Australian Consumer Watchdog to Question Apple Over Westpac Chat App Payments Ban

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 4, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is seeking clarification from Apple over its decision to ban an app extension that lets Westpac bank customers use social media and mobile messaging platforms to make payments.

    Known as Westpac Keyboard, the feature was announced in March and let the bank's customers change the default keyboard in social messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Twitter, and Snapchat, in order to make payments to friends, family, and businesses.


    Apple wrote to Westpac last week to tell the bank that its three-month-old keyboard feature would no longer be allowed on iPhones, according to The Australian Financial Review. Staff were reportedly perplexed by Apple's generic explanation letter, which suggested that keyboards should not be able to send money, or that it may offend some users.

    Westpac has written to its customers to let them know the keyboard app extension will be removed in July. The app extension was the first in the Asia Pacific region to enable payments, but Apple has previously approved similar apps from other institutions, including India's ICICI Bank and Spain's Banco Sabadell and CaixaBank.    

    The bank has not commented on the reasons behind Apple's decision, but sources told AFR that Westpac had already addressed security concerns initially raised by Apple and had the app approved from that perspective. The ACCC consumer watchdog has now said it will be "seeking a proper explanation" from Apple to make sure it is not an anti-competitive move.

    Westpac was among a group of institutions alongside Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, which unsuccessfully asked the ACCC to allow them to collectively bargain with Apple over access to the iPhone's NFC chip to allow their own payments services to work alongside Apple Pay.

    Apple is launching its own payments service that will work over the company's iMessage chat service in iOS 11, which is set to be released in the fall. The service will be available in the U.S. first but no date has been set for its arrival in Australia.

    (Thanks, Jason!)

    Article Link: Australian Consumer Watchdog to Question Apple Over Westpac Chat App Payments Ban
  2. ImperfectLion macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2014
    Probably because they can't profit from every transaction since the money is from the bank and doesn't go through the App Store
  3. foobarbaz macrumors 6502a

    Nov 29, 2007
    Welcome to being a developer on the App Store. This must be their first app.
  4. Ballis macrumors 6502a

    May 27, 2008
    Oslo, Norway
    I wish Apple would just open up NFC to third partiets and not be so protective of Apple pay. Not everyone wants to use their sollution.
  5. ArneK macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2015
    That’s hopefully the next big fine of the EU against Apple. Apple doesn’t look good with this whole NFC stuff at all
  6. foobarbaz macrumors 6502a

    Nov 29, 2007
    Being anticompetitive is perfectly legal.

    You need to be dominating the market to be fined. Apple isn't dominating any market in the EU.
  7. genovelle macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2008
    Nope. Not interested in Reducing the security on my phone so others can have the hack of the day.
  8. 69Mustang macrumors 604


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
  9. 4jasontv macrumors 68000

    Jul 31, 2011
    Set Super Clock! control panel to CoreFeature

    Tell press "Magical"
    if exists (file inAppStore) then
    delete developer Steve Christensen
    end if
    end tell

    -- Replace AppleScript variables as needed
  10. Robert.Walter macrumors 68000


    Jul 10, 2012
    What's really anti competitive is a banking cartel that blocks the adoption of Apple Pay in a country by not offering a card that supports it.
  11. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Not the first time apples done it and won’t be the last. Dev rules are subject to change. You either live with it or move on.
  12. Avieshek Suspended


    Dec 7, 2013
  13. Robert.Walter macrumors 68000


    Jul 10, 2012
    I'd also like to add that Apple can point to security concerns that banks might make an insecure app, and to give an extra level of scrutiny to 3rd party banking apps, would take significant effort on apple's part, whereas banks can only point to a loss of customer dependence and control.
  14. tmiw macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    Could it be some legal liability thing? I'm not sure Apple's going to bother bringing Apple Pay via iMessage to many other countries besides the US. (Most other places already have instant bank transfers so a third party service isn't really going to go anywhere.)
  15. JRobinsonJr macrumors 6502a

    Aug 20, 2015
    Arlington, Texas
    I'll agree with the NFC access as long as the secure enclave is not also opened. I'm not the least bit interested in compromising security.

