Several big figures in the world of Australian retail have expressed their support of banks seeking to develop their own wallet-style apps for iOS.
ZDNet explains in a recent article that Australian retailler Coles, the Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA), and the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) are all supporting the Austrlian banks seeking to negotiate with Apple, the end goal of which could see third-party wallet-style apps launch on iOS.
Earlier this week, we explained that Australia's three biggest banks are hoping to develop their own wallet applications for iOS, using the built-in NFC technology which Cupertino uses in order to deploy its Apple Pay service. This feature on the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch remains locked-down and isn't accessible to developers; the banks argue that this constitutes “anti-competitive behaviour,” and asked the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for support. The ACCC, however, didn't grant the banks approval to negotiate directly with Apple as a bloc.
Now, the aforementioned retail groups are indeed supporting the Australian banks. Coles, for instance, is quoted as saying:
We believe the ability to tailor solutions for customers and provide them with greater value should be the driver for customer choice and not a technical lockout that many consumers may not have realised would be imposed when they purchased their mobile device.
The ARA, on the other hand, noted:
We would like to see all customers have a choice of mobile wallets and payment services using the mobile phone they already have and the bank debit and credit cards and loyalty cards they already use.
For now, the ACCC is holding back its final decision for a few months. However, even if approval is given for the banks to negotiate with Apple, there's no guarantee Cupertino is going to listen to the banks' collective argument. Personally, I don't see Apple allowing third-party wallet apps anytime soon.
Of course, we'll keep you posted with further information as we receive it.