Banks lose fight over Apple Pay

RELATED AUDIO: Tuanz boss Craig Young on the banks vs Apple Pay spat (Feb 10)

0
0:00 0:10

The big Australasian banks have lost a dispute with Apple over mobile payments, refereed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Westpac, BNZ parent NAB, and ASB parent CBA wanted the regulator to grant them authority to negotiate as a bloc with Apple.

This morning, the ACCC confirmed its draft decision that they cannot.

Last year, the three banks went to the market watchdog after clashing with Apple over:

1. Apple’s contractual stipulation that any bank who adopts Apple Pay cannot pass on Apple’s fees to customers (a fight they abandoned on February 13); and

2. Apple’s refusal to let third-parties access its near-field communication chip, which in practical terms means banks can’t release their own virtual wallets to compete with Apple Pay, at least not for Apple’s devices.

The fourth major Australasian bank, ANZ, reached a deal with Apple last year. Terms haven’t been disclosed (though US reports say a card issuer must pay Apple 0.15% of a credit card transaction and 0.5c for each debit card transaction). So far ANZ is the only bank to support tap-and-go payments via Apple Pay across Australia and New Zealand.

Apple argued that its Apple Pay wallet was the best solution for competition because its virtual wallet can hold credit cards from different banks.

The ACCC echoed this argument with its final decision today, saying collective negotiation was likely to reduce competitive tension between banks.

The regulator also noted that banks are already active in mobile payments (though NBR would note Apple’s NFC restriction means all of the action has been on phones and other devices that run Google’s Android software).

In choosing not to intervene, the ACCC also noted that “mobile payments are "in their infancy and subject to rapid change."

Apple maintained a front-foot stance through, saying banks were trying to "free-ride" on its mobile payment investment.

In a joint statement today, Westpac, NAB and CBA said they were disappointed, and that the decision would stifle mobile wallet innovation.

Nevertheless, although they don't like it, they now only have one choice if they want to be part of the Apple Pay party, or gain access to its NFC: negotiate one-on-one with Apple.

And iPhone is where they do need to be. In September last year, Semble — a jont venture between Spark, Vodafone, 2degrees and Paymark (cooperatively owned by the major banks) — was put to sleep. Semble's virtual wallet failed for a number of reasons, including its need for a new SIM card, and its failure to fill its promise to lure loyalty programmes. But in large part, it was ignored because it would not work with Apple's handset.


12 · Got a question about this story? Leave it in Comments & Questions below.


This article is tagged with the following keywords. Find out more about MyNBR Tags

Post Comment

12 Comments & Questions

Commenter icon key: Subscriber Verified

You snooze you lose

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

darn it...there went my weekend coding project

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

BNZ should launch apple pay

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

Although being the loyal BNZ customer for more than 20 yrs I have just opened the ANZ account. Apple Pay is convenient and here to stay. Not to mention that I trust Apple more than various outsourcing outlets local banks like to engage with.

Reply
Share
  • 1
  • 0

Trusting any listed corporation, especially one with an integrated monopoly marketplace is a very foolish mistake.

Reply
Share
  • 3
  • 0

I suspect that Apple, Google, Amazon, (Xero?) et all will become our 'banks' before too long anyway. So maybe this will all become irrelevant.

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

Well at least Rod Drury understands it would be useful for people to be able to use their phone as an eftpos card, and not necessarily be beholden to credit card fees. 

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

True. But who will fund my flight upgrades if I'm not being bent over by the banks? I suppose I'll be able to sit upright if I'm not being subjected to that.

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

The banks will already know how many of their customers are using Android vs Apple by looking at the usage of their banking apps. It is unlikely that customers will spend more money just because they have apple pay. So the bank only benefits if EFTPOS payments instead go through apple pay. Or people switch their banking to them just for Apple pay.

Then there is the contract risk of the government regulating credit card fees. Yet the bank still having to honour a contract with Apple.

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

Squeeze the Banks till they squeal, Apple.

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

Local aussie bully bank boys get a blood nose - love it

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

amazing !! we all know "banks (and bankers) are bastards" but to think a grubby ratbag outfit like apple is better just beggars belief

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

Post New comment or question

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

NZ Market Snapshot

Forex

Sym Price Change

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %