Australian Bank ANZ Accused By Rivals of “Pulling a Fast One” on Apple Pay

Three of Australia’s four big banks accuse their fourth rival, ANZ, of “pulling a fast one” for walking away from the first attempt to form a bloc to negotiate with Apple. The banks pulled together in an effort to “convince” the iPhone maker that it’s in Apple’s best interest to drop its strategy of locking down the NFC chip incorporated in the iPhone 6 or later and the Apple Watch (via Weekly Times).

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Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, Westpac and a regional lender Bendigo and Adelaide Bank have turned to the Australian competition watchdog with a request to allow them to negotiate jointly with Apple.

Allegedly, ANZ was part of the initiative at first — at least according to Lance Blockley, spokesman for the applicant banks — but earlier this April, ANZ decided to walk away and to support Apple Pay.

“One of the applicants was ANZ Bank,” Mr Blockley, a senior advisor with financial advisory firm Novantas, said on Wednesday.

“They chose to pull a fast one on their competitors and their joint applicants earlier this year when they withdrew from the group of applicants and decided to negotiate separately with Apple.”

The first two months of signing up for Apple Pay turned to be beneficial to ANZ: the bank’s managing director Mass Boss told the Sydney Morning Herald in June that the move is having a real impact on sales of transactions accounts, with the lender experiencing annual growth of more than 60% in digital sales of transactions during May.

Apple Pay is playing a huge part in the growth in its retail deposit book: “In May they’re up just under 20 per cent year over year, and through the digital channel they’re up over 60 per cent,” Mr. Boss said to the SMH.

ANZ’s other three rivals, meanwhile, expect the Australian watchdog’s decision on their request to be positive, thereby breaking Apple’s negotiation strategy — Apple holds individual negotiations with each financial institution.