Australia has a high ratio of consumers using contactless payment cards, while mobile payment adoption has lagged because of some large banks’ aversion to supporting Apple Pay and slower uptake in the region for Android Pay.
Three of Australia’s largest banks—Wespac, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and the National Australia Bank—have joined forces for a mobile wallet joint venture called Beem, with person-to-person payments as the first use case.
An Australian company is introducing its own version of bitcoin that will let homeowners and businesses sell excess energy generated from their rooftop solar panels to neighbors, without a middleman taking a cut.
Australian regulations recently denied banks the right to negotiate with Apple Inc. to directly add Apple Pay to their digital apps, but the victory may do little for Apple, considering consumers in the country appear to have little interest in using mobile wallets.
Australia's government says the country's large banks cannot collectively bargain with Apple over terms of support for Apple Pay, ending a public battle between Apple and the banks that has lasted at least a year.
The battle between banks and Apple Pay in Australia has global implications, but there is a notable rift within the banks' ranks that drives home just who benefits and who suffers by Apple getting its way.