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Australia Businesses The Almighty Buck Apple

Australia's Retailers Join the Local Giant Banks in Their Battle With Apple Pay (nfcworld.com) 68

More trouble for Apple in Down Under. The $300 billion retail sector has hit back at Apple, saying the global tech giant is trying to freeload on the payments infrastructure built by banks and retailers and restricting iPhone access to payments terminals will hinder loyalty schemes. From a report: The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has come out in support of the group of four Australian banks seeking stronger negotiation powers with Apple over the introduction of Apple Pay in the country, saying they believe access to the NFC functionality in the iPhone would allow retailers to provide "a richer and more convenient customer experience." The ARA, which represents 5,000 independent and national retailers, says access to the NFC functionality will allow retailers to "develop or participate in mobile wallets that provided a consistent and fully integrated experience to all users regardless of their choice of smartphones" while also allowing loyalty programs, coupons and rewards to be "more effectively integrated into these mobile wallets." "In our view -- for as long as Apple Pay remains the only app that can use the iPhone's NFC functionality -- the potential for innovation in mobile wallets and mobile payments will be limited," the ARA says in a submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
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Australia's Retailers Join the Local Giant Banks in Their Battle With Apple Pay

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  • New name (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geek ( 5680 ) on Friday February 10, 2017 @05:23PM (#53842461)

    Change Apple Pay to "Pay Apple". It's more truthful.

  • by ghoul ( 157158 ) on Friday February 10, 2017 @05:27PM (#53842483)

    If Apple wants Banks to cooperate by opening their payment network to iPhones , Apple must open up the iPhone NFC to mobile wallets from Banks. A competition commission cannot say its anti-competitive for incumbents to block Apple Pay but its not anti-competitive for Apple to not allow access to the NFC chip in an iPhone.

    • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Friday February 10, 2017 @06:42PM (#53842921)

      Apple must open up the iPhone NFC to mobile wallets from Banks.

      The retailers are saying they want access to the NFC to offer a "richer and more convenient customer experience", which means they want to collect customer data without explicit consent, and coerce more people into their "loyalty" programs. I am all for faster and more secure transactions, but increased privacy should also be an explicit goal of any future payment standard.

      • This is why I'm happy with cash and credit cards. Credit cards may be tracking me as well but every iteration of higher technology just becomes more and more invasive. It really saps my desire for other payment methods.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 10, 2017 @07:25PM (#53843131)

      >>A competition commission cannot say its anti-competitive for incumbents to block Apple Pay but its not anti-competitive for
      >> Apple to not allow access to the NFC chip in an iPhone.

      I usually find it's a mistake to give analysis in situations when I have NFI what I'm talking about :).

      It isn't "anti-competative for the incumbents to block AP." Nobody is blocking AP. Australia is not like the US. a) There is a reasonably strong consumer protection agency (ACCC). b) There aren't billions of banks... there are really five big ones. The banks asked for an exception to cartel laws so they could gang together and negotiate as one. They were told no. For banks that don't have a strong history of protecting consumers, that doesn't seem terrible. Some banks have already signed on to AP. Some haven't. That's how these things are supposed to work.

      They don't have to sign on to Apple Pay. Apple doesn't have to give them access to their hardware. Where is the problem?

      (As an aside, Australia isn't as pre-historic as the US when it comes to credit cards. Mag stripe is *not* a thing. *Everybody* has already rolled out contactless payments. So as a customer, AP has much less of a benefit. If you put your credit card in your phone case, the only difference is you don't get the fingerprint authentication.)

      • by martinX ( 672498 )

        Which one is the fifth. CommBank, ANZ, Westpac, National and ...

        • None. They are called "The Big Four" for a reason.

          • by martinX ( 672498 )

            I know. The AC above said "b) There aren't billions of banks... there are really five big ones. " I was curious who the new player was. Maybe he just got excited and counted someone twice.

      • If you put your credit card in your phone case, the only difference is you don't get the fingerprint authentication.)

        Credit card? How quaint. Some of the banks in Australia will sell you a tiny NFC sticker which you can stick on the back of your phone or inside the case (or inside the battery compartment if you have one of those). No need for a big bulky credit card.

