To Apple Pay or not to Apple Pay, that is the question

To Apple Pay or not to Apple Pay, that is the question

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the country’s antitrust regulator, is likely to deny four domestic banks permission to jointly bargain with Apple over Apple Pay, according to Reuters.

Earlier this year, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), National Australia Bank (NAB), Westpac, and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank requested the ACCC consent to collectively negotiate the commercial terms of Apple Pay.

Apple has the largest smartphone market share in Australia.

However, Apple’s response was 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”.

Rod Sims, chairman of ACCC, told Reuters that the preliminary decision in favour of Apple was “finely balanced”and could be reversed if the banks make a convincing case before a final opinion (which is due in March 2017).

Apple Pay has already made inroads into Australia with ANZ and American Express. Recently, it has struck a deal with Cuscal, a major payments provider to local credit unions and banks, to bring Apple Pay to its customers. The service will be available to nearly four million Australians that bank with 31 entities (which work with Cuscal).