Apple is striving to bring its payment system to as many countries as possible. And that is why, even if you manage to close a deal with just one bank / credit card, it is enough to announce a new expansion. So it was with some countries, including the Australia, who received the Apple Pay in November 2015, starting by accepting only American Express.
It was expected that – after eight months have passed – more banks would yield to the mobile payment system, but it seems that there is a strong reason behind the resistance: the three largest Australian banks consider Apple to have “anti-competitive conduct” in allowing the iPhone access NFC only with your system.
According to the Reuters, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank (NAB) and Westpac banks all want NFC payments to be available to be used by their own digital wallets, which they have already financed and developed. However, this does not happen today as the iPhone only makes payments using NFC if it is connected to the Apple Pay wallet, not allowing third party solutions.
To prevent Apple from engaging in individual negotiations to convince one or more of the banks, they filed an order at Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC, the Australian competition regulatory agency) so that the negotiation is just one, done together.
Representing the banks, Novantas senior consultant Lance Blockley commented on this issue:
This is to provide Australians with a real choice and better results. If accepted, the order would bring tremendous benefits to the entire Australian mobile payment landscape, including for public transport fares, airlines, ticket booths, store loyalty and reward programs and a variety of applications yet to be developed.
This move by banks could attract the attention of others around the world and that would certainly affect the expansion of Apple’s payment system. We just hope it opens your eyes, as competitors (Samsung Pay and Android Pay) already accept mobile payments from third-party applications.