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Australian Banks Seek Open Access to NFC Functions of Apple Pay in New Application

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A group of Australia's biggest banks have again applied to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in a bid to negotiate with Apple over Apple Pay. The banks -- including Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank, and Westpac -- today announced that they have "narrowed" their application with the ACCC to focus on gaining open access to the NFC function integral to Apple Pay.


The new application echoes the banks' original, filed last July, which also included gaining access to the NFC-based mobile payments software in iPhones. Apple currently only allows its own mobile payment system to access the NFC-hardware in its iPhone devices, which banks argue is an anti-competitive restriction that hampers consumer choice. The banks say that while Apple has a "stranglehold" on this technology, no actual competition can take place in the mobile wallet marketplace.
Open access to the NFC function on iPhone is required to enable real choice and real competition for consumers, and to facilitate innovation and investment in the digital wallets available to Australians. Without open NFC access on iPhone, no genuine competition in the provision of mobile wallets is possible and Apple will have a stranglehold on this strategically important future market.
Previously, the coalition of banks also sought to challenge Apple on Apple Pay due to the service's fees. In the new application, the banks decided to eliminate arguments over fees and any other items "the ACCC considered may lead to a public detriment." Prior to the new application, the ACCC had denied the banks' request to negotiate over Apple pay two times last year.
"The applicants are ready, willing, and able to participate in Apple Pay, alongside being able to offer their customers their own mobile wallet products," payments specialist and spokesperson on behalf of the applicants, Lance Blockley, said.

"This application has always been about consumer choice, and allowing competition between the makers of mobile wallets to offer the best products and features they can to determine which mobile wallet consumers will use. The applicants want to put up their digital offerings head to head with Apple Pay, and let the market and individual consumers decide which best suits their needs.
According to the banks, full access to NFC on iPhone devices "would enable the delivery of substantial public benefits to Australian consumers," across a variety of categories other than mobile payments, including loyalty programs, member security, and other NFC-related cases. Because of these benefits, the banks said they they "have again been supported by nearly all of Australia's leading retailers."

Last week, Apple responded to the Australian banks' continued obstruction of Apple Pay by saying it was damaging to consumers and small business alike, ultimately referring to their request for access to NFC as a potentially hazardous "Trojan horse" scenario. In today's applications, the banks referred to Apple's comments as a "conspiracy theory" and dismissed it as "fantasy."
The applicants flatly reject Apple's unsupported assertions that the application is about an objection to the fees that Apple wishes to impose, rather than NFC access. Apple's conspiracy theories about "Trojan horse fees" are similarly dismissed by the applicants as fantasy.
According to Blockley, who spoke on behalf of the banks, the NFC-targeted application is not an attempt to delay Apple Pay's wider support in Australia as it would be offered alongside other mobile wallets -- similar to how Android supports open access to the NFC function. "Any delay or frustration will be as a result of Apple refusing to negotiate," Blockley said.

Article Link: Australian Banks Seek Open Access to NFC Functions of Apple Pay in New Application
 

Jakexb

macrumors 6502a
Mar 18, 2014
781
1,083
Why do they think they deserve anything at all? You can just complain to the government and demand that a company who has developed a hardware business entirely on its own has to let you use certain features of it.

Apple should say "ok, fine, but you have to turn every 3rd bank branch into an Apple store and your tellers will work for us for free."
 

jmh600cbr

macrumors 6502a
Feb 14, 2012
959
2,075
It's the right idea, ultimately i should be able to use my phone to enter my office or home, parking garage etc and this will require an SDK of sorts but the last thing i need is apple pay to become less secure.
 

macTW

Suspended
Oct 17, 2016
1,395
1,976
I don't think negotiating over Apple pay fees requires access... but that thats just me.

I can see one idea why, to know when the consumer uses it, but Apple can write code for that. The banks don't want that, though.
 

newyorkone

macrumors 6502
Jun 10, 2009
276
249
These banks are moronic in making their request, and completely don't understand the concept behind Apple Pay, and it's focus on security. Any iPhone user that would want this is also similarly clueless about the security benefits of Apple Pay. If you want a less secure alternative to Apple Pay, get an Android phone.
 

Jetship

macrumors member
May 12, 2015
88
68
Why do they think they deserve anything at all? You can just complain to the government and demand that a company who has developed a hardware business entirely on its own has to let you use certain features of it.

Apple should say "ok, fine, but you have to turn every 3rd bank branch into an Apple store and your tellers will work for us for free."

So the banks should be charged money every time someone uses Apple Pay when the banks built the infrastructure themselves? how is that fair, also we already have a NFC payments system with out cards anyway so it's not like the banks have no NFC cards already.

EDIT: I assume you all ain't from Australia, so don't take apples side so quickly.
 

69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,582
14,374
In between a rock and a hard place
This is the argument the banks should have used in the beginning. Open access to the NFC functionality is a valid request. Arguing over fees was a losing battle in the court of public opinion. It just looked like greed. Arguing that they want to offer more choice to customers is a winning argument and puts the onus on Apple to deny customer choice. It may be a day late and a dollar short, but it's the right argument to make.
[doublepost=1486996866][/doublepost]
Apple would rather never offer Apple Pay in Australia than compromise the security of the entire system globally. Australia is a small market by comparison. This will go absolutely nowhere for the banks involved and is a huge waste of time.
How exactly would the security of NFC be compromised? I see people saying this all the time, but to date, no one has actually shown how the security would be compromised.
 
