Commonwealth Bank has finally embraced ‘Host Card Emulation‘ (or HCE), a new API that was introduced with Android 4.4, KitKat – allowing anybody with a device running Android 4.4 or later (and has NFC) to use ‘Tap and Pay’, or PayPass at any terminal that supports it.
Possibly the most touted feature of NFC has been mobile payments. The idea of only having to carry one device – when you go shopping, you only have to pull out your phone, tap it to the terminal, and you’ve just paid for your groceries. Unfortunately the above scenario is only true today for a select few – in the US, Google is making their best efforts to push Google Wallet.
Here in Australia, Commonwealth Bank have made the first move, selling an NFC enabled case, called an iCarte, that allows you to use your iPhone as your ‘wallet’. Or, at least make PayPass payments after you open the Kaching app. So how does it work?
One of the coolest (and hence, most hyped) uses of NFC would have to be the use of it for contactless payments.Just like your MasterCard or Visa card with PayPass or payWave.
The most widely known example of using your phone as your wallet is probably Google’s Wallet app. After installing it on your Android phone, you’re all set to tap away.
But the problem with Google Wallet is that Google wants to control the whole experience, so you can only install it officially on a handful of devices, has only integrated tightly with Citibank, and so only a handful of customers can actually use Google Wallet.
Thanks to the internet however, it’s possible to shoehorn Google Wallet on to devices that aren’t ‘technically’ supported and tap away.
Since grabbing my Galaxy Nexus, Wallet was one of the most exciting things I was looking forward to trying, and surprisingly getting it going wasn’t much effort at all.