The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) is overhauling its EFTPOS payments solution to help it compete with fintech rivals like Square.
“These new payment solutions are designed for the businesses of the future,” CBA group executive for business banking Mike Vacy-Lyle said.
The headliner of this hardware refresh is the new CBA Smart payments terminal, set to replace the outgoing ‘Albert’ EFTPOS machines introduced in 2015.
The new Smart terminals feature a standalone design, a touchscreen, dual SIM cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity. They also boast a new in-built inventory management system, plus support for surcharging, tipping and paperless email receipts.
“This means businesses can spend more time serving their customers and focusing on what matters most to them in their business,” Mr Vacy-Lyle said.
Beyond the expected spec bump and the visibly slimmer design, the CBA Smart terminal’s biggest drawcard is support for an ‘App Marketplace’.
Assuming there’s sufficient developer support for this platform, this promises to allow businesses using the CBA Smart terminals to customise the experience with applications tailored for different sectors and industries.
On paper, this gives CBA business customers something akin to the app marketplace offered by US payments processor Square, who announced plans to acquire Afterpay earlier this year for $39 billion.
“The new, smarter features will be particularly useful for hospitality, retail, and healthcare businesses, helping merchants save time with in-built surcharging and tipping, and same day settlements to help manage cash flow,” Mr Vacy-Lyle said.
CBA said that the new Smart terminal would roll out to its one million business customers across Australia from 25 October 2021.
Once this happens, businesses will be able to rent the device via a business account with CBA at the cost of $29.50 per month.
The bank also plans to further expand its offering for business payments solutions with a new secure card reader accessory.
Intended as a direct competitor to Square’s Reader product, the CBA Secure Card Reader promises to allow merchants to easily take chip and contactless payments even while on the go.
CBA’s new secure card reader is slated to arrive sometime before the end of 2021.
“Using the latest technology and customer feedback, we’re making payment solutions that are more intuitive, customisable and secure,” Mr Vacy-Lyle said.