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The Almighty Buck Apple

Apple is 'Intransigent, Closed and Controlling' Say Banks (afr.com) 289

Apple is increasingly trying to get banks to implement its Apple Pay mobile payments solutions, but some banks are avoiding Cupertino giant's offer, saying that the company is "closed and controlling". From a report on Financial Review: Three of Australia's big four banks have described technology giant Apple as being "intransigent, closed and controlling" and accused it of attempting to freeload on their contactless payments infrastructure while slowing innovation in digital wallets. In an increasingly acrimonious dispute, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank, Westpac Banking Corp and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank are arguing that the engineering of Apple iPhones prevent them from delivering mobile wallets to millions of customers. This is because Apple Pay is the only application that works with the iPhone's "near field communication" (NFC) antenna, which communicates with payment terminals. In their latest, 137-page submission filed with the competition regulator, the banks argue that by locking them out, "Apple is seeking for itself the exclusive use of Australia's existing NFC terminal infrastructure for the making of integrated mobile payments using iOS devices. Yet, this infrastructure was built and paid for by Australian banks and merchants for the benefit of all Australians."
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Apple is 'Intransigent, Closed and Controlling' Say Banks

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  • by fred6666 ( 4718031 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2016 @02:12PM (#53101831)

    We don't need yet another middle man charging yet another fee. And no, Apple Pay is not free for the end user. There is a hidden fee charged to the bank, which end up being charger to the merchant, which end up being charged to the consumers one way or another.

    • by barc0001 ( 173002 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2016 @02:18PM (#53101893)

      Same with "rewards" programs, Airmiles, etc. That stuff isn't free either. Merchants get hit for it, and end up passing that on to everyone in the form of inflated prices. Seriously, how could they not? If a merchant's margin on something is 10% and paying for it with a cashback card takes 1% on top of the 1-3% already charged for using the credit card, of course the merchant's going to do something about that vanishing margin.

      • I leverage this as a "vote with your wallet" factor; small local business I want to support? I'll pay with debit and lower their transaction fees. Chain store I didn't really want to shop at, but they already displaced the local supplier? Credit, and I get 1% back.

        If you had a choice between "universe with `reward' programs" or "universe without," then you'd be paying for the rewards. When we're stuck in a universe that has them, and that has unified prices, well then no, everybody even cash customers are p

    • by bbeagle ( 2262032 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2016 @02:19PM (#53101899)
      Apple Pay charges merchants 0.15% which is right in line with MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover. https://www.cardfellow.com/cre... [cardfellow.com]
      • by Old97 ( 1341297 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2016 @02:28PM (#53101985)
        Apple Pay doesn't charge the merchants at all. It's the card issuers who pay Apple and they are will to do so because Apple Pay is much more secure than their own systems - chips and strips. It saves the banks money because it drastically reduces the fraud rate. So, no consumers are not paying for this. Another feature of Apple Pay (and Google's version) is that you aren't tied to a bank, a credit card (VISA, MC, etc.). That's what the banks don't like. They want to own the relationship.
        • Another feature of Apple Pay (and Google's version) is that you aren't tied to a bank, a credit card (VISA, MC, etc.).

          I'm not following your thinking here. You still need either a credit or debit card to be able to use Apple Pay (and I'm assuming Android Pay as well). I'm no less tied to my bank than I was before. I'm less tied to a physical card, but that's hardly the same thing.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Because after a while you are no longer thinking do they accept Mastercard, Visa, or Amex. You are thinking do they take apple pay. When you pull out your payment method, people aren't seeing the Credit logo, they are seeing an iPhone or Android variant. This is about mind share.

            • Fair enough! I'm looking at this as a Canadian, where Interac (our debit payment system) has been ubiquitous my entire adult life- literally the only time I can't use it up here is with Square- so worrying about if they'll take a certain card* honestly feels absurd to me.

              *Not everyone has an NFC-capable payment, though, and some of them are finicky enough that I have to pull the card out anyway.

        • Apple Pay doesn't charge the merchants at all. It's the card issuers who pay Apple and they are will to do so because Apple Pay is much more secure than their own systems - chips and strips. It saves the banks money because it drastically reduces the fraud rate. So, no consumers are not paying for this.

