Australian Retailers Back Banks' Right to Negotiate With Apple

Australian retail giant Coles, the Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA), and the Australian Retailers Association have all expressed their support to allow some of the country's banks to collectively negotiate with Apple over access to its NFC-based digital payment technology (via ZDNEt).

Last month, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank (NAB), and Westpac lodged a joint application with the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) to negotiate with Apple because they want to be able to use digital wallets they have already financed and developed, rather than be tied into using just Apple Pay.

Apple-pay-in-stores-amex
Apple lambasted the banks over the application, and last week the request was denied by the ACCC to give the antitrust regulator more time to consult and consider the views of all the parties involved.

However, in a letter of support sent to the ACCC, retailer Coles argued that giving the banks the ability to negotiate with Apple will enhance the experience for customers, as well as improve the transparency of costs related to credit card processing fees.

We believe the ability to tailor solutions for customers and provide them with greater value should be the driver for customer choice and not a technical lockout that many consumers may not have realized would be imposed when they purchased their mobile device.

The APCA also backed the banks, claiming enabling them to negotiate will encourage greater innovation and enhance competition in the payments markets, and ultimately deliver benefits to consumers and merchants.

"We consider that the exclusivity and restrictions on access to platforms and functionality, by contrast, may tend to stifle innovation and competition," it said.

Meanwhile, retail body ARA argued that if Apple allowed the banks to put their mobile banking apps onto the iPhone, it would give consumers the option to choose.

"We would like to see all customers have a choice of mobile wallets and payment services using the mobile phone they already have and the bank debit and credit cards and loyalty cards they already use," the ARA wrote.

PayPal also wrote to the ACCC, but rather than endorsing the banks' request for negotiations, it said the original application's definition of "mobile wallet" was too broad. The digital payments giant also wrote that the APCA's voluntary Third Party Digital Wallet Security Industry Guidelines should not be mandated without open discussions on standards.

Apple's opinion on the matter remained the same: the company believes the original application shows the banks want to maintain complete control over their customers and blunt Apple's entry into the Australian market.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
54 months ago
Translation:
We don't want to pay any processing fees. We want to take everything ourselves.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
54 months ago
Gotta love these banks' definition of more choice - the ability to choose the bank's wallet app while not supporting Apple Pay so that isn't an option.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
54 months ago
Coles, have a look at yourself! I used your "new" self-checkout interface today - it was the WORST!

You have no idea what is means to "enhance the experience for customers"...
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
54 months ago
In Little Britain style, I hope Apple's response is, "iPhone says, nooo."
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
54 months ago

If Apple don't want to negotiate with the Australian banks or open up the NFC chip, Apple if free to not sell the iPhone in Australia.

You make no sense
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
54 months ago

Apple is just as bad - Apple could offer an API to access the NFC chip, or they could use Apple Pay , and its purely Apple's greed that that removes this. Apple is just as greedy as the banks.

If Apple offers hardware access to the NFC hardware in its current form, it would probably lose its EMVCo certification for Apple Pay. Apple went to a lot of effort to be certified at a card present level equivalent to full chip and pin (and thus is limited by your daily transaction limit).

Allowing other Applets would mean downgrading Apple Pay to the same scope/standard as pay wave / pay pass which is capped at around USD $ 50-100 per transaction in most countries.

Apple can't possibly pay for every bank in the world to be certified in conjunction with Apple Pay on the device, and EMVCo certification may not be something a bank wants to do. The Australian banks have tried to shut out MasterCard and Visa from the Australian market previously with their "Bankcard" consortium.

My best guess is Apple's current implementation is based on hardware they don't intend to keep in the product line. As the NXP chipset duplicates functionality in the SEP, I can see Apple wanting to eventually migrate to their custom chipset.

Note that Apple does not give anyone access to NFC under any circumstances , even for functionality that does not compete with ApplePay (eg access control systems). Nor do they give raw access to GPS, Bluetooth, Ethernet , Wifi or Cellular to any 3rd party.

