Australia's largest banks have lodged a petition with anti-trust regulators in the country to negotiate with Apple and get their own digital payments services on iPhones. Currently, Apple Pay is the only service that can use the NFC antenna to facilitate payments, and the banks state that the move is anti-competitive as it locks their own digital wallets from accessing NFC.
Apple Pay made its debut in Australia last November, with the service limited to American Express card holders. The service picked up support from ANZ Bank earlier this year, but it looks like other major banks in the country want to get their own digital wallets instead of teaming up with Apple Pay. From The Australian Financial Review:
Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank, Westpac Banking Corp and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank have asked The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to give them permission to collectively negotiate with Apple.
They are hoping that together they can use their collective muscle to convince the technology giant to allow their digital wallets to be loaded onto iPhones.
The banks fear that if more people begin to pay for things by tapping phones rather than tapping cards, their customers who also use iPhones will not receive new payment and digital wallet offerings.
The banks also want common standards around fraud prevention and want Apple to be part of that process.
The main reason could be the interchange fee, as Apple takes a cut of the fee every time a transaction is processed using Apple Pay. The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has gone as far as to launch a $2.99 sticker with an NFC antenna that affixes to the back of the iPhone, allowing its customers to pay using its own payments service.
We'll share more once the country's anti-trust regulators decide if the petition bears merit.