July 28, 2016
Three of Australia’s Big Four banks have appealed to government regulators to ask Apple to open its App Store to their own competitive mobile wallets. According to a Reuters report, National Australia Bank, Westpac and Commonwealth Bank have petitioned antitrust regulators to allow them to negotiate collectively with Apple with the ultimate goal of allowing iPhone users access to their mobile payment apps.
“The three banks have resisted signing deals to use Apple Pay and want iPhone users to be able to install the electronic wallet systems they have already developed and financed themselves,” the report said. “[They] contend that while Apple allows apps on iPhones using other commonplace technology, such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, restricting the technology through which mobile wallets function—known as Near Field Technology—constitutes anticompetitive behavior.
ANZ, which signed an agreement with Apple earlier this year to support Apple Pay, is the only one of the Big Four that is not party to the action. Several smaller financial institutions have joined the three large banks in their attempt to enter Apple’s “walled garden” with a third-party payment app.