Australia: Banks forced to negotiate individually over Apple Pay

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has rejected the combined appeal of Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, National Australia Bank, and Bendigo and Adelaide bank for access to Apple’s near-field communication (NFC) technologies. The ruling ensures that Australian banks must individually negotiate with Apple for this technology which is crucial to the Apple Pay digital wallet.

The ruling ensures that Australian banks must individually negotiate with Apple for NFC technology which is crucial to the Apple Pay digital wallet.

According to ACCC Chairman Rod Sims, “While the ACCC accepts that the opportunity for the banks to collectively negotiate and boycott would place them in a better bargaining position with Apple, the benefits would be outweighed by the detriments.”

The collective opinion of the banks is that having access to Apple Pay would lead to increased consumer choice. The ACCC argues that the deal would diminish Apple’s ability to compete with rivals and hinder innovation in the payment technology space.

RFi Group data shows that Apple Pay is the fourth most popular digital wallet in the market following PayPal’s offering. According to RFi Group’s survey of 2,053 transaction account holders in November 2016, 4% of transaction account holders have used or currently use Apple Pay. With significant road blocks provided by the major Australian banks this number is likely to surge as the individual banks slowly incorporate Apple Pay into their offerings.


Source: RFi Group ASDC Transaction Survey, November 2016

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