        This is unlikely to be anti-competitive but it is the pain in the arse that we have come to love from Apple. Arbitrarily locked down hardware which prevents third parties from doing things with the phone. I'm half surprised they don't just open up the hardware

    • by kevmeister ( 979231 ) on Saturday February 11, 2017 @10:13PM (#53848485) Homepage

      If Apple wants Banks to cooperate by opening their payment network to iPhones , Apple must open up the iPhone NFC to mobile wallets from Banks. A competition commission cannot say its anti-competitive for incumbents to block Apple Pay but its not anti-competitive for Apple to not allow access to the NFC chip in an iPhone.

      Apple's system explicitly collects NO extraneous information on transactions. Banks hate this as they had seen mobile device transactions as a chance to collect a lot of valuable data. Sellers also hoped to build added piles of marketing data that Apple Pay won't provide because its design simply does not have access to it..

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      If Apple wants Banks to cooperate by opening their payment network to iPhones , Apple must open up the iPhone NFC to mobile wallets from Banks. A competition commission cannot say its anti-competitive for incumbents to block Apple Pay but its not anti-competitive for Apple to not allow access to the NFC chip in an iPhone.

      Actually, if Apple wants the restrictions lifted, they need to become their own bank. This means complying with PCI (Payment Card Industry) regulations as well as local regulations in each market they operate as a bank in. This is why smaller banks tend to stay in only a few markets whilst giants like Citi or HSBC have global reach.

      Right now, Apple Pay (and Google's equivalent) is just a wrapper for a credit card. That means another issuer that is ensuring compliance with PCI and local regulations, this

  • by bobm ( 53783 ) on Friday February 10, 2017 @05:42PM (#53842585)

    Even though I'm giving up on the Apple Watch and computers I do find the Apple Pay to be pretty convenient.

    Considering the time delay on the new chip cards its much faster and I don't have to fake a signature anymore.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yup - bank cards work, loyalty cards work and coupons work. The retailers are creating a smoke screen for "we want the ability to invade the user's privacy, and ApplePay doesn't let us get at that data".

    • They are basically asking apple to convert something that lets the consumer manage their own privacy and connectivity to an oozing sore exposed to any NFC bacteria the stores want to throw at it. Basically NFC versions of cookies and indelible cookies to track you and your purchases.

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        I have to be honest, this story, is the very first time I felt like dropping Android for iPhone. I dislike NFC spying. Apple sure seems to be going, 'we sell you privacy, we don't sell your privacy route'. Keep it up and they will definitely have at least one first time Apple buyer, I am sure, I will not be alone.

    • Even though I'm giving up on the Apple Watch and computers I do find the Apple Pay to be pretty convenient.

      When you say 'Apple Pay' do you really mean contactless payments? Because we've had contactless payments for years before Apple Pay played 'me too' with the same tech. There is simply no reason to use the Apple version of contactless payments when all the others do a better job, already exist, and don't rely on the Apple ecosystem to function.

  • by b0bby ( 201198 ) on Friday February 10, 2017 @05:47PM (#53842615)

    I don't know who in this fight I dislike more. Sure, Apple is going to be gouging the retailers and banks. On the other hand, the only reason that the retailers and banks want to access the NFC chip is so they can try to lock people into their own systems, which may well be more painful to use and certainly will involve tracking of purchasing habits etc. Now, it might be useful to just wave your phone when doing a return rather than keeping track of a receipt, but I wouldn't trust either side further than I could throw them.

    • On the other hand, the only reason that the retailers and banks want to access the NFC chip is so they can try to lock people into their own systems

      Yeah god forbid the bank I do business with provides an app that allows me to pay via that bank using my phone. I mean it's much better having yet another party in the process skimming money off the top. It's an absolute win for consumers that Apple arbitrarily gets to decide exactly which bank's customers can and can't use NFC at which retailer's terminals. Imagine if *anyone* could do that. It would be utter anarchy.

      Side note: I wonder what any of your comment has to do with this case given that retailers

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Yeah god forbid the bank I do business with provides an app that allows me to pay via that bank using my phone. I mean it's much better having yet another party in the process skimming money off the top.

