The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) says it won’t grant the country’s biggest banks interim approval to collectively negotiate with Apple to open Apple’s NFC chip to their own mobile wallets on the iPhone.
The anti-trust regulator’s comment comes after National Australia Bank (NAB), Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and Westpac Banking Corp jointly filed an application seeking permission to negotiate with Apple as a bloc about getting access to the NFC chip.
After looking into the matter, the regulator considers there is no need to issue an interim ruling, and decided to push back the final decision until October, Reuters reports.
As you may already know, Apple’s policy is to lock its embedded chip down to its own mobile payments service and follows that policy in every country Apple Pay is present. Banks have sought ways to deploy their mobile wallet service to iPhone users as well, and have used NFC stickers and Bluetooth technology.
Australian banks, however, want access to the embedded chip found in the iPhone 6 and later, and say that Apple’s policy is anti-competitive.
The only major bank that has signed up for Apple Pay is ANZ Bank, which sees the partnership with Apple as beneficial and has agreed to the iPhone maker’s price cut. While there were similarities between the Canadian and Australian Apple Pay launches, Apple ultimately managed to crack the resistance of Canada’s big five banks in May. It has failed to succeed in Australia, though.