Last of Australia’s big four banks will offer Apple Pay

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Apple in talks to bring Apple Pay to Israel
It might sound like just another Apple Pay announcement, but it's actually the end of a saga!
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The last of Australia’s big four banks to adopt Apple Pay says that it will support Apple’s mobile payments service.

While Australia is just one market of many where Apple Pay is available, its arrival in the country has been particularly fraught with challenges. Westpac’s support marks the end of that particular story.

“We want to assure Westpac customers we are working to bring them Apple Pay as quickly as possible, while we rollout the technology across our different banking platforms,” said Westpac’s chief executive of consumer banking, David Lindberg.

Apple Pay is now available on Westpac’s St George, BankSA and Bank of Melbourne brands. These regional brands getting Apple Pay first gives Westpac time to update its banking platform before a national release. Westpac says that it will fully roll out Apple Pay to all its customers by the middle of 2020.

Apple Pay in Australia

Apple Pay first arrived in Australia in late 2015, approximately one year after it arrived in the United States. However, it ran into problems with Australia’s “Big Four” largest banks. These worked together to “effectively boycott” Apple Pay.

This was due to Apple 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 stated in a complaint to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Apple attacked these attempts to “delay or even block” its mobile payments service. It even labelled them as a “cartel” for tying to act in this manner.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission eventually concluded that it would not let the banks team up in this way.

With ANZ, CommBank, NAB and now Westpac all jumping on the Apple Pay train, this incident seems to be finally coming to an end.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald