Apple continues to battle the Australian banking industry over the future of mobile payments

Australian banking industry
Apple continues to battle the Australian banking industry

The future of Apple Pay down under remains unknown as Apple continues to battle the Australian banking industry in an increasingly bitter dispute

Things are starting to heat up down under in a fight over access to the iPhones NFC chip. This week Apple accused an Australian banking consortium of attempting to delay & block the expansion of Apple Pay into the country.

In a statement received by Bloomberg, the banks have called Apple’s claims “incorrect and unsupported.”

“The application has never been about preventing Apple Pay from coming to Australia or reducing competition between wallets,” the banks said. “It has always been about providing real choice and real competition for consumers and facilitating innovation and investment in the digital wallet functionality available to Australians.”

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank, Westpac Banking Corporation, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank have persistently argued that without direct access to the iPhone’s NFC technology they would not be able to offer their own integrated digital wallets to iPhone customers. This would shut down competition in the Australian mobile payments market according to the banks. Apple has so far refused to allow direct access, saying that opening up access to the iPhones NFC function would undermine security and customer experience.

In past filings with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Apple has argued that it believes Australia’s largest banks are attempting to avoid paying the fees associated with using Apple Pay, rather than trying to access the iPhones NFC technology to ensure competition.

Although the ACCC has yet to deliver their ultimate conclusion, the battle is being closely watched. According to Visa, Australians are the world’s most prolific users of contactless payment technology. The country is now a global testing ground for banks and technology companies.

As Apple continues to battle the Australian banking industry, the country’s three biggest banks, Commonwealth, Westpac, and National Australia Bank, have yet to offer Apple Pay to their customers.

More here [Bloomberg]

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