Apple has hit walls introducing Apple Pay into Australia with the banks arguing Apple’s business practice was anticompetitive. The banks demanded access to the NFC hardware in the iPhone to be able to offer competing contactless mobile payments services. Apple refused and the banks went to court.
Although draft rulings indicate that the court will rule in favour of Apple, the final decision will be announced in March. Today, Apple continues to lay on the criticism accusing the Australian banks for attempting to ‘delay or even block’ the Apple Pay rollout.
Apple claims that the opposition it faced to launch Apple Pay hurts consumers and merchants that want to use the technology. The crux of the dispute is that the banks want access to the NFC components to offer alternative mobile payments services which Apple says would undermine security and simplicity of the iPhone.
The banks are — of course — worried about ceding too much control to one company and refute Apple’s complaints. They say that the case has never been about preventing Apple Pay from coming to Australia but 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’.
Although the big banks are still holdouts, Apple Pay is supported by American Express and many credit unions in Australia. Worldwide, Apple Pay adoption continues to grow. On its earnings call, the company announced that transaction volume is up 500% year-over-year and the number of users tripled.
Apple Pay is available on all the iPhones it currently sells. With the iPhone 7, Apple made a special version of the hardware just for Japan to support the FeliCa standard. Apple Pay also launched on the Mac last year with the new MacBook Pro and integrated Touch ID sensor.