In the face of fierce resistance from some of Australia's biggest banks, Apple's attempts to gain a foothold in the country for its mobile payment service has received a significant boost from payments processor Cuscal, which says that 31 of its banking members will soon be able to access the service.
The deal with Cuscal comes as Apple awaits a ruling from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission on an attempt by five of the country's biggest banks to enforce collective negotiations and open up NFC access on iPhones.
The banks accuse Apple of trying to piggyback on their investment in the country's national contactless infrastructure, while remaining "intransigent, closed and controlling" in dictating terms for support of Apple Pay.
In a fresh submission to the competition watchdog earlier this week, Apple doubled-down on its resistance, accusing the banks of acting like a 'hard core cartel' in stifling competition in the market.
Cuscal managing director Craig Kennedy hopes that the banks and Apple will be able to resolve their difference.
“I hope that Apple and the banks find some middle ground here because I think it would be in everybody’s interest if they found a solution for their current stalemate,” he says.