Apple Pay Wars: ACCC wants more time before deciding

Angus Kidman 19 August 2016

Clock_Shutterstock

Initial application by banks for speedy authorisation to negotiate together rejected.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has knocked back an application by several of Australia's biggest banks for interim authorisation to collectively negotiate with Apple over access to Apple Pay and the NFC chip on iPhones, saying it needs more time before deciding whether the move is justified.

"In deciding not to grant interim authorisation, the ACCC took into account the potential for continuing effects on competition in the market, the extent of urgency for the request, any possible harm to the applicants or other parties if interim authorisation is granted or denied, and possible public benefits and detriments," ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.

“The entire ACCC authorisation process usually takes up to six months, including the release of a draft decision for consultation before making a final decision. We expect to release a draft decision in October 2016. The ACCC’s decision not to grant interim authorisation at this time is not indicative of whether or not a draft or final authorisation will be granted."
Last month, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, Westpac and the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank asked the ACCC to fast-track an authorisation for collective negotiating, which is banned under competition law. As well as Apple, the banks wanted to collectively negotiate with Google over Android Pay and Samsung over Samsung Pay.

To date, only ANZ and American Express have launched support for Apple Pay, which allows contactless payments using an iPhone, in Australia. It's widely believed that Apple wants a bigger cut of each transaction than the banks are willing to pay.

In a submission to the ACCC, Apple argued that allowing anyone else access to the NFC chip on iPhones would represent a major security risk. However, other finance industry players, including Tryo and Heritage Bank, made submissions supporting the application.

A spokesperson for the applicant banks said that they will "continue to be in consultation with the ACCC up until the final determination is made", adding: "This application seeks to ensure that Australian customers are able to choose between different mobile wallets to make payments easily."

Picture: Shutterstock

Ask a Question

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Disclaimer: At finder.com.au we provide factual information and general advice. Before you make any decision about a product read the Product Disclosure Statement and consider your own circumstances to decide whether it is appropriate for you.
Rates and fees mentioned in comments are correct at the time of publication.
By submitting this question you agree to the finder.com.au privacy policy, receive follow up emails related to finder.com.au and to create a user account where further replies to your questions will be sent.

Ask a question
feedback