Media release

CommBank can

Media release

Commonwealth Bank to revolutionise the point-of-sale experience

World-firsts in technology change the game for businesses and consumers

17 July 2012: Commonwealth Bank today unveiled the future of point-of-sale (POS) payments, powered by a new software platform, applications, and a new omni-commerce device that will redefine the POS experience for businesses and consumers.  The announcements are the result of a significant investment in breakthrough design and engineering that address the complex security needs of POS while unleashing opportunity afforded by tablets and industry-standard  platforms to deliver new innovations to consumers.

“Every aspect of the customer interaction is being transformed by social, mobile and online technologies,” said Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, Executive General Manager of Corporate Banking Solutions, Commonwealth Bank. “Today we are leveraging our multi-year investment in core banking and ongoing innovation at the edge to transform point-of-sale forever. With CommBank Pi, Australia is positioned to lead the retail revolution globally and deliver outstanding experiences to consumers that are as secure as they are simple.”

Commonwealth Bank announced five new technologies.

  • CommBank Pi is a software platform built on industry-standard technologies and integrated to create the next generation of merchant POS solutions. This platform enables application developers and businesses to easily create applications for business use and distribute them through CommBank Pi’s AppBank to merchants.
  • Both technologies run on CommBank Albert, a brand newomni-commerce device which combines a range of industry firsts into a multi-functional hardware platform featuring an interactive touchscreen experience, Android based platform, secure EMV pin interface, printer, and merchant terminal functionality.
  • CommBank Leo attaches to Apple iPod Touch or iPhone4 and iPhone4S devices to enable Pi to transform them into a fully functioning merchant terminal and move beyond unsecure card reader alternatives. Both Leo and Albert represent the future of merchant terminals and open a new innovation ecosystem to developers and businesses alike.
  • A range of CommBank Pi Applications have been designed specifically to improve businesses’ interactions with their customers and improve their operating effectiveness. For example, the intuitive Split the Bill application will make it simple for a bill to be divided between multiple people and payment methods.

Both the Pi platform and Albert were engineered from the ground-up using a human-centred design approach with global IT and design leaders Wincor Nixdorf and IDEO.  

Based on extensive feedback from consumers and businesses, Albert features a 7” screen and portable touch interface. This enables businesses to offer the customisation of Pi through the Android-based platform together with flexible payment options and enhanced mobility - without compromising on the highest security standards of EMV chip and pin.

“Pi, together with Albert, will empower businesses to go beyond a simple transaction by using consumer-friendly applications and a human-centric interface to enrich the customer experience. From offering an easier way of splitting the bill, activating a loyalty program, using information on customer preferences, to offering a more personalised experience or checking stock – with Pi, the opportunities are limitless,” said Ms Bayer Rosmarin.

The launch of Pi comes at a crucial time for Australian businesses, as the business-consumer paradox continues to widen. A new Commonwealth Bank study1 has highlighted the growing gap between customer expectations and business owners’ recognition of the need to meet these evolving requirements. The study revealed around two-thirds (64 per cent) of customers said no staff assistance resulted in a frustrating shopping experience, in staggering contrast to only 4 per cent of businesses which believed this was an issue.

Over three-quarters (83 per cent) of customers also said waiting in a queue to pay resulted in a frustrating shopping experience, while less than one-quarter (22 per cent) of businesses acknowledged this as a concern. Additionally, 23 per cent of consumers said out-dated technology or no technology beyond basic payment terminals was a key frustration, compared with only 15 per cent of businesses.

“We know businesses want to have richer relationships with their customers but have felt restricted in the ways they can do so. Pi will help break down these barriers, having been designed from the ground-up and based on actual business feedback to deliver a solution that will revolutionise the customer experience. Interactions between businesses and their customers will never be the same again,” said Ms Bayer Rosmarin.

“CommBank is committed to providing game-changing, human-centric innovations for our customers and we believe Pi firmly delivers on this commitment. We look forward to continuing to work with our business partners and welcoming new developers on board as we work towards general availability and rollout of Albert in 2013.”

Albert will commence its certification this year, with expected general availability, depending on the time taken for final certification in Q2 2013.

Leo will offer similar payment functionality and unique customisation. Using Ingenico technology, Leo functions as a cradle to Apple iPod Touch or iPhone4 and iPhone4S devices and is suitable for mobile businesses. Leo is currently already in pilot and will be available to other businesses next month.

The Pi platform and AppBank will be available only through either the Albert or Leo devices and will offer developers and businesses alike the ability to design and customise the apps that work best for their business. All apps will be subject to approval from Commonwealth Bank before they will be released for use. Pi is available for developers to begin creating applications immediately.

For more information on Pi, please visit:




For more information please contact:

Angela Hardy 
PR Advisor 
02 9303 1883


Notes to Editors: 


About Pi

Pi is a software platform for both Android and Apple operating systems, designed to enable businesses to redefine the customer experience.

Albert, created using the Android Ver 4.0 operating system, is a first-of-its kind solution in the market. Moving beyond the parameters of traditional, simple payment devices, the human-centric design of Albert has been specifically created to improve customer interaction. As Albert has been created on an industry standard platform, businesses will be able to access a range of applications on the device - and will be able to develop their own apps to suit their business needs.

Albert will allow businesses to process all types of transactions including swipe, chip, contactless, PIN and Near Field Communication (NFC), and the built-in camera will enable businesses to accept coupons, vouchers or QR codes to be scanned.

Leo allows businesses to turn their iPod Touch or iPhone4 and iPhone4S into a platform which accepts all forms of payments including EMV Chip and Pin, magstripe and contactless. Leo meets all security and payment standards and is designed for mobility thanks to its long-lasting battery, pocket size, light weight and robust casing that enables indoor and outdoor mobility.

For full product details, please visit

About IDEO

IDEO is a global design and innovation consultancy that takes a human-centered, design-based approach to helping organisations in the public and private sectors innovate and grow. IDEO identifies new ways to serve and support people by uncovering latent needs, behaviours, and desires. IDEO helps organizations build creative culture and the internal systems required to sustain innovation and launch new ventures.

About Wincor Nixdorf

Wincor Nixdorf is one of the world’s leading providers of IT solutions and services to retailers and retail banking. The extensive portfolio is centered around optimizing business processes at banks and retail companies. It is aimed mainly at cutting costs and complexity and improving service to the end customer. In the Hardware business, Wincor Nixdorf is number 2 in Europe and the world in terms of the volume of ATMs supplied. Wincor Nixdorf has established itself as Europe’s number 1 and the world number 2 for supplies of Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) systems.


1 Commonwealth Bank Consumer-Retailer Paradox study, conducted by ACA Research and surveyed 500 consumers and 101 merchants across Australia between 20th June 2012 and 2nd July 2012.

Contact us

Angela Hardy 
PR Advisor 
02 9303 1883



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