• Commuter places iPhone 7 on the card reader to walk through a ticket gate

Commuter places iPhone 7 on the card reader to walk through a ticket gate (Photo : Getty images/The Asahi Shimbun)

 

When several Australian banks submitted an application to The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), it rejected the application to collectively negotiate with Apple over Apple Pay.

Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, National Australia Bank (NAB),  Bendigo and Adelaide Bank planned to enter into group talks with Apple in an effort to establish the deal that would allow the banks to access the NFC hardware on the iPhone.  This facility further allows the banks to offer mobile payments with iPhone NFC chip.

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The four banks were in need of the permission from ACCC to prevent the violation of anti-cartel laws. However, the request for permission has been officially denied. MacRumors stated that in a statement, ACCC chairman Rod Sim stated that the benefits are "uncertain" and "may be limited."

"While the ACCC accepts that the opportunity for the banks to collectively negotiate and boycott would place them in a better bargaining position with Apple, the benefits are currently uncertain and may be limited." Chairman says.

The denial is followed by an initial denial in August, wherein the ACCC chose to take adequate time to consider the issue before approving the request to allow the banks to boycott Apple Pay while negotiations took place. Now, the ACCC has finally denied to the banks both interim and draft authorization. A final ruling on the request is expected in March 2017.

Apple tried its best opposing the initial request saying that allowing banks to access hardware within the iPhone would adjust the security, frustrate customers' privacy and damage innovation.

Alternatively, the banks claimed access to NFC would privilege customers with more choice and provide "tremendous benefits for the entire Australian mobile payments landscape."

Although the Apple Pay has been available in Australia since November 2015 through Partnerships with ANZ and American Express, Australia's three major banks - Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, and National Australia Bank - have so far withstood signing deals with Apple to accept Apple Pay.

Wall Street Journal reported that Apple Inc. won the preliminary round of a battle with Australia's largest banks that have been attempting to force the tech company to give access to its Apple Pay technology. This allows smartphones and tablets to communicate with payment terminals.