Australia’s government wants to know why Apple banned Westpac’s payments app

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Australia’s Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is looking into Apple Inc.’s recent decision to ban an app that enables Australian bank Westpac’s customers to use social media payments.

The ACCC will ask Apple to provide details about why it decided to remove the Westpac keyboard function from the Apple Store starting this month, according to reports.

“We will be making contact with both Westpac and Apple to fully understand the facts,” Rod Sims, ACCC chairman, reportedly told the Australian Financial Review.
Westpac’s keyboard function, launched earlier this year, enabled customers to access payment features directly when using social media message apps including Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Twitter, Snapchat, WeChat and SMS.

Apple has announced plans to introduce iMessage payments, beginning in the U.S., but it has given no timeline for launching the service in Australia.

Earlier this year the ACCC intervened in a dispute between four large Australian banks, including Westpac, and their unsuccessful bid to collectively bargain with Apple to gain access to the Near Field Communication controller built into iPhones.

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