Australian Banks Again Denied Request to Negotiate Over Apple Pay

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) today rejected an application from several Australian banks that sought to collectively negotiate with Apple over Apple Pay, reports Reuters.

Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, National Australia Bank (NAB), and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank sought to enter into group talks with Apple in an attempt to establish a deal that would give them access to the NFC hardware in the iPhone, allowing them to offer their already-established bank-run mobile payments services using the iPhone's NFC chip.

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The four banks needed the permission of the ACCC to avoid violating anti-cartel laws, but their request has been officially denied. In a statement, ACCC chairman Rod Sims said the benefits are "uncertain" and "may be limited."

"While the ACCC accepts that the opportunity for the banks to collectively negotiate and boycott would place them in a better bargaining position with Apple, the benefits are currently uncertain and may be limited."

Today's denial follows an initial denial in August, where the ACCC opted to take more time to consider the issue before granting a request that would have allowed the banks to boycott Apple Pay while negotiations took place. The ACCC has now denied the banks both interim and draft authorization, but a final ruling on the request will not come until March of 2017.

Apple vigorously opposed the initial request, stating that allowing banks to access hardware within the iPhone would compromise security, undermine customers' privacy, and harm innovation. The banks, meanwhile, claim access to NFC would give customers more choice and would have "tremendous benefits for the entire Australian mobile payments landscape."

While Apple Pay has been available in Australia since November of 2015 through partnerships with ANZ and American Express, Australia's three major banks -- Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, and National Australia Bank -- have thus far resisted signing deals with Apple to accept Apple Pay.

Recently, Apple inked a deal with Cuscal Payments Group, expanding Apple Pay to more than 30 small banks and credit unions across Australia. The agreement saw Apple Pay becoming available to four million additional Australians.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

Top Rated Comments

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48 months ago
I don't know how these banks are seeing how their continued aggression in trying to barter would be perceived as anything other than greedy and consumer-unfriendly. Switched from CBA to ANZ & AMEX as I could read the writing on the wall in this - even removing Apple Pay from the equation, it's been a much better experience.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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48 months ago

G'day mate! 'Nother shrimp on the barbie?

Do you realise that Aussies don't call them shrimp?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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48 months ago

That's a confusing, though grammatically correct, sentence. It seems like ANZ and AmEx have Apple Pay in Australia, but not Commonwealth, Westpac, or NAB, correct?

Yes, that is correct. I rewrote that sentence so it's clearer. I'm sorry for the confusion.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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48 months ago

While Apple Pay has been available in Australia ('https://www.macrumors.com/2016/04/27/apple-pay-australia-anz/') since November of 2015 through partnerships with ANZ and American Express, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, and National Australia Bank have thus far resisted signing deals with Apple to accept Apple Pay.

That's a confusing, though grammatically correct, sentence. It seems like ANZ and AmEx have Apple Pay in Australia, but not Commonwealth, Westpac, or NAB, correct?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
48 months ago
I understand the angle the banks are coming from. However, I would imagine that even if Apple did open up their NFC hardware, these other banks would still not use Apple Pay, and instead just use their own systems. While that may work out well for them, I don't see them accepting Apple Pay after they have done that.

Therefore, it's right for Apple to hold their ground on this. The banks will have to come around eventually... probably some time between March and November (2 years after ANZ) next year :p

As for shrimps...

Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
48 months ago
This is so stupid I'm thinking of switching because of how stubborn the banks are being
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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