“Australia’s three biggest banks, including no. 1 lender National Australia Bank, on Wednesday said they had lodged a joint application with anti-trust regulators seeking approval to collectively negotiate with Apple Inc. to install their own electronic payments applications on iPhones,” Matt Siegel reports for Reuters. “Apple, which operates its own Apple Pay mobile wallet, does not allow third-party electronic payment apps to be loaded onto to the hugely popular smartphones. The banks are seeking to be able to negotiate jointly for access to Apple’s phones without themselves being accused of violating anti-competition law.”

“The three banks have resisted signing deals to use Apple Pay and want iPhone users to be able to install the electronic wallet systems they have already developed and financed themselves,” Siegel reports. “The country’s second-biggest lender, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and number three, Westpac Banking Corp, teamed up with NAB to file the application with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). The big three have been joined in the move by smaller lender Bendigo and Adelaide Bank.”

Siegel reports that the banks “contend that while Apple allows apps on iPhones using other commonplace technology, such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, restricting the technology through which mobile wallets function – known as Near Field Technology – constitutes anti-competitive behavior.”

Read more in the full article here.

Brad Jones reports for Yahoo Tech that the banks’ “argument is that third-party apps are allowed to make use of features like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and the NFC chip should fall under the same category.”

“For the time being, the three banks are simply looking for permission to negotiate with Apple as a group in an attempt to gain access to the chip,” Jones reports. “However, if this attempt fails, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see them level legal action against the company in relation to the purported breach of antitrust law.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: A move by the banks to up their bargaining power, but Apple could simply argue “No” on the simple and obvious ground of protecting iOS user’s security.

ANZ welcomes Apple Pay in Australia with a funny new TV ad – May 5, 2016
Apple expands Apple Pay in Australia with ANZ bank deal – April 28, 2016

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz,” “Dan K.,” and “Brawndo Drinker” for the heads up.]