Australia’s four biggest banks are seeking permission from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to launch an official Apple boycott.
In a 137-page document, the banks — Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank, and Westpac — argue that Apple is acting in an “intransigent, closed and controlling” manner regarding Apple Pay. The four financial institutions also accuse Apple of seeking to benefit from the banks’ existing investment in contactless infrastructure in the country.
“By locking out any independent access to the NFC function on iOS devices, Apple is seeking for itself the exclusive use of Australia’s existing NFC terminal infrastructure for the making of integrated mobile payments using iOS devices,” the banks say. “Yet, this infrastructure was built and paid for by Australian banks and merchants for the benefit of all Australians.”
This isn’t the first time Apple and Australian banks have clashed over the latter’s unwillingness to say “G’day” to Apple Pay.
Previously, Apple claimed the banks act 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.
Apple says its reason for operating a “closed” platform is to protect users from security threats. “Our hardware, software and services are built in a deeply integrated manner so we can provide the highest possible security,” according to Apple.
As a disruptor, Apple is certainly no stranger to controversy when it alters the practices of established giants in industries it enters. Still, in the interests of Australian customers, hopefully this prolonged squabble will be sorted out soon.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission says it will make its final ruling on the dispute with Apple this month.