Australia's Bendigo Bank adds Apple Pay, having lost fight over iPhone NFC

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Without access to the NFC chips in iPhones for a wallet of its own, Australia's Bendigo Bank on Tuesday officially launched support for Apple Pay.

The platform is now compatible with various credit and debit Mastercards issued by Bendigo. On an iPhone, people can add a card by launching the Wallet app then tapping on the "plus" icon. iPad owners must go into the Settings app and find the "Wallet & Apple Pay" menu — something Apple Watch owners must also find, but from the Watch app on their iPhone.

In March, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission effectively shot down attempts by several major banks to gain access to iPhone NFC. The companies argued that this would increase competition, choice, innovation, and investment in digital wallets, but the ACCC suggested it would disrupt Apple's hardware/software integration, and that the public might benefit from a platform where banks are forced to compete with each other and can't lock in customers.

Beyond integration, Apple has a vested interest in maintaining NFC exclusivity, since it earns a small fee from every Apple Pay transaction.

A number of banks and credit unions now support Apple Pay in Australia, one of Apple's most important markets in the Asia-Pacific region.