          The banks are not willing to do so. They do it because they are forced to do it. That's why Apple Pay is not available in most countries.
          Banks do not want Apple Pay. Users want Apple Pay. Because they think it's cool. And it appears free (even if it's not). When one bank start accepting Apple Pay, users want to move to that bank. So other banks react by offering Apple Pay too. And all banks pay the fee. The fee is passed to the merchant, and in the end to the consumer.
          In the end, everybody loose but Apple.

          T

          • by Old97 ( 1341297 )
            It''s not the banks who resist; it's the merchants. When Apple Pay was first introduced it was with blessing of most of the big banks in the U.S. Several, like Chase touted it as the safest and most secure way to use a credit card in existence. Merchants have resisted primarily for 2 reasons: 1) they have ancient card strip readers and they don't want to pay to upgrade to something with NFC and or a chip reader; 2) they like collecting data on their customers so they can market/sell to them more effecti
        • Apple Pay doesn't charge the merchants at all. It's the card issuers who pay Apple and they are will to do so because Apple Pay is much more secure than their own systems - chips and strips. It saves the banks money because it drastically reduces the fraud rate. So, no consumers are not paying for this. Another feature of Apple Pay (and Google's version) is that you aren't tied to a bank, a credit card (VISA, MC, etc.). That's what the banks don't like. They want to own the relationship.

          Apple Pay is, on the whole, no more secure than EMV NFC. At least not for a card present scenario. It's a little more secure for online purchases.

          • by Old97 ( 1341297 )
            Apple Pay does not use the card nor require its presence during the transaction. It does not pass or use your credit card number either. The code it uses is specific to the device and it's relationship to accounts and you is known only to the issuing bank. Any system that relies on the card and a pin still exposes your account number and your identity, does it not?
        • It saves the banks money because it drastically reduces the fraud rate. So, no consumers are not paying for this

          Banks and credit card companies do not pay for fraud. They've set it up so the merchants pay for fraud. If you spot a fraudulent transaction on your card, request a chargeback, and the bank approves it, the merchant is out the money and the merchandise - they've paid for the fraud. The fees the banks and credit card companies collect pay for transaction costs, and for people who default on pay

          • by Old97 ( 1341297 )
            First point about fraud - not true in the U.S. at least If the merchant follows the banks procedures and system and the card is approved, its off the hook. If the merchant commits a fraud or whatever then the bank will deny payment and/or try to recoup payments made. The fee a merchant pays does not change depending on whether you are using Apple Pay, Android Pay or a physical credit card. So, accepting Apple Pay costs the merchant nothing extra nor does it cost the customer anything extra. The decision
    • by BlackSabbath ( 118110 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2016 @06:44PM (#53104143)

      It's ironic that you're calling Apple a middle-man when it's actually Google who are inserting themselves as a financial intermediary (were you aware that Google have issued you a virtual credit card?) and knowing every single transaction detail, which of course suits their panopticon business model. There's a reason they're not charging you for that privilege.

      Apple are acting as a payment communication medium, keeping no details of your transaction and yes, charging for the privilege. Whether it's worth it is in the eye of the beholder.

      This might help explain the differences between the two systems:
      http://www.investopedia.com/ar... [investopedia.com]

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2016 @02:18PM (#53101891) Homepage
    There are more than four-thousand banking corporations in the Uniited States alone.
    1. Does the aggregate of Australias banking industry authentically believe each corporation should be permitted their own programmatic implementation of contactless banking?
    2. who or what will be liable for breeches in security? as of this foul year of our lord 2016 banks are often furiously reticent in disclosing security breeches let alone taking responsibility for them.
    3. what if any qualifications does a banking institution have that define it as a cogent source for software? Apple has been developing quality hardware and software for a generation now.
    • by cmiller173 ( 641510 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2016 @02:28PM (#53101975)

      1. Yes, although they as well as most reasonable people realize that smaller institutions and even many large institutions will leverage the software acumen of third parties.
      2. Whoever is at fault.
      3. Banks and their partner corporations have been developing software for the management of financial transaction far longer than Apple has existed. Software did exist before the iPhone ya' know.

      • So Apple gets to play referee between a thousand crappy banks and a billion angry customers? And as a special bonus many of those customers are going to blame Apple whether it's their fault or not! All for 0% of the transaction fee? What a deal!

        I can't imagine why Apple isn't signing up for that.

        • by swb ( 14022 )

          I think it's more likely that banks feel threatened by Apple usurping their stranglehold on transaction processing.

