Apple Lambasts Australian Banks Over Call For iPhone NFC Access

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Apple has strongly criticized an attempt by three of Australia's big banks to jointly negotiate a deal over access to the iPhone's NFC mobile payment hardware, claiming it would compromise security and scupper innovation in the field (via Financial Review).

In a clear opprobrium of Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank (NAB), and Westpac, Apple told the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that "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."


The three banks lodged a joint application with anti-trust regulators last month to negotiate with Apple over gaining access to its digital wallet hardware, having so far resisted signing deals to use the company's Apple Pay mobile payment system.

But in a three-page submission to the ACCC, Apple accused the banks of using "innuendo and misstatements" in their application, and said that granting access to the iPhone's transmitter to allow bank apps to facilitate contactless payments would compromise Apple's hardware, harm consumers, and lead to less competition:
Apple upholds very high security standards for our customers when they use Apple devices to make payments. Providing simple access to the NFC antenna by banking applications would fundamentally diminish the high level of security Apple aims to have on our devices. 

Unfortunately, and based on their limited understanding of the offering, the [banks] perceive Apple Pay as a competitive threat. These banks want to maintain complete control over their customers. The present application is only the latest tactic employed by these competing banks to blunt Apple's entry into the Australian market.
The submission made clear that the banks are "essential to Apple's ability to offer Apple Pay on a meaningful basis with Australia". However, it also lambasted their negotiating approach, with Apple claiming that one of the banks had even refused to enter into a confidentiality agreement to allow for initial discussions about the terms of participating in Apple Pay.

Apple asked the ACCC not to provide any authorization for a deal this month and suggested it take the full six-month statutory period to assess the application more thoroughly.

The submitted document was signed by Marg Demmer, a former cards executive at ANZ Banking Group, the only bank in Australia's "Big Four" that played no part in the original joint application and has already allowed its cards to be used via Apple Pay.

Whenever a bank card transaction takes place, the card-issuing bank deducts what's known as an interchange fee from the amount it pays the acquiring bank that handles the card transaction for the merchant. ANZ is said to have agreed to give up some of its interchange fee to Apple as part of its deal with the company, but the other big banks appear unwilling to negotiate a similar deal.

Article Link: Apple Lambasts Australian Banks Over Call For iPhone NFC Access
 
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NotAdvisable

macrumors regular
Nov 16, 2011
215
76
Perth, Australia
Commonwealth, NAB and Westpac take note...

ANZ didn't want to deal with your sh*t, and they partnered with Apple months ago. Guess what, ANZ has claimed over 50,000 new customers moving their bank accounts and credit cards over to use Apple Pay.

Please for the love of god just accept Apple's fees!!!
 
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kdarling

macrumors P6
Australians should be proud that some of their fellows still have enough backbone to stand up to Apple.

Opening up NFC would be beneficial all over the world, from wallets to ticketing systems to personal data exchanges.

Moreover, Apple is simply hosting secure payment applets written by the credit card companies. Apple didn't code those or the tokenization. Their demand that banks pay a fee to let their own customers register with those common credit card applets, is sheer greed.
 
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NotAdvisable

macrumors regular
Nov 16, 2011
215
76
Perth, Australia
Australians should be proud that some of their fellows still have enough backbone to stand up to Apple.
Nope, I'm disgusted in my bank (Commonwealth) for partaking in these 'fighting' matches with Apple, and they're paying for it by loosing customers to ANZ.

I want Apple Pay, and I don't want the banks accessing the NFC.
They'd use their lame applications, and it wouldn't be tied into the OS like Apple Pay is.

Apple's right. The Aussie Banks are just being greedy themselves.
Get on-board or lose more customers, it seems.
 
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sigsegv

macrumors member
Nov 17, 2012
60
144
San Francisco
still have enough backbone to stand up to Apple
Backbone? More like a combination of fear, greed, and stubbornness. The banks know they can't out-innovate Apple and are simply trying to protect their stale businesses and fat margins. They can't see that they'll need to open up to remain relevant.

To be fair: Apple is playing the same game, but they have a few points in their favour:
  1. They know how to make things work seamlessly their customers.
  2. Security will be better off if they keep third party apps away from they hardware.
  3. They are far more relevant than the banks.
Kudos to ANZ for figuring out it will be a win for them with very little effort on their part.
 

laudern

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2011
864
554
Good on the banks. The nfc chip should be opened up. The banks have paid to install all of the nfc machines which are present in virtually every shop across the country. Why should apple be allowed to piggy back off the financial outlay of other businesses?

