Regulator denies approval for Aussie banks to jointly negotiate with Apple on third-party NFC access on iPhone

“Australia’s anti-trust regulator on Friday said it would not grant the country’s three biggest banks interim approval to collectively negotiate with Apple Inc to install their own electronic payments applications on iPhones,” Matt Siegel reports for Reuters. “Australia’s three biggest banks, including the number one lender National Australia Bank (NAB), last month lodged a joint application seeking permission to negotiate as a bloc from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).”

“The ACCC said that its decision not to grant the banks the interim ruling was not indicative of whether the full ruling, expected in October, would be successful or not,” Siegel reports.

“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,” Siegel reports. “The three Australian 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 [Near Field Communications] – constitutes anti-competitive behavior.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Barring access to iPhone’s NFC is not “anti-competitive behavior,” it’s protecting security. These banks are simply delusional and should be told to go pound sand.

Oh, BTW: Android malware hits Aussie bank customers, iOS users unaffected – March 10, 2016

Apple launches blistering attack on Aussie banks; says demand for NFC access would threaten iPhone security – August 10, 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


  1. When this story first broke, I wrote that Apple should fight this proposal because if a system that the banks devised proved to be insecure, the headlines would shout that banking on an iPhone was insecure and those reports would fail to mention that iPay remained unaffected. Apple would have nothing to gain and much to lose.

    Since then, there have been security flaws revealed in other payment systems, so the argument about not allowing third parties to delve into the inner workings of IOS is now even stronger than it was before.

    1. What don’t the banks and the FBI fail to understand about security and encryption and protection of those things by any other than one dedicated source – Apple. Wishful thinking that is routinely shot down in flames by reality & hackers.

      1. Reminds me of a Yogi-ism that most people don’t know, but one that I have always liked:

        “In theory practice and theory are no different. In practice they are different.”

  2. This is totally unsurprising. When this topic came up I posted an add from the Commonwealth Bank depicting the situation. This was one of a series of advertisements, the link below is to another. The final statement of the commercial sums it up the country nicely.

    “Cricket [anustralia] is this tiny insular insular world where if you are not part of the inner cabal you can’t understand it or watch it or ask about it.” or as I like to say “The difference between a redneck and an anustralian is that a redneck has the intellectual capacity to say that it’s his way or the high way.”

    1. RW I’m very curious about your blanket disdain for Australians. Granted, it’s true that there must be at least some people who don’t like us but I’m very curious as to why they would.

      Is it government policy? Treatment of aborigines? Too much skin cancer? Lack of tipping in restaurants? Vegemite? Colloquialisms?

      I’m not offended by your views, indeed I’m incredibly curious about why you hold them!

  3. Apparently Apple made submission to ACCC to have it delayed. Whatever. And ACCC has delayed it in order to get its head around extremely complex issues.🤔

  4. Since Apple is not a bank, nor a financial institution, it does not compete with them.

    Kind of invalidates the notion that Apple’s actions are anti-competitive in regards to banks. Can only presume that since Apple is not letting the banks have their way in this matter, that must be what the banks consider to be anti-competitive.

    1. Currently, the banks take a small percentage of every “Pay Wave” transaction. Except for the ANZ bank which has recently surrendered part of that small percentage to Apple Pay, none of other banks wants to surrender a part of their “Pay Wave” action to Apple Pay.

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