Apple calls Australian banks' request to bargain over Apple Pay a detriment to consumers, mobile wa

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in iPhone
Apple in a recent filing with Australia's antitrust watchdog slammed a request from the country's three top banks for collective negotiations over third-party access to Apple Pay NFC technology, saying a threatened boycott would not only harm consumers, but hinder mobile wallet adoption and innovation.




Apple's submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission comes as the body decides whether to allow banks in the region power to negotiate terms for access to iPhone's mobile wallet hardware. The response was made public on Monday and follows an initial letter to the ACCC filed earlier this month.

Australia's "big-three" banks, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank and Westpac Banking Corp, along with Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, initially lodged their application to negotiate in July. Among the numerous contingencies afforded as part of the request are terms for offering third-party mobile wallet services on Apple devices, the ability to charge consumers fees for using Apple Pay and a narrow set of security guidelines drafted by the banks.

"Apple expects that, if the boycott and collective negotiation conduct were permitted to occur, the banks involved will advance in lockstep with the slowest, least willing member of their cartel," Apple said. "This delay is likely to harm consumers and slow the pace of innovation for mobile wallets in Australia."

The banks are looking to stall consumer adoption of Apple Pay and other mobile wallet solutions with onerous authorization stipulations, a process that stifles competition, Apple says. Further, the banks are asking the ACCC for three years to negotiate amicable terms, a period Apple suggests was designed to create yet another artificial barrier to adoption.

Attached to -- and cited frequently -- in the lengthy response is a report from Dr. Christopher Pleatsikas, an economist based in San Diego, Calif., who provides an almost point-by-point rebuttal of the banks' request.

For its part, the banks say Australians have been moving to contactless payments systems long before Apple broke onto the scene, a spokesman for the banks told AppleInsider in an emailed statement. The banks claim they, along with Australia's merchants and payments processors, have played an integral role in the rollout of touchless solutions.

"Apple's submission to the ACCC makes it clear that Apple does not want to give iPhone users the ability to choose an integrated third party wallet of their own preference," the spokesman said. "Unlike users of Samsung and Android, Apple is blocking access to the NFC function and wants to leave iPhone users with no choice but to use Apple Pay. Their submission to the ACCC claims this lack of choice is in the best interest of Australian consumers. The applicants disagree. Instead, they want to negotiate with Apple so there is an opportunity to offer other integrated wallets alongside Apple Pay."

Retailers and payments associations have, in fact, filed in support of joint negotiations, citing market stimulation, security and payments fees transparency, among other consumer issues.

The ACCC is expected to arrive at a decision by October. In the meantime, the watchdog denied banks interim authorization to negotiate with Apple citing complexities of the issue at hand.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    These banks are worthless. The retailers are worthless. They're all replaceable cogs in a machine. 
    latifbpjbdragon
  • Reply 2 of 20
    e1618978e1618978 Posts: 6,074member
    Can Apple just buy one of the banks and use only that bank for Apple Pay?
  • Reply 3 of 20
    kevin keekevin kee Posts: 1,001member
    e1618978 said:
    Can Apple just buy one of the banks and use only that bank for Apple Pay?
    ANZ is one of the Big Four banks in Australia. They are the only one that currently offering Apple Pay.
    edited August 2016 lolliverjbdragon
  • Reply 4 of 20
    I noted this before, but the same companies that are supporting the banks are also under various investigations for anticompetitive behaviour, market collusion and treatment of suppliers.

    Their influence is so great that the investigative body (the ACCC) are allowing suppliers to make confidential submissions for fear of retaliation from these businesses.

    In short: the Australian businesses in support of the banks are likely highly corrupt and involved in anti-competitive collusion, their stance on Apple Pay is merely one in a string of similar behaviours that attempt to minimise any and all competitive forces in the local market.

    In the meantime I highly encourage Australian customers to vote with their wallets and take up american express credit cards and ANZ deposit accounts. The simple fact that both companies have seen a rise in customers is proof that the other banks are not fulfilling the wishes of customers.
    dysamoriadouglas baileyfotoformatDeelronsteveauchiawilliamlondonlolliverjbdragonbadmonk
  • Reply 5 of 20
    AI, compared to many other articles I've seen on this topic so far, yours is well written. Cheers.

