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Australian Banks to continue working with the ACCC to secure competition and innovation in digital wallets

29 November 2016 |Innovation

With the ACCC’s decision over consumer choice and potential innovation in mobile wallets remaining finely balanced, the applicants remain committed to pursuing a successful outcome that will benefit consumers with greater choice, and allow future innovations in mobile wallets and other NFC powered functions to succeed.

The four banks making the application – Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank, and Westpac – will continue working with the ACCC to address the issues raised in the draft determination in order to provide competition and choice for the benefit of consumers.

If the ACCC draft determination stands, Australian owners of Apple iPhones will have no choice in the mobile wallet they use for contactless payments, and the Australian payments industry will be denied the opportunity to innovate and compete with Apple. This will have implications across not just financial institutions but retailers, small business, transport providers and airlines.

“If the draft determination of the Australian competition regulator stands, effectively there will be no competition against Apple for mobile payments on the iPhone,” payments specialist and spokesperson on behalf of the Applicants, Lance Blockley, said.

“The application has never been about preventing Apple Pay from coming to Australia or reducing competition between wallets. It has always been about providing consumer choice and innovation.

“Many organisations supported our application with their own submissions, across major retailers, fintech companies and card schemes, and we encourage them to respond to the draft determination with further submissions during the consultation period. The applicants are confident that the proposal would have real benefits and would avoid the detriments of Apple’s conduct, and look forward to the opportunity to provide that evidence to the ACCC.

“Whilst we are disappointed with this draft result, our application is not just relevant to Australia – the same issues around consumer choice and the freedom to offer genuine competition against Apple Pay arise globally.”

The applicants will be responding to the draft determination with additional supporting arguments for authorisation, to continue the call for true competition on digital wallets and mobile payments in Australia.

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