The founder of an Australian robo-advisor has accused the country's banks of hypocrisy over their cries of anti-competitive behaviour from Apple Pay
Earlier this week, four Australian banks filed a petition to the competition authority, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, to negotiate collectively with Apple over access to the tech giant's hardware for contactless payments.
Currently banks are unable to run their own digital wallets or payment services on Apple iPhones and instead have to use the Apple Pay service, a situation which the four banks, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac, National Australia Bank and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, say is uncompetitive and a barrier to innovation.
According to Chris Brycki, the chief executive of robo-advisor Stockspot, the banks' complaints are nothing short of hypocrisy given their own attitude to non-bank challengers.
"It is a beautiful irony for Australia’s banks to complain of the market dominance and control of Apple and Google and demand they open their NFCs (Near Field Communication), as they have done this week,” said Brycki, speaking to Business Insider Australia.
“They are forming a cartel to strong arm Apple into opening up everything to them so they move into cardless payments.”
However the banks themselves are doing exactly the same thing to Australia's fintechs over access to consumers' financial data - a vital component for the likes of robo-advisory services which use this data to create automated financial services.
“Australian banks are doing everything in their power to not offer open data APIs, which could allow fintech firms to access customer transaction account data,” he said.
“Preventing fintechs and their customers from accessing their own banking data makes it impossible to provide services that rely on assessing creditworthiness, analysing spending patterns or understanding a client’s finances. The longer banks refuse Australian fintech companies fall further behind the rest of the world where open APIs are commonplace."