Apple Pay, an advanced and secure payment system designed by Apple, has launched for about a year in the U.S and recenty, in the U.K. It offers a similar convenient touch-and-pay (or pay-and-go if you like) like the MasterCard PayPass or Visa PayWave using an iPhone.
Months later, we haven’t heard of anything when and whether Apple Pay will make it to Australia. In a recent discovery, thanks to The Sydney Morning Herald, we all now know why. It’s the banks.
Banks would have to pay a small subset of every transactions using Apple Pay back to Apple and it seems that this is the major reason why they are holding back (of course). According to SMH:
“In the United States, Apple is believed to earn about 15¢ on every $100 of transactions. It is understood Apple has been asking for the same amount of interchange fee in Australia.
But Australia’s big banks will not agree to this level given that interchange fees in Australia are about half the US level – equivalent to an average of 50¢ $100 of transaction compared with about $1 for $100 of transaction fees in the US.”
There was also an argument that a similar payment system is already available anyway in Australia, so they don’t really see the need to participate in Apple Pay.
This is true, however, it’s only available on Android phones and most of the payment systems require you to stick a sticker at the back of your Android phone for such transactions (which looks hideous, in my opiniona).
Besides, they probably forget that there are many Australians using an iPhone (or thinking to switch to one), ready to take advantage of using Apple Pay at any time they can to make purchases.
I, personally, would love using Apple Pay as much as I can since it is more secure (besides the cool factor) compared to using your credit card. Besides, while you queue, you’d normally be already on our phones anyway. It’s also a good excuse for those who want to get an Apple Watch to have another cool feature unlocked.
As of now, all the blame would go for the Australian banks for not wanting to jump the gun and give the access to iPhone users in Australia. I hope one day one of them realise that if they really want to offer the best customer experience and be the leading bank in the competitions, then Apple Pay is the key.
Whichever bank launches support for Apple Pay will be on the news for weeks and weeks. And customers will be talking about their experiences, and other potential customers would want to opt in.