As Apple seeks to expand its mPayment platform in the Australian market, it has found a new ally in the country’s government. Ed Husic, the Labor party’s spokesperson on digital innovation, is now urging both the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Australian Bankers’ Association to investigate potentially anti-competitive behavior on the part of Australia’s major banks as they continue to withhold support for Apple Pay.
It has been an issue for a while, with reports having emerged back in August on the major banks’ resistance to Apple Pay. The issue revolves around fees: As 9to5Mac points out, in the US, banks take $1 out of every $100 spent, and Apple takes 15 cents from that dollar for each Apple Pay transaction; meanwhile, Australia’s banks only take 50 cents for every $100, but Apple reportedly still wants its 15 cent cut from Apple Pay transactions. The banks also argue that they already have their own mPayment platforms, so Apple Pay is redundant in their payments market.
Nevertheless, the service has launched in Australia under the auspices of American Express. That payment card company also led the charge in Apple Pay’s recent entry into Canada, the reason being that Amex is both its own payment network operator and card issuer and is therefore not dependent on regional banks for issuing cards. Now the question becomes whether this new government pressure will help to get Australia’s banks on board.