I don't think the Australian Banks have a leg to stand on here.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iPhone 12 Pro in Graphite and iPhone 12 in Blue Shown Off in Unboxing Videos

Monday October 19, 2020 8:20 am PDT by
While the iPhone 12 Pro does not launch until Friday, we now have an early unboxing video of the device courtesy of Twitter account DuanRui, providing a closer look at the shiny new flat-edge design and sleek Graphite color option. Ben Geskin re-uploaded the unboxing video to YouTube, which we've embedded below: Geskin has also uploaded an unboxing video of the iPhone 12 in Blue: ...

Kuo: iPhone 12 Pro Demand Higher Than Expected

Sunday October 18, 2020 10:39 pm PDT by
TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a research note this morning detailing what he's seen with the volume of iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro pre-orders in the first weekend of sales. Kuo had previously indicated that Apple's estimated shipment allocations for the new iPhone models placed the iPhone 12 at the top with 40-45% of inventory allocation (up from 15-20%). However, ...

New Photos Offer Better Look at iPhone 12 Color Options

Tuesday October 20, 2020 2:34 am PDT by
As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available. Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other...

Hands-On With Apple's MagSafe Charger for iPhone 12

Monday October 19, 2020 11:54 am PDT by
Alongside the new iPhone 12 models, Apple introduced a MagSafe charger that attaches to the back of the iPhones using magnets embedded both in the charger and in the iPhone. It allows for speedier charging and paves the way for a portless iPhone in the future. MagSafe chargers are shipping out and are in some Apple retail locations now, and we picked one up to check it out. Subscribe to the ...

Some Apple Watch SE Owners Experiencing Issues With Overheating [Updated]

Monday October 19, 2020 11:38 am PDT by
There may be an issue with the new Apple Watch SE, which some users have found is overheating after a few hours of usage. Several Apple Watch SE owners in South Korea have run into problems, as noted in a Reddit post chronicling the complaints. There have been six reports from Apple Watch SE owners in South Korea who have had their Apple Watches get hot and malfunction, with a yellow spot...

Apple's New MagSafe Charger and Cases Begin Arriving to Customers

Saturday October 17, 2020 10:10 am PDT by
Apple's new MagSafe charger and cases have begun arriving to some customers earlier than expected, and images of the accessories have started to surface on Twitter. The photos provide a first look at the products in real-world use. As of writing, some MagSafe cases are also available for pickup at select Apple Stores in countries like the United States, Canada, and Germany. Filip...

Apple Releases iPadOS and iOS 14.1 With Multiple Bug Fixes Ahead of iPhone 12 Launch

Tuesday October 20, 2020 10:06 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.1, the first major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 14 operating system updates that were released in September. iOS and iPadOS 14.1 come a week after Apple released the golden master versions of the updates to developers. The iOS 14.1 update can be downloaded for free and it is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access...

Watch: iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Unboxing Videos and First Impressions

Tuesday October 20, 2020 6:05 am PDT by
Apple's embargo has lifted for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro reviews. In addition to our detailed review roundups for each device, we've rounded up over a dozen unboxing videos and first impressions below. iPhone 12 in Blue on left and iPhone 12 Pro in Pacific Blue on right via Engadget Key new features of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro include a flat-edge design, 5G support, a much faster A14 ...

Apple Plans to Enable 5G in Dual SIM Mode With Software Update Later This Year

Monday October 19, 2020 9:20 am PDT by
iPhone XS models and newer feature both a physical SIM slot and a digital eSIM, allowing for a feature known as dual SIM, dual standby. This means you can have two lines of service on one iPhone, which is useful for purchasing data-only plans while traveling abroad or having personal and business lines on a single iPhone. 5G will not be available in Dual SIM mode on the iPhone 12 and iPhone...

Brazilian Certifications Suggest iPhone 12 Mini Features 2,227mAh Battery and iPhone 12 Has 2,815mAh Battery

Friday October 16, 2020 1:08 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone mini has the shortest battery life out of all the iPhones in the iPhone 12 lineup due to its small size, but Apple has not provided public information about the battery's capacity. A regulatory filing from Brazil, however, suggests the iPhone 12 mini has a battery capacity of 2,227mAh. The same regulatory information says the iPhone 12 features a 2,815mAh battery, which is...