Tag Archives: NFC

Samsung unpacks Samsung Galaxy S3 at Mobile Unpacked 2012

London has a lot happening this year! This one is about Samsung’s Mobile Unpacked 2012 event and an event where Samsung launched the “Samsung Galaxy S3”

As our lives become increasingly complex, people are no longer enthused about new technology for technology’s sake! They desire products that genuinely think and care about them. Products created with humanity at heart! – voice over at the Samsung Mobile Unpacked 2012, London.

Must say, Samsung have been trying quite relentlessly adding in new features and updates to their models of Smartphones – specially talking about the “S” range. Samsung has now announced their next mobile the ‘Samsung Galaxy S3‘ with a lot of new features and some of them seem quite cool I’d say and whether they’re compared to the iPhone or not – they have the first mover advantage this time around (sorry Apple!). Samsung announced the launch is going be across 145 countries across 296 Mobile operators.

Yes, you’d expect that a new mobile is going to have higher specs, better style…stuff like better resolution, a better look than it’s predecessor, a better camera and probably a few tweaks here and there which make your consideration score go up when you’re either out of contract from your telco or need to buy a new mobile no matter what the reason. Here’s a few features that we picked up which are quite different and cool too!

Samsung Smartstay technology that use eye tracking technology to keep awake!

Smart stay: It’s like your mobile looking at you and keeping awake! A feature keeps the brightness up as long as you’re looking at it. A feature that use eye recognition technology that tracks eye movement and keeps the screen “ON” as long as you’re looking at it.

Direct Call: Texting someone….and how many times we feel the need to just pick up the phone and ring..this one does it automatically…ah! what say…LIKE?

Smart Alert: Think iPhone and a few other phones have this feature but in a mention, but not sure exactly how this feature is different from the notifications of the iOS version. The phone apparently has a vibrating nudge to let you know that you missed a call or a text. uhmm…nice anyways.

S Voice: Probably for “Samsung” Voice. A feature which iPhone made popular by the SIRI in their mobiles.

Will be on the lookout to get our hands on one, will probably have to let the boss know we need one for ‘testing’ or internal R&D purposes 🙂 that way we can explore it in and out! and if it were a car, I’d say ‘take her out for a spin’! Go Samsung!

Social Tag & Buddy Photo Share: Now, this seems like a cool feature. As per the Samsung website – this feature is to keep track of your loved ones, a glance at your friends’ photos will show you their Social Network Status…there’s also the Buddy Photo Share feature. How many times that we take a photo and what do we end up doing with it? Send it to our buddies. Samsung S3 comes with this feature that recognises (guess made popular by Facebook’s tagging feature) and shares photo’s instantly. I think if there is a good enough way to control what you end up sharing and what not – this is a good feature! Hopefully we don’t end up sharing all photos and spam our buddies 😉

Do check out some of the other features – there’s stuff like the “All Share Play” then there is the Pop Up Play – a feature to watch HD videos whilst you’re texting ah…multitasking! For those thinking of Apple’s ‘Air Play‘ there’s the Allshare cast feature ie – this is to watch photo’s, videos from your mobile on your TV and your mobile then becomes the controller. Pretty nifty feature these days if you want to experience HD content or sit back, relax and watch content on a larger screen at home.

For those who need to know the specs – The Samsung S3 is 4.8″ HD, includes a 4.8″ 720p resolution screen with an inbuilt quad-core processor, has inbuilt [Near Field Communications] NFC built in runs Google’s ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ version of the Android operating system. Guess a lot will depend on the ease of using the phone in terms of the user experience too!

In all, seems like good timing (expected to be released end of May in Europe) and a good mobile when there’s rumors that the next iPhone (the 6th generation from Apple) is probably going to be released end of year and Samsung have played their card first!

PS; we are not paid nor contracted by Samsung to say good things 🙂 

If you are interested and have time to watch the whole event – here’s a link below:

Samsung Mobile Unpacked 2012 Event – FULL [London]

a few references:


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Commonwealth Bank launches “Kaching” Mobile Payment App

Left your wallet and cards at home and need to pay? Need to make a quick payment to your friends on Facebook…no worries, use your mobile! 

Ok, I’ve said it in the past that I think the banks have been doing well in the way they’re thinking ahead of coming up with mobile apps that are based on providing “on-the-go” utility leveraging the growth in the area of mobile technology. Back in July 2011, we wrote a piece on when we noted that the Commbank updated their App and also another quick blog on the future of mobile payments and why it’s all that important.

