Retail Groups Are Backing Australian Banks’ Right to Access Apple’s Payment Technology

Retail Groups Are Backing Australian Banks’ Right to Access Apple’s Payment Technology
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A slew of Australian retail organizations are reportedly backing some of the country’s banks to negotiate with Apple to allow access to digital payment technology.

Coles, the Australian Payments clearing Association, and the Australian Retailers Association have all expressed support for Australian banks to be allowed to negotiate with third-party companies such as Apple, according to ZDnet.

Several banks, including the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and the National Australia Bank, have put in an initial request to an Australian regulatory agency to negotiate with Apple over the use of the iPhone’s mobile payment hardware.

Specifically, they’re asking for access to the iPhone’s near-field communication antenna to be used in their own digital wallets and apps. The banks want to use the apps they’ve financed and developed, rather than just be stuck using Apple Pay, MacRumors reported.

Apple has reportedly criticized the joint move, citing claims that it would compromise device security and innovation.

“Apple upholds very high security standards for our customers when they use Apple devices to make payments. Providing simple access to the NFC antenna by banking applications would fundamentally diminish the high level of security Apple aims to have on our devices,” the company announced in a statement to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

For their part, the ACCC denied the banks’ the interim right to negotiate while they investigate further. Retail organizations countered by saying that allowing banks to put their mobile apps on iPhones would give consumers more choice, MacRumors reported.

PayPal also weighed in to the ACCC, but said that the banks’ original application was too vague, and the definition of “mobile wallet” was too broad. The company said that digital wallet guidelines shouldn’t be mandated without an open discussion on best practices and standards.

Apple, for their part, remained unmoved in their opinion on the matter. Cupertino thinks that the banks’ request is simply a way for them to maintain complete control over their customer base.

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