More Apple Pay delays Down Under.
Apple Pay may already have a modest presence in Australia, but that modesty is set to continue for the foreseeable future.
In late July, four of Australia's biggest banks submitted an application to the country's competition overseer, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC), to enter into a collective boycott of Apple over the California-based company's mobile payment system, Apple Pay.
To the banks, Apple's dominant position in the market would lead to a situation where it would preclude the banks themselves from effectively competing in this up-and-coming space. They wanted the Australian regulator to force Apple to open access to its closed-off NFC chip inside the latest iPhones, allowing the banks to integrate their own in-app mobile payment solution, as is possible on Android.
This week, the ACCC denied the banks' request, further delaying the proliferation of Apple Pay, and mobile payments in general, throughout the country. The Commission noted that allowing the collective bargaining would go against the country's anti-cartel laws, and pointed out that mobile payments need not rely on NFC access — other banks use a combination of Bluetooth, QR codes and other methods to achieve the same ends.
The regulator's decision is in draft, and a final copy will be submitted next March, giving the banks more time to appeal the decision. To its credit, Apple has continued to point out that it already has a presence in Australia through ANZ, a smaller regional bank, and has relationships with 3,500 institutions in 12 countries.