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Australian 'big four' bank NAB adopts Apple Pay, Westpac lone holdout

National Australia Bank (NAB) on Monday announced immediate support for Apple Pay, becoming the third of Australia's "big four" banks to integrate with Apple's payments platform after a failed boycott.

NAB



NAB announced the arrival of Apple Pay in a tweet posted to the bank's official account.

"It's here. NAB customers can now use Apple Pay. Just add your NAB Visa Card and start using Apple Pay wherever you can tap and pay. Apple Pay with NAB. Easy," the tweet reads.

Along with the announcement, an accompanying link points to a comprehensive mini-site detailing the service. Customers are provided information regarding compatible devices, credit and debit cards and a quick setup guide for iPhone and Apple Watch.

Ironically, NAB touts Apple Pay's security, a feature largely reliant on Apple's tight control of the NFC hardware stack to which NAB and its collaborators sought to access through a collective boycott in 2016.

In a move designed to put banks in a better position to bargain with then-newcomer Apple, Australia's Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac Banking Corp, along with Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, filed a complaint with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission seeking to negotiate access to Apple's NFC technology. The banks initially sought to force Apple into integrating third-party mobile payments software with iPhone hardware and later requested direct access to iPhone's NFC controller.

The banking bloc argued its stipulations would foster increased competition and consumer choice, as well as accelerated innovation and investment in the digital wallet space.

In March 2017, the ACCC denied permission to collectively bargain and boycott Apple, putting an end to the banks' gambit.

With NAB on board, Westpac becomes the last of Australia's "big four" banks to resist Apple Pay.

Australia and New Zealand banking group, which was not involved in the attempted forced negotiations, was the first major lender to offer Apple Pay in 2016. The Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Australia's largest bank, rolled out support for the mobile payments solution late last year.