    That said, I may be mistaken but hasn't Apple already announced that the NFC subsystem will be opened - a bit - in iOS 11?
  16. cocky jeremy macrumors 601

    cocky jeremy

    Jul 12, 2008
    Columbus, OH
    You don't have to use their solution. You only have to use their solution if you want iOS. The choice is yours..
  17. ArneK macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2015
    They are dominating the market for mobile phone payment solutions. And use their market power to keep competitors out of their system.
  18. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    Apple uses the Secure Element to store the account details and to generate transaction tokens. The NFC antenna is just the conduit for the connection between phone and payment terminal and has to my knowledge no bearing on the security of Apple Pay itself. After all, you can use Apple Pay on the web too, no NFC involved.
  19. lironl macrumors newbie

    Aug 31, 2010
    According to some websites, several other banks have this feature in their apps. Have they been asked to remove it from their apps?

    The company behind the feature, PayKey, has screenshots of the keyboards on other banks' apps, e.g. Sparebank 1 (Norway) and Garanti Bank (Turkey). They look like iPhone screenshots. A Finextra article says that the feature was live on those banks' apps, as well as Davivienda (Colombia).
  20. 69Mustang macrumors 604


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    1. Do you have a source for the claim that Apple can point to security concerns?
    2. Why do you think it would take significant effort from Apple?
    3. How do banks lose customer control or dependence? They actually have your money.
  21. actcyclist macrumors 6502


    Jun 10, 2017
    I don't know why Apple bothered removing it. Not many customers will want to use the bank's craptacular apps, that record all the personal data they can get, once we can send payments using iMessage.
    I hope that in a few years Apple is acting like a bank and we can get some real competition to banks in Australia.
  22. Alenore macrumors 6502

    Apr 7, 2013
    "What's really anti competitive is a phone maker that blocks the adoption of contactless payments in the world by not offering a device that supports NFC and third party payment systems".
  23. fermat-au, Jul 4, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2017

    fermat-au macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2009
    It could be argued that Apple is as much to blame as the banks for lack of Apple Pay in Australia. Apple won't offer a rate that the banks are prepared to accept.

    The Big Australian Banks and Apple are two of the largest, most stubborn, dominating organisation, that are used to getting their own way, on the planet. When they face off opposite each other it is always interesting to watch.

    note. I'm an Australian who has no money with any of the Big Banks.
  24. friednoodles Suspended

    Feb 4, 2014
    You can't just ignore ANZ, which is one of the Big Four Australian banks, has millions of customers, and is perfectly fine offering Apple Pay on all of their credit cards. Along with ING Direct, CUA, Macquarie, HSBC, etc and a ton of other credit unions. In total there are now 50 financial institutions in Australia that support Apple Pay.

    It's a myth perpetuated by NAB, Westpac and Commonwealth that there's a "lack of Apple Pay in Australia" and that Apple won't offer an agreeable rate - and it's in their interests to make it appear that way given they wanted an exception for cartel negotiating powers (which the ACCC ruled against given the abuse of market power it would allow). It's just an excuse they're using with their customers to explain why they aren't offering it while ANZ and others are.
  25. fermat-au macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2009
    As you know ANZ were one the first, if not first, bank to support Apple Pay in Australia. They decider to accept the "high rate" per transaction that Apple offer so they would be the only bank with Apple Pay in the hope of attracting customer to switch to them. The other Big Banks decided to wait in the hope of a better rate. If they did get this they will be in a better position than ANZ. The other early Apple Pay adopter in Australia was American Express, who charge a high annual fee and charge a high percentage to retailer, this is why some place in Australia don't accept American Express and why they could easily afford to pay Apple's rate.

    I am not defending the Big Banks, they are fee to support Apple Pay or not, just as you the customer can choose to switch banks. We just need to remember that Apple is larger than any of them and all partly are ruthless negotiators.

    Back to the original article. It is good that the ACCC is looking at this, whoever's way their ruling goes, Apple and the banks involved must abide by that. If Apple wants to sell the iPhone and have Apple Pay in Australia they must so under Australian law and ACCC rulings.

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