CommBank Albert is an Android-based point-of-sale tablet that will compete directly with traditional eftpos terminals in Australia. The device's main claim to fame is the ability for merchants to install customised apps for numerous business purposes. Boasting a secure EMV interface for accepting chip and PIN cards, NFC support for contactless payments, Wi-Fi connectivity and an inbuilt receipt printer, it's essentially a "smart" payment terminal that can be adapted on the fly to meet the changing needs of customers.
Albert is the latest industry disruptor to come out of CBA's innovation labs in conjunction with German tech company Wincor Nixdorf and US design firm IDEO. It's an Android 4.0 tablet and omni-commerce device that allows businesses to tailor and monitor customer interactions. The launch model, which was three years in development, will come with a dual core processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of flash memory and a native resolution of 1280x800 pixels.
Noteworthy features include a seven-inch customer-facing mulit-touch display, a secure EMV pin interface with full merchant terminal functionality and PCI compliance. It also comes with an 8-megapixel camera that allows coupons, vouchers and QR codes to be scanned and redeemed at the point of sale.
For merchants, Albert will allow a range of business applications and processes to be streamlined into a single platform. This includes monitoring apps such as the pre-installed "Daily IQ" tool which provides insights into cash flow and customer data over the course of the day. CBA customers that have already rolled out Albert terminals include Foot Locker, Event Cinemas and David Jones.
On the consumer side of things, Albert will provide a range of apps that will make the payment process easier. Eight CommBank Pi applications have already been designed, including the obligatory "split the bill" and open tab apps. Naturally, the potential for new customer experiences will grow as developers sink their teeth into the open platform and create new applications.
There are currently 800 registered developers lined up to create apps for Albert. CBA reckons the platform has the potential to explode in much the same way that smartphones did.