Big banks admit: customers leaving us for ApplePay

The big switch

Would you switch your everyday transaction account or credit card from the bank you have used for years, just so you can get Apple Pay? Apparently enough Australians are switching their bank accounts and credit cards to get Apple Pay to have the biggest banks in Australia very worried indeed.

The Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, National Australia Bank and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank have told the government’s competition regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission that their customers are switching to their rival big bank, ANZ, and to American Express credit cards just to get Apple Pay.

In a major (and very unusual) admission, the banks have publicly stated that they are losing customers who are switching to their rivals:

“[We are] aware that a number of customers have signed up for payment cards with American Express and ANZ Bank in order to use ApplePay.”

The Commonwealth Bank, NAB, Westpac and Bendigo Bank told the ACCC this week that their customers will continue to leave unless they are also able to offer Apple Pay. The big banks are applying to the ACCC for permission to jointly demand that Apple does a deal with them to provide Apple Pay for their own customers.

What is Apple Pay?

Apple Pay is a feature available on iPhone 6, iPhone 6S, iPhone SE and the Apple Watch. Apple Pay links to a credit card or a debit card to allow the user to make contactless payments at PayPass or PayWave Eftpos terminals.

How can I get Apple Pay?

In Australia, the only bank or credit union to offer Apple Pay is ANZ Bank. ANZ Bank offers Apple Pay to its ANZ credit card customers and its ANZ Access Advantage transaction account customers (using a debit card).

American Express credit cards issued directly by American Express also support Apple Pay, like the American Express Velocity Platinum Card. American Express credit cards issued by other banks or credit unions (like companion cards) do not offer Apple Pay.

Apple Pay is not available on iPhones older than the iPhone 6.

You can compare credit cards from all of Australia’s major banks and credit unions here. Compare everyday transaction accounts here.


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