Apple wins victory, sending warning to banks with Australian mobile payments

“Apple Inc on Friday won a victory in its global fight to prevent banks from introducing their own mobile payment services on Apple devices, as an Australian regulator barred lenders from bargaining collectively for access,” Jamie Freed reports for Reuters.

“The decision by Australia’s competition watchdog, the first of its kind, will stop the banks from introducing their own mobile applications on iPhones and Apple Watches that could be used for contactless payments instead of the Apple Wallet,” Freed reports. “The banks had hoped to circumvent transaction fees and get customers to engage more frequently with their own apps, potentially unlocking more of Australia’s contactless payment market valued at an estimated $84 billion a year. ‘It will have global implications,’ Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chairman (ACCC) Rod Sims told Reuters after the ruling came down.”

“Apple does not allow any of its 3,500 bank partners in 15 global markets access to the near-field communication (NFC) technology behind its payment system,” Freed reports. “An Apple spokeswoman said it was a great decision for Australians who wanted the ‘easiest, most secure and private payment experience possible with Apple Pay.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Victory!

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.

No other banks the world over get direct access to iPhone’s NFC chip in order to support Apple Pay. And none ever will.

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

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Al” for the heads up.]


  1. While I welcome this decision, I’m not sure that it changes much. The regulator banned those banks from bargaining collectively. Presumably they can still negotiate individually, they can still continue to hold out against Apple Pay and of course Apple can continue to tell them that no bank is ever going to be allowed access to the NFC systems within iPhones.

    Hopefully those Australian banks will see sense and get on board with Apple Pay, but I think that it will take them a while to back down.

    1. I reckon they’ll back down as soon their bean counters calculate how many customers and how much of their obscene amounts of profit they’re losing to the ANZ. No-one in Australia could give a shit if they go broke slowly and painfully, except maybe some of their staff.

  2. There is an error and an a questionable interpretation in this report.

    First the error. The ANZ bank cut a deal with Apple some time ago to be able to use Apple Pay and they are one of the four big Australian banks (CBA, Westpac AKA rat pack, NAB and ANZ (see

    Second, Apple would be unlikely to levy higher fees to the other three large banks as this could be seen as being uncompetitive unless they levied different fees for each of banks. As well, they’d have to be able to justify those separate charges.

    Apple isn’t that stupid and in all events making the three majors use Apple Pay according to the company’s rules would be sufficient to unlock a veritable goldmine.

  3. I would think that the one-time token approach used in Apple Pay will significantly reduce the extent of credit card fraud. The less often that you hand over your physical card to others, particularly at restaurants and other venues where they remove it from your sight, the better. Several colleagues became victims of credit card fraud after having dinner and drinks at an outdoor restaurant in Cocoa Beach, FL. That is why I predominantly use cash while on business travel for food and other miscellaneous expenses. The credit card is reserved for the hotel, rental car, and gas (and as a backup if I run out of cash or need to make a big purchase).

  4. My only issue with Apple Pay in this situation is if your purchases are data mind and then sent (read: sold) to third parties. This would be enable these third parties to create a profile on what you bought. Again, we’ll wait for the fine print.

    1. This wouldn’t be possible at the Apple Pay level since the transaction is via token. Most likely if data mining occurs on credit card charges it’s at the bank level where the charges show up in your account along with the location/business the purchase was made. This is also true of the other payment wallets that use tokens, chip cards and one-time ‘virtual’ CC numbers card companies offer for online transactions.

  5. Good point Xennex. As an Australian who has to deal with banks the “Big Four” (CBA, Westpac, NAB and ANZ) usually act as an oligopoly and are long overdue for a deep enquiry over their bank practices.

    Some of the banks have acted in a fraudulently manner, breached contracts and been less than forthcoming with the truth.

    Executives get off with nothing more than a caution and are then given bonuses. As such I’m reluctant as hell to go completely digital with my purchases. I trust Apple I just don’t trust the banks.

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