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Macquarie Bank and ING Direct to offer Apple Pay in February

13 February 2017

Macquarie Bank and ING Direct to offer Apple Pay in February

Macquarie Group and ING Direct will offer their cardholders Apple's mobile payment service in Australia this month, in a bid to snatch market share from the major retail banks through the digital wallet.

ANZ is the sole major bank to, adopt the Apple Pay system, which has created an opportunity for smaller rivals in a market dominated by the four banks. Around 44 of the smaller banks are currently offering the Apple service.

Apple Pay Global Head Jennifer Bailey confirmed the new partnerships with Macquarie Bank and ING Direct in an interview with the AFR this week.

Bailey accused banks that are resisting Apple Pay of failing to act in the best interest of their customers. In particular, Bailey singled out Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, Westpac, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, a group that collectively control two-thirds of Australian cardholders.

Despite the resistance of these banks, Apple is confident in Apple Pay’s position as a dominant leader in mobile payments. Bailey says that customers are willing to move to another bank in order to use Apple Pay, meaning that banks that choose not to offer Apple Pay are at risk of losing customers.

Bailey also said that the banks’ application to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to increase their bargaining leverage shows a lack of knowledge about how the platform works and Apple’s willingness to work with the banks to offer the digital wallet. The ACCC denied the banks’ application to negotiate collectively in a draft decision in November but is expected to publish the submission responding to the decision in the coming days. The regulator will issue a final decision in March.

Bailey says that many of their partnered banks were hesitant to sign on at first, but are now benefiting from the results of launching Apple Pay. For example, 26% of ANZ customers are currently using Apple Pay and have made more than 10 million transactions since the launch in April 2016.

Macquarie Bank head of personal banking Ben Perham said the introduction of Apple Pay, allowing customers to make payments with iPhones and Apple Watches, would further enhance the bank's digital offering.

“We’ve seen strong interest in Apple Pay from our customers and we’re delighted to confirm it will be available later this month," he said in a statement.

ING Direct executive director of customers John Arnott said most of the Dutch-owned bank's 500,000 Orange Everyday account customers preferred to connect through mobile devices.

"For many of them, their smartphone is their bank, and it's a natural extension that their iPhone will also become their wallet," he said in a statement.

While Apple Pay is the leader in digital wallet technology in Australia, it's not the only alternative for smartphone users. Android Pay is offered by over 45 banks in Australia, whilst Samsung Pay is offered by American Express and Citi. ING Direct rolled out Android Pay in August with their customers now making more than 14,000 transactions a week on their Android devices.

 

 

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