Apple Pay adoption in Switzerland may have been hampered by colluding banks

Posted:
in General Discussion
Authorities in Switzerland have opened a probe into allegations major financial bodies in the country colluded to support the national mobile payment system TWINT in favor of rival systems Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, by actively boycotting the competing services.

Apple Pay on the iPhone XS
Apple Pay on the iPhone XS


The Swiss competition commission COMCO advised on Thursday it was looking into the alleged boycott, with five large institutions being put under scrutiny over the matter. The firms under investigation are identified as Credit Suisse, UBS, PostFinance, American Express subsidiary Swisscard AECS, and Aduno Holding.

"There is suspicion that these institutions worked in concert to block their credit cards from working with Apple Pay and Samsung Pay in order to benefit TWINT, a statement from COMCO advises. The regulator has already conducted searches at offices owned by each of the companies over the matter.

Three of the named institutions have protested their innocence, with Credit Suisse claiming in a statement to be surprised by the investigation and "convinced that the allegations will prove to be unfounded."

"We already offer to consumers in Switzerland access to Apple Pay and Samsung Pay through our subsidiary Swisscard," the firm protested, reports ABS-CBN, and that the bank had "been in talks with companies such as Apple, Samsung, or Google for several months" discussing how each company's particular payment system could be offered to its clients.

A similar claim was made by UBS, in that while it "does not comment on ongoing investigations," the bank notes it attempted to reach an agreement to add Apple Pay support to its credit cards in 2016. "Although we have offered several alternatives, unfortunately no agreement could be made."

PostFinance denied any wrongdoing, adding it was cooperating with COMCO to "clarify the facts."

Though not an official target of the probe, offices controlled by TWINT were also searched by investigators. TWINT also claims it had asked COMCO to investigate alleged discriminatory behavior by Apple, accusing the iPhone producer of preventing the "trouble-free use of the TWINT app on iOS devices."

Despite the allegations, Apple Pay has been available to use in the country since 2016, with customers of Bonus Card, Cornercard, and Swiss Bankers among the first able to apply their prepaid and credit cards to the service.

Apple Pay has become a formidable revenue generator for Apple since its introduction, with it helping to bring Apple's Services arm up to $9.981 billion in revenue for the most recent quarter. While the amount of revenue that could be contributed to Apple Pay is not publicly known, it is likely to be growing its share, with Apple Pay's transaction volume now triple the level it was for the same quarter in 2017.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,015member
    Well, I hope these banks if the case is proven, find their profits 'hampered' with a very large fine.
    n2itivguymagman1979StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 17
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    They're banks.
    They're guilty.

    davgregmagman1979StrangeDaysJWSCmattinozlostkiwijbdragonwatto_cobrabadmonk
  • Reply 3 of 17
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,609member
    I don't believe the allegations because according to the Swiss, they are a very upright, and law-abiding people whose banks would never do business with anyone who gives off even the slightest whiff of corruption.  Except for thieving dictators, nazis, drug-dealers, organized crime, tax evaders, embezzlers, etc.  But those are minor exceptions.
    Solilarryjwdavgregracerhomie3frantisekmagman1979JWSCtokyojimulostkiwijbdragon
  • Reply 4 of 17
    Why is anyone surprised by that?  The same happens in Germany and the Scandinavian countries. 
    DAalsethkitatitmagman1979jbdragoncaladanian
  • Reply 5 of 17
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,574member
    Anyone want to photoshop El Greco’s “Cleansing of the Temple” to include Steve Jobs’ face?
    hexclockwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 17
    Soli said:
    Anyone want to photoshop El Greco’s “Cleansing of the Temple” to include Steve Jobs’ face?
    Steve could be in a lot of old paintings. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 17
    Rayz2016 said:
    They're banks.
    They're guilty.

    Apple disrupting and redefining markets everywhere they turn, and still, the stock gets punished. 
    magman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 17
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,015member
    Talking of money matters ... why is AI's AAPL price on the main page so far off the price quoted by Apple's Stocks app?  $3 adrift as I type.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 17
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,015member
    tundraboy said:
    I don't believe the allegations because according to the Swiss, they are a very upright, and law-abiding people whose banks would never do business with anyone who gives off even the slightest whiff of corruption.  Except for thieving dictators, nazis, drug-dealers, organized crime, tax evaders, embezzlers, etc.  But those are minor exceptions.
    .. but I do like Toblerone ;)
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 17
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    hexclock said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    They're banks.
    They're guilty.

    Apple disrupting and redefining markets everywhere they turn, and still, the stock gets punished. 
    Well, this is why. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 17
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 281member
    Apple wants to expand software as a service and make some real money?  Then bring on the Bank of Apple.  I mean, can you imagine having a bank with ethics and customer service at the forefront of its mission statement?  Come on Apple, change the world, again.
    MacProwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 17
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,015member
    JWSC said:
    Apple wants to expand software as a service and make some real money?  Then bring on the Bank of Apple.  I mean, can you imagine having a bank with ethics and customer service at the forefront of its mission statement?  Come on Apple, change the world, again.
    There are probably a load of bank regulations stating a bank cannot have ethics ...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 17
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 3,320member
    The banks don't have to collude. Simply not support it on their own free will. If they colluded, though, they could be in for unnecessary grief. Seems like collusion could be a stupid way of getting fined. The problem is that stupidity has been proven in many other similar cases.


  • Reply 14 of 17
    Welcome to the same issue in Australia, still the big 3 continue to protect their profits, locking out what their customers want for their own profit gouging (sigh)... 
    mattinozcaladanianwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 17
    Rayz2016 said:
    They're banks.
    They're guilty.

    They’re Swiss banks.

    Double guilty.
  • Reply 16 of 17
    avon b7 said:
    The banks don't have to collude. Simply not support it on their own free will. If they colluded, though, they could be in for unnecessary grief. Seems like collusion could be a stupid way of getting fined. The problem is that stupidity has been proven in many other similar cases.


    But they did collude. Here in Switzerland, it is no secret whatsoever that they've been pushing TWINT (a useless, awful payment system) instead of Apple Pay and the like. The reason for it was clear from the beginning: TWINT originally did not support credit cards, and instead would withdraw directly from your bank account. By cutting out Visa and MasterCard, they reduced transaction fees. Plus there's the whole Swiss "not invented here" phobia. But the problem with TWINT is that, unlike Apple Pay and co, it wasn't designed to solve a consumer need, it was designed to save banks money. And as such, it's not user-friendly the way Apple Pay is — to the consumer, it provides zero advantages but adds hassle (it's Bluetooth-based, and requires launching the TWINT app to pay; it also now supports scanning a QR code in lieu of Bluetooth). Who wants to unlock their phone and launch an app, when they could just pull their contactless card out of their wallet and use that?
  • Reply 17 of 17
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 3,320member
    Yes. I know what you are saying and don't doubt a word of it. The point was, although collusion wasn't at all necessary and a simple refusal was quite enough, stupidity is very real at executive levels and has been proven on more than a few occasions.
Sign In or Register to comment.