Using the banks' app in conjunction with touch ID and nfc would be fine.

But really what it comes down to is cost. Would the banks pass on the extra fee apple takes to the consumer? I bet they would. Generosity is not generally associated with banks.
 

Lenortic577

macrumors member
Jun 29, 2007
38
27
Hmmm... the NAB has an iPhone app that still hasn't been optimized for iPhone 6/6+ screen resolution, how many years ago was that? Oh that's right, nearly 2 years ago now.

They're not exactly demonstrating that they're capable of creating and maintaining an App to using the NFC chip, which Apple would never give them access to anyway.
 

rmcq

macrumors newbie
Jul 15, 2009
23
57
The banks have paid to install all of the nfc machines which are present in virtually every shop across the country.
No, the merchant (retailer) pays exorbitant monthly fees to the bank for the privilege of having a terminal. The banks pay nothing.

For the record, I dumped by Westpac and Virgin credit cards for an ANZ card the day of the announcement.
 

MH01

Suspended
Feb 11, 2008
12,107
9,298
Nope, I'm disgusted in my bank (Commonwealth) for partaking in these 'fighting' matches with Apple, and they're paying for it by loosing customers to ANZ.

I want Apple Pay, and I don't want the banks accessing the NFC.
They'd use their lame applications, and it wouldn't be tied into the OS like Apple Pay is.

Apple's right. The Aussie Banks are just being greedy themselves.
Get on-board or loose more customers, it seems.
Interesting . I'm in Australia right now, using my Australian cards, but don't have access to my ApplePay (UK cards).

The chip and pin and contactless is superior to my ApplePay to be honest. £30 limit on the ApplePay is ......very limiting .

Things are not so bad in Oz mate. ApplePay is a nice feature, But not one to move banks for...choose your bank to make money/save money , not gimmicks . If ANZ get a few Apple fanboys, so what, the vast majority of users don't care, they will choose the bank with the best interest rates ;)
[doublepost=1470824343][/doublepost]
True, but I'd bet that one side is a lot more concerned about end-user experience than the other. I've never met a banking app (from a bank) I liked.
Dunno ... Being a Mac Pro owner .... Seems my bank might care more :p
 
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Roadstar

macrumors 68000
Sep 24, 2006
1,546
1,868
Vantaa, Finland
I'm all for Apple opening NFC access to third party developers for the sole reason that I could actually use the NFC hardware I have in my phone. For after all, Apple Pay is still not available everywhere and I've actually lost all faith that it will ever make it to Finland. In addition, my bank has a nice app that allows mobile payments on the Android version. If they had NFC access, they'd allow that on the iOS version as well and I wouldn't have to swap phones anytime I'd like to use mobile payments for whatever reasons.

There are also some non-payment uses for NFC I'd like to have also on my iPhone.
 

alvindarkness

macrumors 6502a
Jul 11, 2009
560
396
No, the merchant (retailer) pays exorbitant monthly fees to the bank for the privilege of having a terminal. The banks pay nothing.

For the record, I dumped by Westpac and Virgin credit cards for an ANZ card the day of the announcement.
I've been with ANZ since the early 90s, a time full of horrible horrible experiences. I cant wait to untangle myself from them to the point where I can close the account. To each their own, I'm sure no large commercial bank has our best interests at heart, and ANZ associating with Apple scores 0 points in my book - although on a mac forum I'm guessing the majority would think differently.
 
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iGeek2014

macrumors 68020
Jun 29, 2014
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=== Nowheresville ===
For clarity the £30 limit in the UK is for ALL contactless payments EXCEPT where the retailer has full ApplePay, where the limit is set by the retailer's agreement. Retailers with full ApplePay display the ApplePay logo and IME the limit is your normal card limit.
I just wish more retailers here in the UK would accept Apple Pay for £30 and over.

From my own experience last September I managed to purchase my Apple Watch with my then iPhone 6 Plus but that's the most I've spent so far.
 

dave2010

macrumors regular
Jul 23, 2014
225
199
Canberra
Seems to me that Apple is placing a lot of barriers on a chip that isn't that much better than the chip inside the plastic cards currently used. in Australia we already ubiquitous contactless payments without a PIN up to $100 and security hasn't been a problem. For costs over $100, you have to enter your PIN anyway.
The fee for what Apple is offering should be tiny.
 
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