Aussie consumers lose as banks effectively boycott Apple Pay

“The Reserve Bank has been urged to examine potential anti-competitive behaviour in the emerging card-free payments market amid claims the banks have frozen out newcomer Apple Pay,” Heath Aston reports for The Sydney Morning Herald.

“Labor’s spokesman on digital innovation, Ed Husic, has written to the RBA and the Australian Bankers’ Association, raising his concern that Australians are being “denied choices” in digital payments,” Aston reports. “Apple Pay, which allows consumers to leave credit and bank cards at home by making purchases with an iPhone or Apple watch, launched in Australia less than a fortnight ago but all the banks have so far refused to support the new app by allowing customers to link their bank account to their phone.”

“Mr Husic, who has been a vocal critic of Apple’s pricing in the past, has written to RBA governor Glenn Stevens, expressing dismay at claims retail banks have ‘effectively boycotted’ the new payment system,” Aston reports. “‘Australian consumers should not be denied the ability to make payment choices that are openly available to consumers globally,’ Mr Husic wrote. ‘No doubt some will argue this move by the banks is anti-competitive – I am certainly concerned that it denies consumer access to a secure, efficient payment platform.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully, this will get sorted out sooner than later as banks and retailers realize that people want to use Apple Pay, so it is in their best interested to work with Apple instead of collude to blockade it.


  1. Same shit here in Canada.
    Dont know how much it costs banks annually in card fraud, must be substantial. It happened to everyone I know that has a Visa/Mastercard, and sometimes more than once.
    Banks would really gain in adopting ApplePay for one, giving their customers what they want and two, by saving on card fraud by using a much more secure system.
    Why make things simple when you can make it complicated …

    1. Actually, credit card fraud ends up costing consumers. The banks maintain their profits and the cost roll down to consumers in terms of higher fees, reduced interest on savings and checking, and higher interest rates for home, auto, and other loans.

  2. The spread between long term interest rates and revolving credit is huge and completely indefensible. When interest rates on savings accounts are well below 1%, it makes no sense for credit cards to charge 15% to 20% or more.

    The problem is that everyone has gotten greedy. A reasonable rate of return is not enough anymore. The middle class and poor end up getting screwed, as has been typical for the past few decades in the U.S.

    1. In a post-apocalyptic world, the barter system would flourish and in neo-urban areas, bottle caps or some such would be the medium of exchange. The purpose of the apocalypse would have been to blow up the banks, who had become nothing less than parasites, sucking the lifeblood from the human race. Science fiction? Not hardly.

  3. Yes, the banks in Canada have dug their heels in too and are refusing to deal with Apple. The Royal Bank of Canada has written to me in response to my complaint that “It is Apple who is refusing to deal with us.” The fact is that the banks are greedy and want Apple to provide the services for free or even pay the banks to use Apple Pay.

  4. This Australian is going to sign-up for a direct American Express credit card- Amex do allow ApplePay purchases in Australia. My slow-witted Aussie bank is going to lose a big lump of card fees as everything I spend goes on their card (and soon ApplePay).

  5. The irony in Canada is that while none of the major banks in Canada support Apple Pay , all of their American branches do . Even worse RBC supports Google wallet in Canada . I had $1200 worth of fraudulent transactions on an RBC card last month and switched to Amex which works like a charm .

    1. When I read that Amex was supporting Apple Pay in Canada, I immediately went online and signed up. I got my card and linked it to my iPhone 6+ and my Apple Watch. I ran down to Canadian Tire and bought a new Roomba using my Apple Watch to pay. Finally!!!

      RBC will be losing my entire accounts as soon as one bank accepts Apple Pay. I encourage all the readers in Canada to do the same.

  6. The defence that’s often thrown around here is the fact that Australia has one of the most advanced payment systems in the world, with near-ubiquitous contactless terminals and a rapid turnover of payment hardware (due mainly to the concentration of the banking sector). In other words: people have choices already, so another won’t make a difference.

    I’d disagree with that though, because I still have to take my wallet with me if I need to make a quick trip outside to the supermarket or to get takeaway. I’d love the convenience that Apple Pay offers.

    I’ll finally add that the Amex deal is, to me, a red herring. I already have a bank-issued Amex card and the only places I visit that offer Amex contactless payments are the big supermarkets. With so few offering contactless with Amex, it’s not worth my time getting another card.

    On the other hand, the first bank that allows Apple Pay could see me knocking on their door.

  7. Firstly all banks are bastards. Now that is out of the way there is a reason why Australian banks refuse to pay Apple.

    The amount Australian banks charge on interchange and service fees for credit cards is lower than that of American banks. But Apple wants them to pay the same fees as it can extract from the Americans.

  8. Idiots !
    Applepay on Applewatch is an absolute JOY to use… And every store i use it at it makes people go ” WOW, thats sweet… Is that Apple ?”

    Yup its Apple 😉

  9. Australia is run like communism. Only three banks, only two grocery chains, and Rupert Murdoch owns almost all the newspapers. Now that they can’t get top dollar for their resources, Australia is going down the dumper.

  10. IIRC this is because contactless payment is already pretty much universal in Australia and they were arguing about additional POS hardware and who had to pay for it.

    I’ve got NFC payment hooked up on one of my phones via CBA however it’s still easier to pull out a credit card and tap it for half a second than it is still pull out the phone, unlock it and open the app. How does the Apple pay process work? Does the phone need to be unlocked or have the app open?

  11. WTF is bank’s problem?!
    1. what do tgey fear if they still get paid their bloody cc fees?
    2. what, they have own system as dumb as CurrentC to replace ApplePay with?
    3. does ApplePay i terfere with central banks’ NWO, what’s the matter?!
    4. Power to the People! People/consumers always win in the end. Banks & Governments just do not learn from history & only delay progress/evolution/freedom – CHANGE is coming & they can NOT stop it!

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