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friednoodles

Suspended
Feb 4, 2014
601
829
Just to clarify for those not from Australia: Apple Pay is already available in Australia through several banks, including one of the "big four" banks, ANZ. And of course, before ANZ signed on, it was available via American Express.

These other banks just don't want to lose any bit of control they have in the market.
 

kironin

macrumors 6502a
May 4, 2004
611
247
Texas
Australia size by population is comparable to 3rd largest US state New York or the 7th largest European Union country Romania. Apple should just tell these banks to go fxck them greedy selves rather than compromise their system. There is no reason to allow whatever 3rd rate programmers these cheap ass banks hire to compromise Apple Pay security.
 

Paul Dawkins

Suspended
Dec 15, 2016
365
990
Stonehenge
This is the argument the banks should have used in the beginning. Open access to the NFC functionality is a valid request. Arguing over fees was a losing battle in the court of public opinion. It just looks like greed. Arguing that they want to offer more choice to customers is a winning argument and puts the onus on Apple to deny customer choice. It may be a day late and a dollar short, but it's the right argument to make.
[doublepost=1486996866][/doublepost]
How exactly would the security of NFC be compromised? I see people saying this all the time, but to date, no one has actually shown how the security would be compromised.

Same way it would be compromised if Apple gave iOS decryption keys to FBI. The more people have access to sensitive data, the more probable is the chance of it leaking and being used improperly.
 

Jetship

macrumors member
May 12, 2015
88
68
Australia size by population is comparable to 3rd largest US state New York or the 7th largest European Union country Romania. Apple should just tell these banks to go fxck them greedy selves rather than compromise their system. There is no reason to allow whatever 3rd rate programmers these cheap ass banks hire to compromise Apple Pay security.

Mate I don't know about you but if I ran a company and built infrastructure that costs millions then company came and ask to use this infrastructure and charge you for it, would you say yes?
 

Oberhorst

macrumors regular
Nov 4, 2010
110
48
Stockholm
Why do they think they deserve anything at all? You can just complain to the government and demand that a company who has developed a hardware business entirely on its own has to let you use certain features of it.
Can or can’t? I think you wanted to say can’t here.

Apple would rather never offer Apple Pay in Australia than compromise the security of the entire system globally. Australia is a small market by comparison. This will go absolutely nowhere for the banks involved and is a huge waste of time.
Apple Pay is already available with a few banks in Australia, amongst which is major bank ANZ. Only the other three major banks are whining. ;)
 
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Marli

macrumors regular
Apr 9, 2011
172
21
Apple have never said they have NFC, unlike other systems that tout it as a feature. They have it as its a necessity to access the terminal for Apple Pay. SO one could argue its not even a feature to ask access to.
 

thisisnotmyname

macrumors 68020
Oct 22, 2014
2,353
4,929
known but velocity indeterminate
And of course all banks should be required to allow electronic access to banking data feeds to all third parties as well. Right? RIGHT?

Wait, many banks charge $3-$10 a month for a direct data feed of my own data? Say it isn't so!

edit: it would make a level playing field and encourage competition and innovation if Apple were able to offer Apple Bank (tm) on the iPhone where I could review all of my banking transactions without being incessantly bothered to take advantage of a "great offer for you" for a home loan or additional credit product (all of which being profit centers to the bank of course). This monopolistic behavior of the bank forcing me to use their interface to review my data kept via their infrastructure (created at great investment by them) on "security grounds" or be forced to substandard services that include "fees" will not stand. Government, do something! *eye roll*
 
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iGeek2014

macrumors 68020
Jun 29, 2014
2,113
1,093
=== Nowheresville ===
I fully appreciate some of the banks have invested time and money in supporting the framework for NFC and that Apple ask for a percentage per Apple Pay transaction.

However as posted above... the more people with access to the securer elements of AP the more risk there is something can go wrong somewhere.
 
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Jetship

macrumors member
May 12, 2015
88
68
I don't think you guys understand what's happening, Firstly the banks only wanted the fee to be removed but apple said no twice, then the banks started this NFC because Apple were being tight. They only use the NFC thing to get back at Apple.
 

Paul Dawkins

Suspended
Dec 15, 2016
365
990
Stonehenge
I don't think you guys understand what's happening, Firstly the banks only wanted the fee to be removed but apple said no twice, then the banks started this NFC because Apple were being tight. They only use the NFC thing to get back at Apple.
It appears they are not very successful. Since ANZ already offers Apple Pay now it's only a matter of time.
 

Oberhorst

macrumors regular
Nov 4, 2010
110
48
Stockholm
This is the argument the banks should have used in the beginning. Open access to the NFC functionality is a valid request. Arguing over fees was a losing battle in the court of public opinion. It just looks like greed. Arguing that they want to offer more choice to customers is a winning argument and puts the onus on Apple to deny customer choice. It may be a day late and a dollar short, but it's the right argument to make.
The only reason retailers and banks like "loyalty programs" and what not is to gain more information from customers and make money with their data. Apple Pay is so nice and beautiful exactly because this is not possible.
Real benefit programs could be implemented by Apple themselves in form of wallet items, but not automatically shared via NFC. That would basically be a data breach.

It appears they are not very successful. Since ANZ already offers Apple Pay now it's only a matter of time.
Yes because ANZ didn’t request access to the NFC communication. If I was ANZ I would advertise this advantage aggressively.
 
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