Apple Warns Of “Trojan Horse” By Banks
In a submission published by the ACCC, Apple has characterised the argument made by Australian banks over access to the iPhone’s NFC chip as a “trojan horse”.
According to them, the company “has been puzzled by the applicant banks’ logically inconsistent argument that they wish to have the ability to charge consumers per transaction fees for using Apple Pay, but are unlikely to be able to do so owing to competition from other issuers like ANZ who do not.”
“Perhaps the explanation might be that this perceived by the applicant banks as a way of introducing and then proliferating a new revenue stream in the digital payments age,” they say.
Apple claims “it may well be that the applicant banks have taken the view that customers may be more willing to pay fees to use Apple Pay because of the ease and security of using Apple Pay and, on that basis, see an opportunity to introduce and condition the market to transaction fees for the use of Apple Pay, with the longer term view to setting a precedent for charging for mobile payments on other digital wallets, in the future, including the banks’ own proprietary wallets.”
They call the request of the banks “futile” and say that even if granted permission to negotiate by the ACCC, Apple has no plans to give any ground to the banking coalition.
A request for permission to collectively bargain with Apple made by NAB, Westpac, Commonwealth and Bendigo Bank and was denied in a draft determination by the ACCC last year.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims said at that time that the regulator “is not currently satisfied that the likely benefits from the proposed conduct outweigh the likely detriments,” citing broad concerns that the banks would be able to act as a formal cartel.
The banks’ final submission to the ACCC will be published this week, with expectations that the regulator will make their final ruling within the next month.