Almost all the major banks and the mid-tier ones too such as co-op’s and building society’s have come up with mobile banking apps. Sure you’ve seen that the banks have started to use this in their marketing too, as in – you would have spotted a poster when you entered a St George or a Westpac or any other bank, looked at a bus-side talking about their mobile banking facility. For those who have used the ANZ’s “Pay to Mobile” feature, it does work like a breeze specially from one ANZ to another ANZ customer account. And now – to add to all this, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia have launched their ‘Kaching’ app. For those who are unaware of what ‘Kaching‘ means – it’s a slang thingy meaning to “cash in” or make a lot of money. Sometimes, “rich” this being derived from the sound of an old fashioned cash register – get it? “Kaching” “Kaching”… not a bad thought as the CommBank mobile app is about payments — wonder if the app makes the “Kaching” noise too 😉


Here’s the AppStore link to download the Kaching App and here’s a page on the Commonwealth bank Kaching website with a video showing how Kaching works – check it out.

So, what does this CommBank Kaching App do?

  • Send money to someone using their mobile number
  • Make payments using your email contacts or by entering an email address
  • Make payments to your Facebook friends
  • Shop without cash or cards by holding your iPhone4S or 4, using the iCarte case, over the PayPass™ contactless terminal
  • Make payments via BPAY® or with an account number and BSB

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There’s a requirement mentioned too that users first need to be registered for NetBank and have NetCode activated to make payments and purchases using a mobile phone and the Recipients of payments via mobile, Facebook and email need an Australian bank account to claim.

Whilst it’s really early days, both banks and users have a lot of extra areas to be cautious of I guess, in terms of security and how tight the measures are – and it’s great that users are able to do all this but not to forget that we’re in a hyper connected world and now our information is being accessed by multiple applications so yes there are exciting times ahead in terms of convenience and the fact that we are entering another new era of cashless transactions, security is going to be of prime importance.

Android is on it’s way

The Commbank Kaching is compatible with all iPhone’s operating iOS 4.2 and above. The Commbank Kaching for iPhone 4S, 4 3GS and 3G, you can pay anyone via mobile, email or Facebook, make BPAY payments and transfer money between your Commbank accounts. An extra bit of stuff you need to do to set up your iPhone 4S or 4 for contactless payments by ordering an iCarte case from Commbank via the app. When you receive and activate your iCarte case, just hold your iPhone 4S or 4 over any PayPass™ contactless terminal to pay for purchases under $100.

Read more on the App Store description – Link Here – Seems like the Android fans will have to wait for a bit more as per the note on the website but knowing Commbank sure the Android and the tablet version won’t be too far down the track!

The Commbank’s media release section on their website claims this App is the first in the world that you would be able to make payments to your Facebook friends which is an awesome feature I think as you now don’t need to worry about asking your mates that you some beer monies for their BSB and account number details which I’m sure most of us don’t even remember or if we do remember, we need to recheck somewhere on our bank statements or a notepad hidden somewhere.

It’s a New App

One thing I’m still a bit unsure of is when I’ve got the CommBank App which also allows me to login to my mobile banking which I’ve been using for quite a while now, the Kaching is an all together new app that one needs to download. No wonder it does use the same access details but not sure why this is done as an altogether new app, being a customer I would’ve liked to see this integrated into my current mobile banking behaviour.

NFC but still uses external hardware

To use the contact-less PayPass payment you still need to buy a piece of hardware that is in effect your NFC (Near Field Communication) reader by buying an iCarte case (for A$54.95) through Commbank and I tell ya it was quite hard to find where to buy this! Having searched for quite some time on almost all of the Commbank’s websites, we then found the below info on the support page

iCarte cases are available for order within Commbank Kaching. In the ‘Cards’ tab, select the credit or debit MasterCard you wish to set up, press the ‘Set up PayPass’ button and follow the on screen instructions.

It seems like the purchase of the iCarte case needs to be made from within the App itself but I did not have that option showing up of buying the iCarte case…not sure why, maybe the reason being that I don’t have a master card. But would’ve thought that if that was the case, it would’ve been used as an opportunity to sell me one? But, there’s no obvious link from any online site that you can buy the iCarte case from – must be s

We did register interest to hear about this app a few months ago but didn’t hear about this and just a few days ago we came across this App while googling something about the upcoming NFC technology I think it was…or maybe it’s that we jumped the gun and searched for it even before they could let us know. But at the end of the day, Kaching is here and must say Commbank have taken a giant step to try and move ahead in the world of mobile payments.

Sure, as we go on – there will be more and more phones with inbuilt NFC and other mobile payment gateways that we can use so we don’t external cases but for now it’s “KACHING KACHING” time 😉



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Commonwealth Bank updates Mobile App [Pics]

Commonwealth Bank – updates their mobile banking App. iPad and Windows 7 versions included.

