Wednesday, 21 February 2018 06:56

CBA avoids talk of customers leaving bank due to Apple Pay Featured

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The Commonwealth Bank appears to be unwilling to in any way talk about the possibility that the lack of Apple Pay on its platforms may lead to customers deserting the bank in favour of one that does offer the payment option.

The bank did not once mention Apple Pay in its response to a query from iTWire about a report from Telsyte that claimed consumers may switch banks if they did not support their choice of payment mechanism.

The Australian Financial Review  reported on the survey and said: "One in four Commonwealth Bank customers who own an iPhone said they were more likely to bank with a provider that supported Apple Pay."

The report said: "Loyalty to a particular mobile phone ecosystem, be it Apple's iPhone platform with its Apple Pay mobile payments system, or Google's Android platform with its Android Pay system, is now at an 'all-time high', with far-reaching implications for banks as well as for the phone manufacturers and carriers themselves, the Telsyte Smartphone and Wearable Devices Market Study found."

An iTWire  report quoted Telsyte senior analyst Alvin Lee as saying: "More than half of Apple Watch users in Australia cannot use Apple Pay with their primary bank, creating a climate for attrition among some of the most valuable customers."

The CBA, along with Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac, attempted to cut a deal with Apple over Apple Pay but the ACCC last year denied them the right to negotiate collectively.

Subsequently, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank quietly adopted Apple Pay but CBA, Westpac and NAB are yet to offer the service.

In response to queries from iTWire, a CBA spokesperson did not directly mention Apple Pay, but instead said: "When customers consider who they want to bank with, they take into account a number of factors.

"A bank's digital banking and payments offering is an important factor. Our award-winning CommBank app is the number one free banking app in Australia, with 4.8 million CommBank app users able to take advantage of its tools including Spend Tracker and PayID."

The spokesperson added that the bank also offered Android Pay, Garmin Pay and Fitbit Pay.

"Our customers using iOS devices have been able to make contactless payments using their phones since 2014 when we introduced the PayTag sticker," the spokesperson said.

"We will continue to look at ways we can deliver simple and convenient payment experiences for our customers and welcome mobile payment solutions that offer Australians flexibility and choice."

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Sam Varghese

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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