In a move aimed at expanding its presence in Australia, tech juggernaut Apple has boosted its Apple Pay roster by bringing on ANZ, which has become the first bank in that country to back the mobile payment platform.
Reuters reported on Wednesday (April 27) that the Apple Pay service is being rolled out to ANZ’s customer base and that the availability comes after “months of talks with the bank and three bigger peers.” And, in what seems to be a switch, those banks were already on board to support Apple Pay rival Android Pay. As has been widely reported, Apple had already entered Australia through a partnership with American Express Co.
The quartet of banks, said the newswire, account for the vast majority of credit cards in Australia that have been linked to mobile payment systems, even accounting for what Reuters said would be a “relatively high” rate of users who opt to use contactless payments. With the ANZ partnership, Apple has hitched its star to the financial institution that has been seen as technologically lagging in relation to its peers, said Reuters.
Given the drop in iPhone sales seen just recently in Apple’s latest quarterly report, it is no real surprise that the apps and payments business has been veering upward in importance to the firm. And, conversely, the banks in Australia have been looking to make their own embrace of digital technology, and specifically payments technology, happen sooner rather than later. The traditional players, such as Westpac Banking Corp. and National Australia Bank, have been eyeing the inroads made in payments by firms such as Apple. As much as a quarter of banking revenue in Australia, noted KPMG, could be at risk from more sophisticated tech providers such as Apple.