The big banks are rushing to make online credit card cancellations a reality as they face a parliamentary inquiry into their operations and practices.
The interest in online credit card cancellations comes after CHOICE
revealed no progress had been made after the issue was raised more than a
Currently cancelling a credit card requires customers to call during
business hours, write a letter and visit a branch.
But Commonwealth has announced it will make it possible for customers to
cancel their cards – in real time – using an app or its online banking
"Soon customers can go online to close their credit card at a time that
suits them, simply with the app or NetBank," says Clive van Horen,
executive general manager retail products and strategy at Commonwealth
Commonwealth Bank is describing the functionality as "an Australian first",
in a move that undermines assertions made by NAB days before.
NAB claimed to offer online credit card cancellations before a
parliamentary inquiry on Friday.
"We have now enabled customers to close their credit card through our
internet banking platforms," said Antony Cahill, chief operating officer at
But the online tool spruiked by NAB resembles a messaging service that can
take up to three business days for a customer to receive a response.
CHOICE raised the issue of online credit card cancellations in 2015. It was
among the key recommendations made in a Federal Government consultation
paper in 2016.
The move is a step in the right direction, says Erin Turner, the head of
campaigns at CHOICE.
"It's really positive to see this announcement from Commonwealth Bank,
although there's little detail to see how this feature will work and when
"All of the banks should be looking at their online systems to make
cancelling a credit card as easy as it is to get into debt."
Credit cards from Westpac and ANZ cannot be cancelled online.