Apple Says Australian Banks Looking for Apple Pay Access Futile

Apple has provided its latest submission countering attempts by three Australian banks to access the iPhone‘s NFC for mobile payments. 


The banks’ attempts to access NFC directly to bypass Apple Pay–for which Apple usually charges a fee–are pointless, as such access would compromise both the user and security experience for Apple customers around the world, according to the Financial Review.

In the Cupertino-giant’s latest submission to competition regulators, published by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission on Monday, Apple says its “established global position” is to not allow independent access to the smartphone’s “near field communication” (NFC) controller, which allows the phone to conduct contactless payments instead of using a plastic card.

“The only plausible explanation for the applicant banks’ behavior is that they are not interested in promoting competition in mobile payments, but instead would prefer a situation where the only payment apps available to consumers in Australia are the banks’ own proprietary apps that only provide access to their own respective credit and debit cards,” Apple said.

Apple’s statement is an indicator that the it is worried that banks will use fees on Apple Pay to push their customers towards their own wallets. “Apple would expect that charges would be imposed if the banks were in a position to do so,” it said.

“Apple does not wish to risk Apple being discriminated against, as it emerged in Australia, by banks who wish to promote their own mobile wallets for their own cards exclusively in preference to Apple Pay,” said the iPhone maker. 

Australia’s ANZ supported Apple Pay this summer and quickly garnered 250,000 users.