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ING And Macquarie Bank Sign Up To Apple Pay

Speaking to the Australian Financial Review, Apple’s Jennifer Bailey has confirmed that ING Direct and Macquarie Bank are the next in line to support its Apple Pay service and warned holdouts that they risk being left behind.

She says that Macquarie Bank and ING Direct customers will have access to the service by the end of February.

Bailey reiterated Apple’s claim that the banks aren’t working in the best interest of their customers and that their efforts to take on Apple reflect a “naivety” about how digital wallets work.

“While initially, in many markets, there have been banks that have initially been wary about working with a company as large as Apple, once they begin to work with us and understand the Apple Pay platform, they see the benefits of it. That hasn’t fully happened with the ACCC applicants, because the conversation is happening through the ACCC process, compared to what normally happens, which is we have the conversation bilaterally,” she says.

“For technology reasons as well as customer experience reasons, all those [digital cards] need to sit together in Apple’s wallet, because when you present the credential you are interacting with, the wallet has to have the knowledge to present the right card,” she insists.

John Arnott, executive director of customers for ING Direct, says for many customers “their smartphone is their bank, and it’s a natural extension that their iPhone will also become their wallet. We’re very happy to be able to give our customers what they have been asking for in Apple Pay.”

Earlier in the week, Apple has characterised the argument made by Australian banks over access to the iPhone’s NFC chip as a “trojan horse”.

In a submission published by the ACCC, they claimed “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.”

The banks quickly hit back, insisting that “the application has never been about preventing Apple Pay from coming to Australia or reducing competition between wallets. It has always been about providing real choice and real competition for consumers and facilitating innovation and investment in the digital wallet functionality available to Australians.”

The group’s final submission to the ACCC will be published this week, with expectations that the regulator will make their final ruling within the next month.

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