Further on the mobile bank side of things from one of our previous stories about how banks seem to have taken the mobile side of things in their stride, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia have announced updates to their mobile banking app, also referred to as NetBanking. We’ve seen a few example of banking apps but must admit, for what CommBank have done so far with the latest updates – this seems to be quite a smart app packed with a heap of new features but also what makes it interesting. It does deliver that app experience.

An updated experience, includes a version for Windows 7 & tablet devices too…

Comm Bank App - updated look and feel

Comm Bank App - updated look

One noticeable difference for users who have been using the CommBank App is that there is a significant improvement in the number of features and also a considerable improvement in the quality of the visual or creative elements from the the previous app. In the earlier version, logging onto NetBanking used to just kick off and open a new browser window via a mobile optimised site and it still seems to do that but as a user you probably don’t realise it as it’s probably hidden off – so yes a better user experience there.

The updates also includes locating a nearest branch or ATM based on your location co-ordinates and native GPS device capabilities. For a first time user or for someone who has updated the App, there are location aware notifications, push notification & also if you’re wanting to take a tour of the app to understand how the app works which is quite user friendly and clicking on different bits takes you through some of the key functions.

Push notification on the CommBank App

Push notification on the CommBank App

The Comm bank App now also includes feeds and links to their social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook and links to their YouTube channel.

Social Media feeds

The Comm Bank updated App include feeds from their Social Media channels

The updated CommBank mobile banking app supports NetBank for the standard online banking, CommSec for the share trading side of things & there’s also a CommBank Property Guide and a new included foreign exchange tool kit.

Some of the Apps you would’ve noticed do log you out when you click on the “home” button of your phone but this one seems to be a ‘timed’ app so doesn’t log you out. Think it might’ve been good to actually have the auto log-out function due to security reasons if that’s possible too as then I’m not worried if I leave my phone on my desk or get started on something else and forget to log out – or the worse is if you’re logged on and you lose your phone and I know a few of us don’t have our phones auto-lock but a potential danger if you logged on. I do note that under security tips – there is a mention of a log out at the end of a period of inactivity.

There is a link to “visit’ from the App and clicking through it takes you straight to their PC website. We think having a mobile optimised (cut down) version that displays properly on a mobile device would be good to present with an option of visiting the PC (full version) website. But guess, this is not a biggie.

And if you haven’t noticed yet – they even a version which we haven’t tried out for Windows 7 and must be quite assuring for Windows users so they’re not left out. The CommBank have even set up a page for more info for tablet users on their website.

In all, think they’ve done a great job in putting this together and an App that delivers an update experience.

Note that you can’t use your phone as an ATM just yet and withdraw cash from it 😉 but maybe we wouldn’t need those ATM’s anyways once NFC comes in which is being talked about in a big way!

If you have seen or heard of any other banking or related apps – please share them. It would be great to hear from you if you have any other comments too.

Check our more on the CommBank website.


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Future of Mobile Payments – infographic & Video

Trying to understand what is a mobile wallet?

It’s quite a simple concept really, you carry your smart mobile phone that has all the info you need on it and now technology makes it possible that your mobile device will be soon able to be used instead of your wallet. Sure it’ll take some time but hey who would’ve thought a few years ago that the iPhone and Android will make it this big too that they’re such a big part of our everyday lives now!

There’s a few different ways being talked about how this is going to be possible and what’s in it for an everyday user as well as a business. How is this new technology going to affect how consumers make payments & businesses transact.

Google have started to push the ‘Google Wallet‘ service. QR code strike rates are on the rise and there’s talks about NFC going to be used for all our everyday transactions.

Mobile payments are on the rise as the mobile is one device no matter what we all carry around. Even if we forget to carry our wallet, we need a mobile to ring someone. And now that technology such as NFC (Near Field Communications) is just around the corner.

Guess by now you’ve seen that in the U.S. people have already started to use the mobile as a transaction device in places such as Starbucks. In Japan, the mobile has been used as a device to transact since many years now…

Check out this video from Google about why is Google Wallet important for businesses?

Info-Graphic on the future of Mobile payments

Here’s an infographic from G+ that predicts the massive uptake in payments using the mobile device for everyday transactions. Thanks to G plus for this info-graphic.

Interesting to note:

By 2013. Sales of NFC enabled devices will exceed $75 Billion.
By 2014. NFC transactions alone will exceed $50 Billion.
By 2015. The value of all mobile money transactions is expected to reach $670 Billion.

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Posted by on July 11, 2011 in Mobile Commerce, Mobile integration


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Mobile Banking – On the go!

When was the last time you stood in the queue to check your account balance? When was the last time you felt the need to walk into a branch? Or do you just use your mobile…

A lot of us I’m sure use mobile banking on the go on our mobiles and not surprising that it is quite a utility that we like to have at our finger tips. Just like many other services being made available on our smartphones, whether you’re travelling or just know that your banking information is available at hand when required by you.

