Australian Banks Have “Effectively Boycotted” Apple Pay in Australia

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Labor Party spokesman Ed Husic has asked the Reserve Bank of Australia to investigate potential anti-competitive behaviour in the emerging digital payments market, as all the banks have so far refused to support Apple Pay, despite it being launched last week, reports the Sydney Morning Herald (via Cult of Mac).

In a letter sent to RBA governor Glenn Stevens, Husic says retail banks have “effectively boycotted” the new payment system.

“Australian consumers should not be denied the ability to make payment choices that are openly available to consumers globally,” Mr Husic wrote. “No doubt some will argue this move by the banks is anti-competitive – I am certainly concerned that it denies consumer access to a secure, efficient payment platform.”

The most significant point of the negotiations – reports from every country where Apple Pay has recently been launched or is about to be launched highlight it – seems to the fee Apple charges. Fairfax Media reported that Apple wants to earn 15 cents per $100 for Apple Pay transactions in Australia, the fee it imposes in the US.

Australian banks are said to earn roughly half the typical US fee.

Apple launched Apple Pay in Canada and Australia last week, with support from American Express. Canadian banks have yet to announce support for Apple Pay, although many are holding out TD Canada Trust may be the first, given a recent website leak.

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  • It’s Me

    Did the OZ banks form a cartel to block Apple Pay there? Because beyond them all simply denying access to Apple, which is anti-competitive enough, our banks for their little cabal to ensure none of them step out of bounds and did a deal on the side with Apple. Basically you cannot come in and offer an alternative payment option to what they have (cards, crappy apps) using the industry standard cards like Visa and Mastercard, without facing this cartel. The cartel ensures that no one can negotiate to enter with any one bank unless the deal with all of the big banks, which means (1) you cannot force them to compete for the best deal and (2) they can block you from entry entirely.

    Where is our Competition Bureau and their investigation in to this sham?

  • Ed Cicci

    Maybe that needs to be our next step, get the politicians involved.

  • It’s Me

    Competition Bureau should be able launch an investigation without politicians involved. They need to do their job and police competition regulations and laws.

  • LofiParadox

    Politicians are involved. They all get a sweet cut of the loot! That’s how the “cartel” keeps operating. Money from one “cartel” to another. Same BS up here in Canada.

  • runner

    In the end, consumer demand will force their hand.