Australian big banks are hypocrites to demand Apple give them access to cardless payments when the banks won’t do the same for fintechs in Australia, says Chris Brycki, founder and CEO of Stockspot.
Four banks have asked the competition regulator, the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission), for permission to collectively negotiate with Apple to get their own digital wallets on iPhones.
Apple has its own digital payments system, Apple Pay, and third party providers of digital wallets aren’t welcome on iPhones.
“It’s a beautiful irony for Australia’s banks to complain of the market dominance and control of Apple and Google and demand they open their NFCs (Near Field Communication), as they have done this week,” says Brycki.
“They are forming a cartel to strong arm Apple into opening up everything to them so they move into cardless payments.”
The Commonwealth, NAB, Westpac and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank hope that together they can convince Apple to allow their digital wallets to be loaded onto iPhones.
The ANZ Bank has its own deal. An ANZ customer with a Visa debit or credit card or ANZ branded American Express credit card are able make payments with their iPhone using Apple Pay.
Brycki says the hypocrisy is that banks do exactly the same to the fintech industry in Australia because they want a stranglehold on a part of their own ecosystem — client financial data.
“Australian banks are doing everything in their power to not offer open data APIs, which could allow fintech firms to access customer transaction account data,” he says.
“Preventing fintechs and their customers from accessing their own banking data makes it impossible to provide services that rely on assessing creditworthiness, analysing spending patterns or understanding a client’s finances.”
Stockspot gives personal investment advice driven by AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning.
“The longer banks refuse Australian fintech companies fall further behind the rest of the world where open APIs are commonplace,” he says.
The government has asked the Productivity Commission to investigate ways to increase data availability for fintechs.