Aussie Banking Group: Apple Holding Issuers ‘Hostage’ with Its Restrictive NFC Policies

Feb 13 2017

NFC TIMES Exclusive – A spokesman for four major Australian banks battling Apple for access to NFC technology on its iPhones shot back at Apple's latest filing with Australian competition officials, denying that the banks are trying to avoid paying fees to Apple to participate in the payments service, the spokesman told NFC Times.

On the contrary, Apple is holding Australian card issuers “hostage” by not allowing them to access its NFC technology or to provide for “transparency” of the fees it charges issuers to participate in Apple Pay, contended Lance Blockley to NFC Times. He is representing three of Australia’s big four banks, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac; along with Bendigo and Adelaide Bank; in their dispute with Apple.

“If only Apple Pay can access the iPhone’s NFC interface and no issuer contracted for Apple Pay can disclose or pass on the fees for this access, then once the cardholders of these issuers are hooked on their iPhone mobile payment, what is to stop Apple increasing the price of access at contract renewal?” Blockley said. “No competitive wallet can access the NFC function and, therefore, they have a monopoly on the iPhone platform. It would not be surprising if a few of the current Apple Pay issuers in Australia and around the world did not have such concerns.”

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