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ACCC Prepared To Battle Apple Pay

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s outgoing chairman Rod Sims has signalled the watchdog is “well advanced” in its battle against Apple Pay, following Treasurer Josh Frydenberg pledge to legislation the industry last month.

“We’re investigating that allegedly that prohibition by Apple is a substantially lessening of competition by excluding others, it’s exclusionary behaviour,” Sims told the AFR,

“If you want to have a digital wallet on an Apple device, the CBA for example but there are many others, you have to route all the payments through Apple Pay and that means your digital wallet is limited in what it can do and Apple won’t give you direct access to their near-field communication.”

Sims explained that the ACCC was also monitoring how banks operate in the space.

“You’ve got banks setting up digital platforms either to work with fintechs or to funnel everything through their own portals and the banks are all jockeying for position to have everything through their bank, so that the bank owns the customer,” Sims continued.

“Then you’ve got Apple, Google and Facebook all trying to get a bigger foothold in the finance sector.”

“You’ve got buy now, pay later, people getting involved in cryptocurrency, all sorts of fintechs developing, and we need to make sure this all works in a pro-competitive fashion.

“The more that we are cashless and the more people are using their phones to make payments, the more we have to think about how we can get more competition and more innovation. Certainly, the CBA and many others have been complaining they cannot configure their digital wallets in the way they want to, to provide all the services they want to consumers unless they can get access to Apple’s near-field communication.”

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