        Yes, absolutely god forbid that, please!

        I don't want 10000 different bank IT departments all writing an app, each of which has to be perfectly secure. I'd much rather one single standard (as NFC payments is) implemented well by my phone manufacturer. That way bugs get fixed properly and promptly, and retailers don't get all my private info.

        Merchants don't need to be "Apple Approved" as you make out - any NFC terminal will work fine.

        Banks need "approval", where by "approval" they mean "you need to give us

    • by jonwil ( 467024 )

      I AM an Aussie and as much as I hate the greedy big banks, I still support them over Apple in this fight.

      I can tell you that the banks are putting a lot of effort into making their stuff (including their online apps) easier and faster to use. They already support NFC payment on Android and at least one bank supports using an NFC enabled phone along with the app to withdraw money from any of their NFC-enabled ATMs.

      Unlike the backwards thinking US banks (where paper checks are still commonly used as a method

    • The only winning move is not to play.
  • by Old97 ( 1341297 ) on Friday February 10, 2017 @05:55PM (#53842657)
    Apple Pay does not cost the merchants a thing. It also does not keep them from using loyalty cards and such. I have such a loyalty card from Walgreens. It's in my Apple Phone with my credit cards. When I'm checking out it pops up and I scan it and then swipe to a credit card and scan it to pay. Walgreen's gets their data, I get points/ discounts and Apple Pay securely handles the transaction. I only need my watch to pay. So why can't these merchants just copy what Walgreen's does? If they they don't know how then I also don't trust them to secure my credit card information so I'm glad I use Apple Pay. The merchants and these banks don't want customer freedom or choice. They want more control over the customer. I don't trust them to secure my information or credit card information so I don't want them to be able to bypass Apple's security. Target? TJ Maxx? Kohls? Home Depot? All kinds of stores have had major breaches.
    • by berj ( 754323 ) on Friday February 10, 2017 @06:03PM (#53842717)

      Agreed. Apple pay is ridiculously easy and convenient. Works every time and it couldn't be easier. What's more nobody can surf over my shoulder for my pin and the retailer never sees my cc number or even my name.

      The retailers have shown time and time again that they are incapable (or unwilling) to secure CC data. Why give them yet another opportunity to cock things up?

      • Agreed. Apple pay is ridiculously easy and convenient. Works every time and it couldn't be easier. What's more nobody can surf over my shoulder for my pin and the retailer never sees my cc number or even my name.

        The retailers have shown time and time again that they are incapable (or unwilling) to secure CC data. Why give them yet another opportunity to cock things up?

        Ok I'm gathering from comments here that the banks in the US don't have a similar contactless payments system already?
        Here in Australia our banks had contactless, swipe and go cards for years before Apple. So when Apple released Apple Pay it was like WTF, we've had this for years.
        So it's not that Apple pay is good, it's that your banks are shit and are stuck in the 80's?

        • by berj ( 754323 )

          Actually. I'm in Canada so we were in much the same boat as you. though I travel extensively and often in the US and I am constantly dumbfounded at how... primitive.. the system is.

          That said.. Apple pay is just another level of security. Contactless cards can be used by anyone who has the card (up to a per-transaction limit of $100 at most places, if I'm not mistaken). With Apple pay I still need to use my fingerprint to authorize which is nice. I also find it easier than rifling through my wallet to fin

          • That said.. Apple pay is just another level of security. Contactless cards can be used by anyone who has the card (up to a per-transaction limit of $100 at most places, if I'm not mistaken).

            My bank had an NFC phone app before Apple Pay was released, so if you need that level of security it is already there. Also the bank covers the loss of contactless transaction, so even if someone takes your card you're covered. Also you have the choice of the free card, or the app, or both. Apple offers no such choice.

            With Apple pay I still need to use my fingerprint to authorize which is nice.

            From a Ux perspective it's an extra step which is considered worse.

            I also find it easier than rifling through my wallet to find the card I want whereas I always have my phone closer to hand than my wallet and I can very easily choose the proper card right on the phone.

