“The group of four banks collectively bargaining for access to the iPhone’s near-field communication (NFC) technology have baulked at settling for payment alternatives such as Android Pay, calling them “unrealistic” in the Australian market,” Asha McLean reports for ZDNet. “The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), Westpac Banking Corporation, the National Australia Bank (NAB), and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank have been seeking regulatory approval since mid-last year to collectively negotiate with third-party mobile providers such as Apple.”

“In its most recent submission [PDF] to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the banking cartel explained that its members developed their own NFC mobile wallets on the Android platform prior to current multi-issuer mobile wallets being announced, and expressed interest in doing the same on Apple’s platform,” McLean reports. “Throughout the process, the banks have claimed that they want access to the NFC controller in iPhones and reduced their argument last month to solely focus on such, as Apple currently does not allow any other entity direct access to its technology.”

“The banks also expect other providers of mobile wallets and other NFC functions to soon emerge, which they said might include merchants, telecommunications providers such as Optus Pay in Australia or Singtel and Orange internationally, and fintech startups such as Myki Plus — an NFC app sprouting from Melbourne’s public transit cards — but only on the Android platform,” McLean reports. “‘These alternatives are unrealistic in Australia, which has the world’s highest adoption of contactless NFC card payments and one of the world’s highest iPhone market shares, particularly among customers likely to use mobile payments,’ the banks said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote last November:

Dear Aussie banks: No, you cannot have access to iPhone’s NFC chip. Protecting iOS users’ security is of paramount importance.

Note that no other banks in the world require direct access to iPhone’s NFC chip in order to support Apple Pay.

SEE ALSO:
Australian Banks tell Apple: It’s not about your Apple Pay Fees, it’s about access to NFC – February 13, 2017
Apple Pay boss says Aussie customers willing to dump banks who fail to support Apple Pay – February 10, 2017
Apple steps up battle with Australian banks over Apple Pay boycott motive – February 6, 2017
ACCC proposes to deny authorisation for banks to collectively bargain with and boycott Apple on Apple Pay – November 29, 2016
Australian banks dismiss Android NFC past in Apple Pay negotiations – November 14, 2016
Australian banks accuse Apple of anti-competitive behavior, want access to iPhone’s NFC chip to take on Apple Pay – July 28, 2016
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
Aussie consumers lose as banks effectively boycott Apple Pay – November 27, 2015
Australian banks accuse Apple of anti-competitive behavior, want access to iPhone’s NFC chip to take on Apple Pay – July 28, 2016
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