Four Australian banks REALLY want access to NFC on the iPhone

A group of Australian banks previously applied to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for permission to jointly negotiate over access to Apple Pay and the Near Field Communication (NFC)  function on iPhones. Today they announced that they’ve narrowed the application to solely focus on open access to the NFC function.

The four banks making the application – Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank, and Westpac – want open access to the NFC function on the iPhone. Without this, “no genuine competition in the provision of mobile wallets is possible and Apple will have a stranglehold on this strategically important future market,” they claim. The applicants flatly reject Apple’s unsupported assertions that the application is about an objection to the fees that Apple wishes to impose, rather than NFC access.

However, Apple doesn’t allow third-party electronic payment apps to be installed on the iPhone. The Cupertino, California-based company has criticized the banks for  for attempting to stop or delay the roll-out of Apple Pay in the country. In its latest submission to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission, the Cupertino, California-based company said it was concerned banks are seeking to “delay the expansion of Apple Pay,” hurting both consumers and smaller card issuers who could use the technology “as a means of securing a digital presence in competition with the big banks.”