Apple Rejects CommBank CEO’s Apple Pay Concerns

Mannheim, Baden Württemberg / Germany 07 12 2019 Wallet App on Apple iPhone XS Display
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine

In July, CommBank’s CEO Matt Comyn appeared in a parliament inquiry about mobile payments and digital wallets, where he made a number of accusations about Apple Pay.

Comyn asserted that Apple restricted banks’ access to its NFCs (near-field communication chips), and that these restrictions hindered competition. He also said that 80 per cent of mobile tap and go payments were made using iPhones.

Essentially, because of Apple’s NFCs, payments can only be made via Apple Pay. In contrast, Android users can access third party mobile wallets, such as Google Wallet or Samsung Wallet.

Apple has now responded in a statement submitted to the parliamentary joint committee titled ‘The Facts About Apple Pay‘.

In it, Apple asserts that it is “deeply committed to upholding the values of a fair and competitive market. Comments made during recent public hearings included misleading and false statements about Apple Pay and our business in Australia which Apple seeks to correct.”

It went on to emphasize that its Apple Pay program was designed with customers and their privacy in mind.

“Sadly, it is evident from comments made during this inquiry that Apple’s focus on what’s best for customers is not always a priority shared by others,” it argued.

“We believe we should all have a shared stake in working towards a future that encourages innovation, choice, security and privacy where consumers benefit.”

“Apple created a unique and differentiated technical architecture, one that would protect personal information, provide consumers with an easy way to choose which card they want to use, and most importantly use the highest level of security.”

The tech giant also argued that, as acknowledged by the banks, incidences of fraud on Apple Pay are ‘near zero’. It then went on to sy that Comyn’s assertions that it was ‘un-competitive’ are false.

“When developing Apple Pay, Apple chose a unique architecture to enable consumers to easily switch between cards issued by different banks…it is exactly this ease of switching cards that some banks are hoping to prevent by calling for an architecture that gives a single bank app control of the NFC functionality on Apple devices to the detriment of other banks and non-bank developers.”

“They are asking Apple to make switching between cards from different banks cumbersome for customers. This erodes consumer choice and competition among banks.”

It also reject the 80 per cent figure quoted by Combyn, instead asserting that Apple Pay represents less than a 10 per cent share of credit and debit card spend in Australia. Instead, the 80 per cent refers to the “percentage of Apple Pay transactions from Commonwealth Bank’s overall digital wallet payments at point of sale.”

Featured Image: iStock/EnDyk

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