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Commbank shouts free beer, meals, to promote NFC

"Kaching Kachampions" sling punters a tenner or buy dinner after demo

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Australia’s Commonwealth Bank is buying beer or paying punters ten Australian dollars to endure a brief lesson in its Kaching wireless payments app.

Launched in late 2011 and since downloaded more than 110,000 times, Kaching allows peer-to-peer payments between smartphone owners. Users don’t need to know each other’s account numbers - payments are facilitated through other services like Facebook. Peer-to-peer payments are possible over mobile networks, and the Bank will also sell punters NFC-equipped “iCarte” clip-ons for iPhones to make the app capable of paying for goodies in bricks and mortar stores that offer tap and go payments.

The cash giveaway is a tie-in with the Bank’s sponsorship of one day cricket. The Reg understands that costumed operatives called “Kaching Kachampions” (we’re not making this up) stalk the stands at international one day matches, asking punters if they want to download and try the app. A bank spokesbody said some punters win an iCarte, while others are shouted their food and drink. Some even receive a direct $10 payment if they race a Kachampion and make speedy payments.

The Kachampion El Reg encountered at a Sydney match was happily ladling out cash to anyone who endured a demo. Or at least he did when it was possible to arrange one - spotty mobile coverage offered by another cricket sponsor - Vodafone - meant punters had a hard time downloading the app or conducting transactions.

The demonstrator we saw reported that only Telstra customers were able to download or activate the app reliably. Vodafone and Optus customers’ phones reported full 3G coverage, but the cell nearest the Sydney Cricket Ground was at full capacity and app downloads or payment demonstrations were not possible.

Punters eager to learn of Kaching’s appeal were therefore left wondering “Howzat”?

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