Apple has explained why it won't let Australia's banks use its contactless payment tech - and warns they're a cartel

Photo: Getty Images

Apple really doesn’t want to let anyone else use its contactless payment technology.

Modern iPhones come bundled with NFC chips that let users pay for things easily via Apple Pay, and the Cupertino giant is fighting back against attempts from Australian banks to gain access to it.

Doing so would let the banks create their own contactless payment apps, and get a slice of the lucrative fees that Apple charges on every transaction — but Apple counters that doing so would damage its users’ security.

“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 said in a submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

(We first saw the news over on The Register, and you can read the complete submission below.)

Four banks — the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank, Westpac, and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank — want to team up to collectively negotiate with Apple over access to the tech. But Apple is pushing back hard.

“Unfortunately, and based on their limited understanding of the offering, the [banks] perceive Apple Pay as a competitive threat,” the company says. “These banks want to maintain complete control over their customers. The present application is only the latest tactic employed by these competing banks to blunt Apple’s entry into the Australian market.”

Apple also argues that the banks teaming up would constitute a “cartel,” and be illegal under Australia’s competition laws.

Here’s Apple’s full submission to the ACCC:

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