    • who or what will be liable for breeches in security?

      Wouldn't it just be the bank who wrote the app? Seems obvious/simple. If the paypal app results in a loss of cash you blame paypal who wrote the app.

    • by bondsbw ( 888959 )

      I can't answer the first two, but

      3. what if any qualifications does a banking institution have that define it as a cogent source for software? Apple has been developing quality hardware and software for a generation now.

      Banks have been developing banking software for a long time. Apple has not. That's not to say their software development skills couldn't be transferred successfully, but for the moment I'd place higher trust in banks who understand quite well what the financial implications of poor security are.

      FWIW I think a handful of systems is better than 4000, and is also better than 1 or 2. I like for instance that the US has a few credit card processors; enough to gain the benefits

    • what if any qualifications does a banking institution have that define it as a cogent source for software?

      Seriously? You obviously haven't worked for any financial institutions, they employ lots of techies to run their computer systems. They are plenty capable of writing quality software.

    • If the banks are so egalitarian, why don't they simply support Apple Pay on the iPhone, but also work on supporting Android Pay, as well as Microsoft Wallet on as many phones as they can? Since customers who have iPhones automatically have Apple Pay, but those who have Androids or Lumias, the banks can work to ensure that their cards work w/ those as well

    • 1. No. But they believe that mobile pay systems should not be restricted and a negotiated contract between device manufacturers. Google Wallet worked for many years on contactless terminals in Australia. To us the fucked up implementation being pushed by Apple partnering with specific banks was just mindbogglingly stupid. But then the entire US banking system has us scratching our heads too.

    • by bidule ( 173941 )

      2. who or what will be liable for breeches in security?

      As long as you wear your safety pants, the beach is secure.

  • Banks Like Money (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TechyImmigrant ( 175943 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2016 @02:22PM (#53101915) Homepage Journal

    >Yet, this infrastructure was built and paid for by Australian banks and merchants for the benefit of all Australians."

    Bullshit. The infrastructure was paid for by merchants buying the equipment.

    Banks have shown themselves incapable of passing on the reduced costs of electronic transactions to consumers and incapable of deploying secure payment schemes. This particular scuffle is everything to do with banks wanting to keep all the 2-5% transactions fees rather than share it with a phone vendor who has developed moderately secure payment hardware that is in the hands of millions of people.
     

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Agree. I like this quote:

      > This is because Apple Pay is the only application that works with the iPhone's "near field communication" (NFC) antenna, which communicates with payment terminals

      If I use NFC for payment related things I don't want another app touching it either. Apple alone does better with security than relying on the bank's developers, the independent app's developers, the terminal manufacturer, and the phone manufacturer (whether Apple or someone else) to all work together. This is why (

    • Exactly. Keep in mind that these are the same Australian banks who recently asked to collude with one another [macrumors.com] in their negotiations with Apple over Apple Pay. They wanted a bigger cut and asked for permission to engage in otherwise illegal tactics in order to get it.

      Thankfully, they were denied that permission [macrumors.com] by regulators last month, so it's unsurprising that in the weeks immediately following the government's refusal to let them collude we'd see them grasping at straws. Sure enough, here we are a few wee

    • Bullshit. The infrastructure was paid for by merchants buying the equipment.

      Err not in Australia. The system is more like mobile phone contracts. The cost is rolled in there hidden somewhere but there's no opt out or opt in or even much variance. Merchant's didn't upgrade. They were sent new terminals by banks and the fees didn't change during the transition. It was a cost absorbed by the banking sector.

  • the exclusive use of Australia's existing NFC terminal infrastructure

    - Samsung Pay.
    - Google Pay.
    - NFC enabled credit cards.

    • the exclusive use of Australia's existing NFC terminal infrastructure on IOS devices

      - Samsung Pay.
      - Google Pay.
      - NFC enabled credit cards.

      Fixed that for you.

  • I can remember not too long ago when Google Wallet wouldn't run on my Samsung Note, only ISIS. Flashing the phone didn't make a difference because Google Wallet wouldn't run on anything but manufacturer installed OS (security, which makes perfect sense. If the phone is rooted or the OS has been modified in any way it becomes harder to assert the system is secure).

    I note that nowadays, ISIS refers to something else. I wonder what ever happened to Samsung's ISIS?

