Apple is ready to defend its policy of locking down the NFC chip on the iPhone to its proprietary mobile payments service, the company suggested in a submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) (via ComputerWorld).
Even if the anti-trust regulator gives the green light to collective negotiations in October, Apple says it “will not and cannot” agree to the conditions likely sought by the banks.
You may recall that three of Australia’s big four banks, as well as Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, have joined forces and filed an application with the ACCC seeking its approval to negotiate as a bloc against “third-party wallet” providers, but the real target is Apple, as the submissions of their supporters (Coles and other retailers) reveal.
The banks are seeking to force Apple to provide access to the iPhone’s NFC API and to agree with the security guidelines outlined by the banks.
Apple says it has conducted one-one-one negotiations with each of the applicant banks, but the inability to convince them to sign up for Apple Pay “demonstrates that each individual applicant bank possesses a significant amount of bargaining power against Apple,” the tech giant argues.
“As each of the banks has individually resisted serious engagement with Apple for the past two years, collectively negotiating will further entrench the applicant banks’ position by ensuring that all of them can only advance in lockstep with the slowest, least willing member,” the submission argues.
Only one Australian bank has so far signed up for Apple Pay: ANZ. The bank says it has seen a surge in mobile payments, and that 20% of its eligible user base, or 250,000 users, have already used the mobile payments service.