Commonwealth Bank unveils “Tap N Go™” payment technology

5 April 2006

The Commonwealth Bank will be the first Australian bank to trial MasterCard® PayPass™ contactless payment technology on its next generation credit card. The trial will take place on the NSW Central Coast, in the Sutherland Shire south of Sydney, and in Wollongong over the next six months.

According to Michael Cameron, Commonwealth Bank Group Executive - Retail Banking Services, "MasterCard PayPass uses "tap-n-go" technology for convenient, hassle-free small credit card transactions, providing customers with a fast and convenient alternative to cash.

"MasterCard PayPass uses state-of-the-art technology similar to e-tags used by motorists to pay road tolls. Cardholders simply hold the "tap-n-go" credit card up to a MasterCard PayPass terminal on the merchant’s counter, wait for a beep, and the purchase is done," Mr Cameron said.

"No signature or PIN is required for transactions of up to $35 and the whole transaction takes place in seconds. This is exciting technology with huge potential applications, from shopping at the corner store, to paying at a ‘drive through’ to accessing sporting events," he said.

Under the Commonwealth Bank trial, approximately 35,000 existing customers with Commonwealth Bank MasterCard cards will be sent a new card with MasterCard PayPass and instructions on where and how to use it.

More than 150 merchants across the Central Coast, the Sutherland Shire, and Wollongong will take part in the trial, including 7-Eleven convenience stores and Subway stores.

"This new payment option will be great for small businesses, as well as customers. Less money handling and quicker processing of customer transactions could result in smaller queues for many retailers," Mr Cameron said.

"Local retailers have been overwhelmingly supportive of the initiative, and we’re expecting that more will join the trial in coming weeks."

"MasterCard has been a pioneer and strong advocate of contactless payment solutions," said Leigh Clapham, senior vice president and general manager, Australasia, MasterCard International.

"We have done this through the introduction of our PayPass contactless payment feature. To date, there are more than 5 million PayPass cards and devices with more than 25,000 merchants accepting PayPass globally,"

"Following the success of PayPass in many markets globally, we are delighted that Commonwealth Bank of Australia is our first customer financial institution in Australia to pioneer this technology with its cardholders.

"MasterCard is committed to providing innovative and customized payment solutions to our consumers in Australia and look forward to working closely with CBA to roll-out PayPass. PayPass." 

Mr Cameron said that MasterCard PayPass is every bit as secure as the old paper receipt with a signature.

"Rollouts of this technology in the United States and around the world have shown no increase in fraud or security concerns, and we anticipate a similar experience here. We are very confident in the security of this technology."

He said security measures around lost and stolen cards for MasterCard PayPass are the same as with existing credit cards. Customers should call the Commonwealth Bank to report a lost or stolen card to have the card deactivated.

MasterCard PayPass customers will also have additional support throughout the trial including

  • A dedicated 1-800 number help desk;
  • A customer website for information and feedback;
  • 37 Commonwealth Bank branches in the trial area, and;
  • A monthly update with statements informing them of new shops where MasterCard PayPass is accepted.



For more information, contact:

Michael Gleeson
Executive Manager, Media and Issues Management
Communication, Community and Reputation
Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
Phone: (02) 9378 5965 / Mobile: 0400 096 924


Media contact on behalf of MasterCard International:
Siobhan Young, PPR
Phone: (02) 9818 0917 / Mobile 0405 649 095