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CBA launches payment device as Aussies start small businesses

Commonwealth Bank is launching its own portable payments service, taking on US payments giant Square.

Commonwealth Bank payments device
Commonwealth Bank is launching its own payment service for small businesses. (Source: Getty/Commonwealth Bank)

Commonwealth Bank is launching its own portable payments device, as more Aussies start their own small businesses and side hustles.

The $59 Smart Mini will compete with other payment devices and services, including US payments giant Square, and will offer businesses same-day settlement on transactions and a 1.1 per cent flat-rate transaction fee for major cards.

According to CommBank’s research, one in three Aussies have either started a small business or side hustle since the start of the pandemic, or plan to start one in the next 12 months.

There were 109,500 new business transaction accounts opened with the major bank during the first half of the 2023 financial year - equating to a whopping 4,200 per week. Some of the highest growth sectors were gardening, plumbing and painting businesses.

Commonwealth Bank’s group executive for business banking Mike Vacy-Lyle said this showed there was a growing need for mobile payments.

“From speaking to customers, it is clear that the ability to take payments on the go is now a key requirement,” Vacy-Lyle said.

“Smart Mini meets this need with seamless and secure integration of mobile payments with their main transaction account, saving valuable time in managing multiple accounts.”

CBA said it hoped its new devices would be used by small businesses taking payments on the go, including tradies, gardeners and market stall operators.

CommBank’s device will compete with Square, which has been a dominant force in the space since entering the Australian market in 2016. The popular Square reader is currently $59 full-price and has a 1.9 per cent processing fee per in-person transaction.

Square was founded by former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey in 2009. The company acquired Australian buy now, pay later platform Afterpay in 2021.

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