            Most people here have their daily transaction card in their phone cover so same process, minus the fingerprint step which is

            • by berj ( 754323 )

              My bank had an NFC phone app before Apple Pay was released, so if you need that level of security it is already there. Also the bank covers the loss of contactless transaction, so even if someone takes your card you're covered. Also you have the choice of the free card, or the app, or both. Apple offers no such choice.

              How so? I have a card and I have my iPhone. I can use either.

              As for security.. someone can steal my card and I have to deal with everything that goes along with that. Someone could even stil

              • How so? I have a card and I have my iPhone. I can use either.

                Apple issues you cards? Or you have to get that from the bank? If the bank does cards and phone apps, what value is Apple adding?

                As for security.. someone can steal my card and I have to deal with everything that goes along with that.

                True, so if you are that paranoid leave it at home in the safe and use your banking app (which works on phones from more than one vendor)

                Someone could even still clone the mag stripe or write down the number and CVV code from the back.

                How? The current system involves you tapping the card yourself, it never leaves your possession, how does anyone ever get to see the stripe or the CVV? And since all our card are smart cards, stripe cloning is useless on it's own.

                My phone gives out none of that. Sadly we are not in a world where I can leave my (ridiculously insecure) credit cards at home. But I hope we get there soon.

                We can in Austra

    • I have such a loyalty card from Walgreens.

      Yeah I wonder how it got there. I wonder if it just magically works why the banks and consumer associations are throwing money at this.

      So why can't these merchants just copy what Walgreen's does?

      I wonder if it's something to do with Walgreens having a major first mover advantage and a really strong bargaining position being the first company to get their card on the Apple Pay platform. Can your mom and pop store do that? They can with Android.

      If they they don't know how

      Oh they know, they just don't like the terms and conditions.

      The merchants and these banks don't want customer freedom or choice. They want more control over the customer.

      Nope, they just don't want to share their loyalty details with 3r

    • by sl3xd ( 111641 ) on Friday February 10, 2017 @06:35PM (#53842881) Journal

      So it wouldn't surprise me at all that the banks want to negotiate a lower service fee (much like the UK and Russia have done).

      I have zero sympathy for the stores, however, whose motivation is clearly to track their consumers, and sell the invormation. You know, little things like tracking what we spend, what we buy, how much we spend, where, what time, and so on. Very much like how in the days before EMV, the magstripe on a credit/debit card was (and still is) used to track consumers in the US.

      It's shockingly invasive (and creepy) to start getting advertisements for baby needs the same week I bought my first Baby bottles in anticipation of my firstborn. My transaction information was clearly bought and sold. Who needs Big Brother to watch when every major store and payment provider is just as invasive.

  • While not any app can access the NFC in an iPhone directly, any entity can leverage the NFC via Apple Pay. I have plenty of reward cards, even tickets, airline tickets, etc. in my Apple Pay Wallet. What Apple requires for an entity to be in the Apple Wallet I don't know, but I don't believe they are stifling innovation. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. I just haven't heard of anyone being turned down to be part of Apple Pay.
  • translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Friday February 10, 2017 @06:42PM (#53842915)

    >" they believe access to the NFC functionality in the iPhone would allow retailers to provide "a richer and more convenient customer experience."

    Translation:

    "We are upset that Apple might not share customer identity and other information with us because we want it. We have a right to track our customers and what they buy and who they are and etc."

    Um yeah. I will still probably just use cash, thanks.

  • Apple innovates/patents/buys out the functionality to get Apple Pay working so they can dominate it It makes sense. Does it mean other companies get to use it? No. Not unless a government says they have a license it at a reasonable price because it is a core functionality or whatever legal jargon they use to require you to license a feature.
  • by seoras ( 147590 ) on Friday February 10, 2017 @08:04PM (#53843283)

    We saw this already in the US when Apple Pay was first launched.
    It looks like a last ditch effort by that Aussie banking cartel to prevent Apple from giving the consumer a fast, safe & convenient customer experience WITHOUT handing over personal data for tracking purposes.
    Not only did customers switch banks for Apple Pay they also stopped shopping at retailers who boycotted it.
    It took a year before those who opposed it crumbled. I predict the same in Australia.
    The consumer has all the real power here and voting with your wallet is still very effective.

