The Australian banks currently in a row with Apple over adopting Apple Pay in exchange for fees and access to the iPhone’s NFC capabilities, have dropped their demands for the fees, and will instead concentrate on gaining access to the NFC technology.
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank, and Westpac have dropped fee negotiations, saying that access to core Apple Pay NFC technology would benefit retailers, boost loyalty programs, and enhance touchless payments as a whole. The banks believe that there is “no genuine competition” in Australia, leaving Apple with a “stranglehold” on the marketplace, should it be allowed to bring a closed system to the country’s banks.
“Open access to the NFC function, as occurs on the world’s most popular and widely installed mobile operating system Android, is important not just to the applicants and mobile payments, but to a range of NFC-powered functions across many sectors and uses,” said the bank’s collective spokesman Lance Blockley in a statement. “This has global implications for the use of NFC on smartphones.”
“The applicants expect that Apple Pay would be offered to their customers alongside open access to the NFC function,” added Blockley. “Any delay or frustration will be as a result of Apple refusing to negotiate.”
The four banks in question filed a 2016 complaint with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), seeking the OK to negotiate as a group for access to the iPhone’s NFC technology. Apple does not currently allow third-party access to that tech.
While a ruling on the banks’ request won’t be final until March or later, a draft decision looks to have already put an end to that possibility.