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Australia’s top banker renews warning on Apple’s payments power

Australia’s top banker renews warning on Apple’s payments power
Matt Comyn (Photo: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg)

Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO Matt Comyn renewed his warning on Apple’s power over the nation’s payments market, reigniting a years-long dispute about competition in a booming area of finance.

“They should be subjected to a lot more scrutiny in Australia,” Comyn said at a conference in Sydney on Monday. 

In a fracas that has lasted years, Comyn has pushed for more competition and has told a parliamentary inquiry that customers should be able to decide which features they prefer in wallet apps. Apple, which is a partner and also a competitor for domestic banks, doesn’t give access to the near field communication chip on its iPhones, and instead requires banks to send payments using Apple Pay. 

“They are very sophisticated companies who are playing a very deliberate game and it should be a very clear agenda item for government and policymakers,” Comyn said, referring to the US technology giant.

Comyn, who was speaking at the AFR Business Summit in Sydney, also reiterated his opinion on hybrid work, a policy which requires his staff to spend at least 50% of their time in the office. This contrasts with some US banks that have pushed workers back to the office up to five-days-a-week. “Hybrid is here to stay,” he said. 

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