Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) is attempting to sell its new Albert Payment technology to Australian restaurants, cafes and retail stores. Albert is a wireless touch screen Android device with a secure EMV interface for accepting a multitude of payment options. The Albert point-of-sale device provides payment options for customers while at the same time providing more detailed data on consumer spending patterns. Gary Roach, CBA’s managing director of payments and cash management, said that the bank’s partner Wincor Nixdorf would also attempt to distribute the technology globally. CBA hopes to create new offshore revenue streams. “This is the start of a very exciting potential. There are much larger acquirers in the world than we are, and I know Wincor Nixdorf are having discussions.” Mr. Roach said.
The bank would not be specific about the quantity of Albert devices that would be available to customers initially. But the bank did say they expected “tens of thousands” of devices to be deployed globally. Since the operating system of Albert is open source, CBA hopes to expand the number of applications available to customers. The device will be shipped with eight preloaded applications. The bank has also cited around 800 developers that have signed up for Albert application development. CBA’s launch of Albert has been delayed for almost three years, but Mr. Roach has said that the bank focused on “developing to quality” rather than rolling out the device too early. He also has underlined the potential for this new device, saying that customers will “have at their fingertips an enormous wealth of data and you have to be across that data and develop insights so you can improve your transactions for your customers.”