  • intransigent
    intransjnt,intranzjnt/
    adjective
    1.
    unwilling or refusing to change one's views or to agree about something.
    synonyms: uncompromising, inflexible, unbending, unyielding, diehard, unshakable, unwavering, resolute, rigid, unaccommodating, uncooperative, stubborn, obstinate, obdurate, pigheaded, single-minded, iron-willed, stiff-necked
    "the regime remained intransigent in its opposition to wider participation in the political process"
    noun

    ...because I had to look it up. :D

    • intransigent
      intransjnt,intranzjnt/
      adjective
      1.
      unwilling or refusing to change one's views or to agree about something.
      synonyms: uncompromising, inflexible, unbending, unyielding, diehard, unshakable, unwavering, resolute, rigid, unaccommodating, uncooperative, stubborn, obstinate, obdurate, pigheaded, single-minded, iron-willed, stiff-necked
      "the regime remained intransigent in its opposition to wider participation in the political process"
      noun

      ...because I had to look it up. :D

      Sounds they could put the Apple logo in the dictionary under intrasigent. It fits them on both their positive and negative sides.

  • by somenickname ( 1270442 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2016 @02:43PM (#53102145)

    If they are tired of closed systems, they should just switch to Windows. It's "the most open platform there is"! https://tech.slashdot.org/stor... [slashdot.org]

  • by yayoubetcha ( 893774 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2016 @02:45PM (#53102171)

    Well, I have to say this comes as a total surprise.

  • Banks are finally meeting their match in Apple.

    If we're really lucky, there will be so much infighting between the two that both Apple and banks will become irrelevant for payment processing.

  • by stevez67 ( 2374822 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2016 @03:01PM (#53102319)

    It takes a very special kind of vanity for a bank to accuse ANYONE else of being intransigent, closed and controlling. But then, it takes one to know one!

  • Here I have the world’s smallest violin, and I’m playing it only for you.
  • Says anyone who has been an Apple customer.

  • I hear CurrentC is available. Buy the company and produce your own vendor-agnostic platform. F'ing banks can kiss my shiny metal ass.
  • "Apple is 'Intransigent, Closed and Controlling' Say Banks "

    Then Apple is just like my bank.

  • I pay almost everything in cash here (where I live, it' still a cash-world, thank god, with almost no limit on the amount you can pay cash) and Apple Pay has only recently been introduced anyway - but if I would use Apple Pay, I'd be thankful that random apps can't access the secure enclave and access that payment data.

  • Did anyone else read that as "customer behavior tracking technology"?
  • ANZ already had NFC payments on their Android app.
    They have now just announced support for Apple Pay too

  • "Apple is seeking for itself the exclusive use of Australia's existing NFC terminal infrastructure for the making of integrated mobile payments using iOS devices. Yet, this infrastructure was built and paid for by Australian banks and merchants for the benefit of all Australians."

    Let's just parse this a bit more closely, and see what it boils down to: "Apple is seeking ... exclusive use of ... integrated mobile payments using iOS devices."

    Whoops. What was that? Apple wants to profit from the hardware and software that they themselves developed? Huh.

    Now, the banks' real point: "... this infrastructure [that is, the existing NFC terminals] was built and paid for by Australian banks and merchants for the benefit of all Australians." Oh. So the truth of the matter is, you want to re

  • Apple is beating banks to the same fees they charge merchants down the food chain.

    The banks like their position calling the shots taking little risk and collecting huge fees,
    now they are a little whiney because Apple is horning in on their corn!

    We need more legislation to protect the banks interests and keep the bad apple from raising the stakes and costing consumers more in fees.....

    Coming in 3 - 2 - 1

    • by Grand Facade ( 35180 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2016 @04:53PM (#53103347)

      Banks charge those fees because they control the industry, it would cost us a lot more if the fee schedule was not proscribed by law.

      Now because Apple wants their cut of the action banks are scrambling to protect their gravy train.
      The banks want to make sure anything Apple gets is on top of what they charge.
      They do not want to pay apple out of their share.

  • by ilsaloving ( 1534307 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2016 @04:47PM (#53103273)

    Three of Australia's big four banks have described technology giant Apple as being "intransigent, closed and controlling"

    Basically the banks don't like competition to their business model?

  • by epyT-R ( 613989 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2016 @08:42PM (#53104871)

    Apple and the banks deserve each other.. Those three adjectives apply to both.

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