    Thankfully, we in Aus do have the option of using ApplePay with ANZ and AMEX. I got an ANZ account the day they launched ApplePay and I think that was the best way I could show my other banks what I wanted; go somewhere else for it.

    edited August 2016 dysamoriaiqatedochialolliverlatifbpjbdragonbadmonkjony0
  • Reply 6 of 20
    It's really very simple ... All the ACCC needs to do is open up voting on what the Apple customers want from their device ? New 3rd party apps supporting card payment OR continue to use Apple Pay to pay for their grocery bills ? The public votes will decide if what the Banks are claiming is legitimate 
    iqatedobadmonk
  • Reply 7 of 20
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,353member
    Australians need to join ANZ and close their old account with other banks, making sure to explain why. They'll change their mind when they have lost a certain amount of customers.
    steveaulolliverlatifbpjbdragonbadmonkjony0
  • Reply 8 of 20
    If the technology was in use already before Apple then they already have their own tap to pay implemented - and if that is the case it cannot be a monopoly situation....  and the situation should remain the same.  If you want it move to ANZ and let your dollar speak....  the rest of the banks can just fade away.
    jbdragonbadmonk
  • Reply 9 of 20
    laytechlaytech Posts: 140member
    The sheer fact the banks want 3 years to negotiate is pure and simple terms a stalling tactic to reap in profits and delay adoption as long as possible, should they win - God help Australian consumers if they do...Although well done ANZ because if the banks win, I'm moving banks. Guaranteed! 
    lolliverlatifbpbadmonk
  • Reply 10 of 20
    laytech said:
    The sheer fact the banks want 3 years to negotiate is pure and simple terms a stalling tactic to reap in profits and delay adoption as long as possible, should they win - God help Australian consumers if they do...Although well done ANZ because if the banks win, I'm moving banks. Guaranteed! 
    If the banks win, Apple may be forced to pull out of Australia since they cannot negotiate access for security reasons.  Australia would have to be sacrificed.
    macxpresslatifbpjbdragone1618978badmonkjony0
  • Reply 11 of 20
    I'm both an American Express and an ANZ customer and have been using Apple Pay since day one in Australia. It works like a charm and because 90% of retail outlets already support Pay Wave I can nearly walk around with no cash. 
    And Apple Watch makes it even more convenient, don't hesitate move to ANZ and get waving. 
    lolliverlatifbpbigbadmonk
  • Reply 12 of 20
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,829member
    bkkcanuck said:
    laytech said:
    The sheer fact the banks want 3 years to negotiate is pure and simple terms a stalling tactic to reap in profits and delay adoption as long as possible, should they win - God help Australian consumers if they do...Although well done ANZ because if the banks win, I'm moving banks. Guaranteed! 
    If the banks win, Apple may be forced to pull out of Australia since they cannot negotiate access for security reasons.  Australia would have to be sacrificed.
    I think this is what Apple would have to do too. If Apple allowed this, it would set a precedent for every country around the world that supports, or wants to support ApplePay. In the end, I would tell the other banks in Australia to go to hell and leave it at that. When they want to cooperate, maybe we'll talk again.
    badmonk
  • Reply 13 of 20
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,043member
    It's funny just before the 5s was launched a CommBank Exec stood outside the Apple store in George St and filmed a news puff piece about how our phone would be our wallet. Now 3 years later CommBank is clearly the problem holding up adoption. They are all talk no action.
    badmonk
  • Reply 14 of 20
    Anybody who cannot see that Apple is one of the most anti competitive businesses on the planet is just a blind fanboy.
    cnocbui
  • Reply 15 of 20
    Anybody who cannot see that Apple is one of the most anti competitive businesses on the planet is just a blind fanboy.
    OMG! You're right. I have to use Apple products because there's no other choice. 

    Because of Apple's anticompetitive behavior, they have amassed an overwhelmingly dominant market share in...
    Well, lots of things. Things. 
    bigbadmonk
  • Reply 16 of 20
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 783member
    Anybody who cannot see that Apple is one of the most anti competitive businesses on the planet is just a blind fanboy.
    You need to work on your dharma Greg.  You have the perfect right to choose non Apple products.

    No I don't see what you mean.
  • Reply 17 of 20
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,799member
    You don't have to be a monopolist to act anti-competitively.
  • Reply 18 of 20
    crowley said:
    You don't have to be a monopolist to act anti-competitively.
    No you don't, but if you are truly acting in an anti-competitive market where you cannot and do not have a dominant position within any of the markets..... then it is a futile move.  Apple does not have a dominant position by far in any single market (more Android phones sold, more windows computers sold by far, etc.).   Investing more in making your own products work better together is just good business.... and when each of your products have dedicated customers.... you are probably doing a pretty good job.... or your competitors (windows) has done such a poor job that those alienated would never want to consider them.    


  • Reply 19 of 20
    crowley said:
    You don't have to be a monopolist to act anti-competitively.
    Offering the lowest bid is anti-competitive. It's also competitive. Parsing the two is irrelevant unless dominant market share is being leveraged as well. I've been drinking and I'm not sure of where I'm going with this. Sounds awesome so far. Those banks can also make their own phones with better UIs, if they want. They can also shun ApplePay and go all-in with the dominant Android Pay. That's their choice. They have a viable choice.


  • Reply 20 of 20
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member
    Australian banks are a greedy scumsucking cartel large political donations and a parliament full of ex bankers including the Prime Minister protect their behaviour.

    I've been with ANZ for decades and love the convenience of Apple pay especially since getting an Apple watch.

    I recommend switching banks.
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