In the latest bit of Apple Pay expansion news, Macquarie Group and ING Direct have announced that they will start using Apple Pay in Australia this month.
Apple Pay has had something of a bumpy lift off down under — only one major Australian bank, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, has adopted the Apple Pay system. ING Direct and Macquarie are both nationally known and nationally used medium-sized Australian banks — who uniquely boast national reach, which local experts believe will give them something of an advantage in mobile roll out.
“In the context of the Big Four, it feels like the sector is ripe for disruption,” Dominic Walsh, a managing director of branding firm Landor Associates, told Reuters.“If you are a competitor like an ING or one of these other challenger entrants, you need to provide a product that is superior.”
The major lenders — ANZ, National Australia Bank Ltd, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac Banking Corp — control about 80 percent of Australia’s mortgage market, meaning regulators would in fact be excited to see some additonal competition injected into the market. As of now, ING Direct and Macquarie each have less than 3 percent retail market share and don’t have a physical banking network to call their own.
In September, Macquarie introduced a smartphone banking app that took its design cues from products like Spotify and Facebook.
“We’ve seen strong interest in Apple Pay from our customers and we’re delighted to confirm it will be available later this month,” noted Macquarie Bank Head of Personal Banking Ben Perham.
“For many of them [consumers], their smartphone is their bank, and it’s a natural extension that their iPhone will also become their wallet,” noted ING Executive Director of Customers John Arnott.
ING Direct has operated in Australia since 1999 with an initial focus on high-interest savings accounts — though these days, the banks is hoping to branch out into mortgages and credit card offerings.