Apple is less than happy about Australian banks’ unwillingness to say “G’day” to Apple Pay. In fact, it’s accusing them of acting like a “cartel,” and arguing their demands pose a security risk to Apple and its customers.
The complaint from four of Australia’s biggest banks — Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank, and Westpac — revolves around the fact that Apple is not letting other banking apps use iPhone hardware, but rather limiting NFC payment options to make Apple users adopt Apple Pay.
“Apple’s refusal to provide third-party apps with any access to the [near-field communication] functionality of its devices sets it apart from other hardware manufacturers,” the four banks have stated in a complaint to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
Apple, for its part, is dismissing the banks as a “cartel” trying to slow innovation and protect the 66 percent of Australian credit card balances and 70 percent of household deposits they currently hold.
“The request by the application banks would slow innovation and reduce choices by protecting members of the cartel from competition with each other,” Apple notes. “Allowing the banks to form a cartel to collectively dictate terms to new business models and services would set a troubling precedent and delay the introduction of new, potentially disruptive technologies.”
Apple has also been clear that it doesn’t open up its iPhone’s NFC technology for security reasons. “Our hardware, software and services are built in a deeply integrated manner so we can provide the highest possible security,” the company says.
Something tells me that we’ve not heard the last of this issue — or of similar ones as Apple continues to aggressively expand Apple Pay around the world.