Just like many of us, I remember starting to use the banking on my mobile when my bank started to offer it and really there wasn’t much available at that point in time except the fact that you could log-on and check your balances, the updates weren’t that quite synced with your actual account and moreover the look and feel of it too wasn’t that polished. Well, we’ve now moved on and you would’ve noticed that almost all the banking institutions now have started to push the ‘mobility’ factor as a feature or a value-add as part of their day to day services. 

Mobile Banking – On the go!

Commonwealth Bank in Australia a few months ago, started to list property using Augmented Reality and not sure if you’ve come across the vision piece from Commonwealth Bank video from the bank. It’s a bit old now but you can see the thinking behind it. The Commonwealth Bank also have information on their website about mobile banking. Interestingly, you will note that the iPhone and Android have apps whereas if you’re on a blackberry then you still have access to the banking but not via an App experience but a mobile site. Not sure if you’ve noticed but the banks have tailored their experiences depending on the number of users on a particular device e.g. iPhone, Android being the two most widely used phones. It’s also worthy to note that some of the experiences are also different – for example, the Commonwealth ‘NetBanking’ user login from the mobile takes you to a new screen which seems like a mobile site version whereas banks such as ANZ in their goMoney give you a native iPhone experience so you’re not jumping around screens. But again, that’s a different topic with a lot of variants whether it needs to be via a mobile website or all through an App, in this instance let me not start off being nerdy and going away on a tangent!  

Banks seem to have realised the potential of mobile!  

There are many industries out there which are still yet to harness the potential of using mobile as a channel, be it for their marketing or providing customer service via mobile or leverage the mobile as a true one on one loyalty channel. But, on the other hand, banks seem to have taken this on their stride and have developed a good amount of services and seem to be busy actively pushing the mobile factor as part of their service offering. Sure you’ve seen some of their messages such as the St. George Bank, NAB and Westpac leveraging marketing material to push the message out to consumers including signage, posters and visual displays outside of their branches. The ING gorilla holds an iPhone too in newspaper AD’s and the info on ING’s mobile banking is on their website too. NAB on their YouTube channel has videos with demo’s for banking on iPad’s  which has features such as branch locator, getting directions to get there, foreign exchange rates and a few other handy features. NAB also has the info on their website. The Commonwealth Banking mobile banking App shows you the transactions almost in real-time so there’s no wait for it to be updated as that could be quite frustrating when you’re on the go and need to know. There’s also the ANZ banking app that has a feature where you could pay to a mobile number which I’ve used a few times and find it quite useful especially in social circumstances. Example, the other day we were at a restaurant and we were bill sharing – and all I did was took out my iPhone, fired up the ANZ goMoney App and used the “pay to mobile” function transferring the dosh straight onto my friends account by punching his mobile number. The other bit, which a few of mobile banking apps have done is taking customers who use the App for the first time through a series of say tutorials or a guide of some sort that reassures you of the services and also leveraging the true potential of messaging that is relevant to the medium. In this example here, I’ve taken some screenshots from when I used the ANZ goMoney App.

ANZ goMoney App - Mobile Banking

ANZ's "About" screen from the goMoney banking App

Catering for Android too.

Don’t have an iPhone? A lot of banks are now moving towards having services available on phones running Google’s Android operating system too. The National Australia Bank (or NAB as we refer it to…) also caters for the non-iPhone audience and has a video demo’ing their service and how it works on an Android. I’m not an NAB customer but it does seem quite simple and user friendly to use. Commonwealth Bank also announced and has services for folks on Android.

Some banks such as Bank of America have and obviously gone all the way to catering to people on different mobile platforms or accessing the banking from different devices such as the iPad, iPhone, Blackberry.

With the onset of new technology just around the corner such as the ‘Near Field Communications’ or ‘NFC’ as the NFC term is quite being thrown around as a buzz word already. Think we’ll see a lot more of Augmented Reality, 3D and interactive experiences via mobile devices. Maybe we’ll be able to see money flying into our accounts!! I’d rather be positive and not say money flying out 😉

Here’s some of the useful links on mobile banking which we’ve discussed in this piece.

Commonwealth Bank Vision Piece Video

ANZ  goMoney Demo

NAB Android Demo

NAB iPad Demo

NAB Website with info on their mobile banking

 St.George Banking App – iPad Video

Bank of America mobile banking – Video

Happy banking on the go! Do let us know your thoughts and if there’s any other cool apps or mobile banking stuff out there that you’d like to share.

For those who would like to know more about NFC. This video is a lengthy one, but goes through it all from Google.



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