Australian bank chief ridicules Apple pro-competition claims

Apple Pay
Apple Pay (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • An Australian Bank chief has mocked claims the company is pro-competition.
  • Matt Comyn of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia told lawmakers more scrutiny was required.
  • A rival bank said Comyn's claims were ironic given it was the largest bank in the country.

The chief executive of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia has mocked claims Apple is pro-competition in regards to Apple Pay and digital wallet transactions, claims one rival said were ironic coming from the biggest bank in the country.

As reported by Reuters, the bank's chief executive Matt Comyn told a committee of lawmakers on Thursday: "The ... claim that Apple is pro-competition, I think, is a fair statement, as long as one accepts that competition is welcome as long as no one can compete with Apple." As the report notes, Comyn is urging the government to focus its scrutiny on companies like Apple and Google regarding digital wallet payments that use tech like Apple Pay on devices like the iPhone 13 and Apple's other best iPhones.

The Commonwealth Bank wants Apple to give access to its NFC app for banks' own apps and claims Apple hosts about 80% of all contactless payments made on smartphones and watches in the country. The bank further estimates that 90% of transactions in the country are contactless.

Comyn described the situation on iPhone as akin to Apple dictating which mobile carrier people could use:

"It is analogous to imagine a world today where, on your Apple phone, the only person that could determine which carrier you used is Apple," Comyn said.

Comyn's comments didn't pass without criticism, however. Shayne Elliot, chief executive of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, the country's fourth-biggest lender, said that it had not been focused on the problem until this particular complaint. That company was the first to bring Apple Pay support to its customers. Elliot stated, "it's kind of ironic, one of Australia's biggest companies complaining about having to deal with other big competitors."

Australia's Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is investigating whether Apple is in breach of competition laws by restricting access to Apple Pay. Similar scrutiny is also underway in the EU.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9