Monday, 12 December 2016 07:01

CBA makes another bid to cut Apple Pay deal Featured

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The Commonwealth Bank has attempted, on its own, to break the impasse with Apple over Apple Pay, by offering to pay the tech firm for use of its payment infrastructure.

However, the CBA is still insisting that Apple should give it access to the near field communications controller so that it can set up payments, a demand that Apple is unlikely to grant.

A report in the Australian Financial Review quoted Matt Comyn, the head of retail banking at CBA, as saying the fee that Apple was asking for use of Apple Pay was not the main hurdle to cutting a deal.

He said: "If we could get access to the NFC antenna and our wallet had the same experience [as Apple Pay] on parity, there is no way the interchange fee, as currently contemplated, would be the stumbling block."

The CBA is currently using a workaround for its iPhone customers to access its payment app, with a sticker that can be placed on the back of the phone to serve as an antenna.

The sticker costs $2.99 and Comyn said 400,000 customers had ordered them but the latest numbers showed 600,000 transactions had been made per month.

The CBA, along with Westpac, the National Australia Bank and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, have been denied permission by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to negotiate as a cartel with Apple over Apple Pay.

Apple has repeatedly said it will not allow direct access to the NFC controller.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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