Apple wins a victory in its global fight to prevent banks from introducing their own mobile payment services on Apple devices, as an Australian regulator bars lenders from bargaining collectively for access. Ciara Lee reports.
A bite size victory... in a global fight. Apple has won its bid to stop banks from introducing their own contactless payment services on its devices in Australia. The decision by Australia's competition watchdog, the first of its kind, will stop the banks from introducing their own mobile applications on iPhones and Apple Watches. The banks had hoped to avoid transaction fees and get customers to engage more frequently with their own apps. And that would have been lucrative. Australia's contactless payment market is worth an estimated $84 billion a year. The banks involved - Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac, National Australia Bank and Bendigo & Adelaide Bank- have yet to allow use of their cards with Apple Pay. A win for them would have given them more negotiating power. A loss, making them potentially vulnerable to higher Apple fees. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CMC MARKETS, MARKET ANALYST, MICHAEL HEWSON, SAYING: "Ultimately these four banks, by adopting a court case against Apple, could well find that it actually becomes more expensive for them to actually gain access to Apple's devices. So I think on a long-term basis, this is probably good for Apple, probably not so good for the Australian Banks in the short term." A win might also have sparked similar appeals for access to Apple's systems in other parts of the world. Apple does not allow any of its 3,500 bank partners in 15 global markets access to the technology behind its payment system.