PayPass is not available on Android devices, much to the ire of Android users who claim their phones are already NFC-enabled and that they expect to be treated as ‘equals’ to iPhone users.
CommBank alleges that Google has not approved Kaching’s NFC capability, and also that 79% of the mobile usage comes from iPhone devices implying the bank has more customers that use iPhones.
People can also access Kaching on Facebook, and can manage their accounts and make peer payments from within the social network. In addition, Kaching for Facebook leverages the social network’s unique features like events, groups, public timelines and private messages.
Adam Bender explains the app’s features:
“The app lets users send payments to Facebook friends as well as group and event administrators on the social media site. Users can also request payments from friends and keep track of all their Kaching transaction across Facebook and the mobile app.”
Chris Griffith reports:
“Customers can also post payment requests for joint birthday presents and holidays on their friends’ timeline or by private message.”
CommBank highlighted the ability to ‘request payments’ using Kaching for Facebook in their launch campaign with a fun campaign to “settle the estimated $1.8 bn ‘mate debt’ in Australia.”
Many people – both Kaching users and non-users – have found the concept of banking on Facebook “terrifying.” To alleviate security concerns, CommBank introduced an SMS verification process similar to Kaching mobile, and a 100% security guarantee for fraudulent payments.
Blogger Jim Marous explains the SMS verification:
“To address the common concern of security and privacy, Commonwealth Bank will secure transactions using a combination of a 4-digit PIN code to log into the Facebook app in conjunction with a six-digit confirmation pin sent via SMS. The code is also used by the payee to receive the payment.”
As per the website:
“Commonwealth Bank offers a 100 per cent security guarantee on all transactions, meaning it will cover any losses should someone make an unauthorised transaction via a customer’s Facebook account.”
People have applauded CommBank’s efforts to simplify the process of mobile payments and attribute the adoption of Kaching to the apps ease of use and multiple touch points.
Forrester analyst Benjamin Ensor noted:
“By enabling so many types of payment through a mobile phone, Commonwealth Bank is teaching its customers that if they want to make a payment – in any situation – they should use the Kaching app. In doing so, the bank is successfully encouraging customers to adopt mobile payment without the magic of a single ‘must-have’ transaction.”
Here’s a comment from Android app user Berlin Friswell:
Banking apps simplify peer to peer payments are increasing in popularity across the world. For instance, in the UK, Barclays’s P2P mobile app Pingit claimed 800,000 downloads and £10 million in transactions in its first 100 days. In Australia, ANZ’s P2P mobile app goMoney claims 1 million users.
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