Australian banks refusing to sign up for Apple Pay

Australian banks are reportedly refusing to sign up for Apple Pay, Apple’s mobile payment system, and allowing customers to link their bank accounts to their iPhones.

The country’s Reserve Bank has been urged to examine potential anti-competitive behavior in the emerging card-free payments market amid claims the banks have frozen out Apple Pay, which was recently introduced in the country, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. Labor's spokesman on digital innovation, Ed Husic, has written to the RBA and the Australian Bankers' Association, raising his concern that Australians are being "denied choices" in digital payments, the article adds.

Apparently, banks in Australia aren’t too keen on the idea of giving Apple a bit of the US$2 billion they earn annually from interchange fees. In the US, Apple earns close to 15¢ on every $100 of transactions. Apple’s trying for a similar number in Australia, and the Aussies aren’t having it. Why? Well, interchange fees in the US are about $1 for every $100 of transactions, while in Australia, those fees are only about half that amount.