Australian authorities will ask Apple why it killed Westpac’s messenger payment technology

Westpac Keyboard meant customers could access payment features while using social messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Twitter, Snapchat, and WeChat, as well as SMS … but Apple has banned it. Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

The Australian consumer watchdog will be enquiring with Apple to ask why it has banned Westpac’s payment-through-messaging capability introduced earlier this year.

The AFR reported Monday that while Apple could have security concerns about the Westpac Keyboard feature, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will be “seeking a proper explanation” from the tech company to ensure it’s not an anti-competitive move.

The ACCC confirmed the enquiry to Business Insider, citing its chair Rod Sims’ words that were also quoted in the AFR: “We will be making contact with both Westpac and Apple to fully understand the facts. These are complex issues but we already have a good base of knowledge.”

Apple’s removal of Westpac’s innovation was revealed last week, with Apple telling its customers that from July they could no longer make payments directly within popular apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat and WeChat.

While Apple reportedly told Westpac that, for security reasons, keyboards should not be able to make payments, there are other banks around the world that have implemented similar functionality.

The AFR also reported last week that there was speculation Apple was clearing the path to launch its own payment-through-keyboard functionality.

The AFR has more.