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Australia’s Top Banker Renews Warning on Apple Payments

Yahoo! Finance

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

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“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. He was speaking at the AFR Business Summit in Sydney.

Macquarie Group Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Shemara Wikramanayake, speaking on a panel at the same conference later in the day, said she won’t buy into the regulation of the so-called Magnificent Seven, companies that do “an amazing job for the US and the world.”

“The US and the world does need to allow other competition to come in, but that’s something for regulators to sort out,” she said when asked whether the Australian government should place more attention on Apple’s market power.

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