    This isn't about Apple. This is about data collection on consumers.
    I only wish Apple would use their cash war chest to lobby more to get the necessary legislation to protect public privacy.

    • It looks like a last ditch effort by that Aussie banking cartel to prevent Apple from giving the consumer a fast, safe & convenient customer experience WITHOUT handing over personal data for tracking purposes.

      Oh please.
      a) Australia is nothing like the USA. We've actually had this system here and working for the best part of 6 years.
      b) The banks end up with the same tracking data regardless. They are the ones handing over the money. There's nothing they don't see here.

      Not only did customers switch banks for Apple Pay they also stopped shopping at retailers who boycotted it.

      Banks will happily give you discrete NFC stickers to stick to your phone, no Apple support required. Any bank will let you pay at any NFC terminals on an Android device via their app, no Apple required. Also Chip+Pin+Contactless is prolific here so

    • We saw this already in the US when Apple Pay was first launched.

      Nope, the Australian banking industry is vastly different.

      It looks like a last ditch effort by that Aussie banking cartel to prevent Apple from giving the consumer a fast, safe & convenient customer experience WITHOUT handing over personal data for tracking purposes.

      Cartel? Really? The banks here had contactless payments for years before Apple. It's already fast, and safe, and convenient, and free, (no $1000 phone required). What value are Apple adding by playing me too? Remember Australia is not like the US, our banks are robust, well regulated and tech savvy already. Our banking tech is generations ahead of the US.

      Not only did customers switch banks for Apple Pay they also stopped shopping at retailers who boycotted it.

      Because the US banking system is stuck in the 80's. That doesn't apply here. My banks all are mor

  • Is this Apple Pay thing similar to that Google phone pay thing that came out and then vanished about six years ago?

  • One of the real reasons for the Aus banks take on this is that they do not like the payment conditions for transactions that Apple dictate. Reasons why they don't like them (there are many) are that:- 1) Apple get the fee 2) Banks cannot charge their customers for the fee (directly) 3) (and this is the big one) - the banks cannot set outrageous fees for the use of NFC payments charged direct to the merchant or customer. What the banks really want here is to be able to dictate the terms and specify their
  • If the banks are not currently ALLOWED to collectively negotiate with Apple because of Australia anti-trust laws, I believe that this request for an exemption should be granted. On the other hand, if the banks are actually asking the government to force Apple to only collectively negotiate with the banks, I would say that the request should be denied.

    This looks like something very similar to Microsoft bundling Internet Explorer with Windows. The difference being that Microsoft put the competing browser o
  • by AbRASiON ( 589899 ) * on Friday February 10, 2017 @10:59PM (#53844071) Journal

    I mean I don't like banks but I'd assume this is Apples doing? They must be pushing for something ridiculous in some way, because Android Pay appears to use the standard Pay-Wave technology of normal cards.
    I'm normally very much a luddite on this stuff but I thought I'd give it a shot and I hate to admit, it's genuinely better than cash, purely from a "wow, it's even quicker than cash" perspective.
    (I've *always* hated cards normally, because I'm stuck behind idiots taking forever with PIN# business or swiping a different card, etc)

    None the less it's literally faster than cash, it's a very very fast transaction and (to my knowledge) any place with Pay-Wave (very common) works fine.
    I believe Pay-Wave is just our contactless card thing, you guys might call it something else.

    https://www.google.com.au/sear... [google.com.au]

    (NOTE: I hear you guys in the US have only just got the card tap and pay stuff? We have it in I would say at least 90% of places in the metro / city areas and maybe 60 or 70% out in the country regions)

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Apple Pay uses the standard system too. It works just fine on any terminal that supports contactless EMV payments as it presents a one time generated card number and ID to the terminal.

      The trick is that Apple isn't a bank, so it needs to forward the withdrawal to a real account provided by a bank. ANZ has supported this for more than half a year in Australia, it works exactly as expect. You just tap your phone on the reader with your finger on the fingerprint scanner and the transaction completes.

      The think

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