Banks to share merchant fees earning with Apple Pay: Report

Participating banks of the newly-announced Apple Pay payment system are expected to give a share of the earnings they receive from merchant fees to Apple.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

Apple is expected to take a cut of the earnings that banks reap from the fees merchants are charged every time a credit or debit card transaction takes place at the point-of-sale.

According to a Bloomberg report, as part of Apple's newly announced Apple Pay payment system — which was unveiled today in conjunction with the company's launch of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and Watch — participating banks including JPMorgan, Bank of America, Chase & Co, and Citigroup have agreed to integrate their cards into the system, and allow Apple to collect a share of their earnings.

Annually, US banks generate more than US$40 billion from these merchant fees with expectations that lenders will benefit more as consumers spend money via their smart devices, the report said.

While Apple Pay will only initially be available in the US, a National Australia Bank spokesperson has told ZDNet that it anticipates that it will be only a matter of time that NAB will be able to support Apple Pay.

"Apple's announcement has been long anticipated, though at this stage Apple Pay is only being made available in the US with no timetable for its release in Australia," the spokesperson said.

"NAB is working closely with scheme providers on how they will be introducing this capability to Australia.

"NAB customers have already shown their willingness to adopt innovative solutions which make banking and transacting easier. For example, the number of customers using contactless payments has grown more than 100 per cent in the past 12 months, and the number of transactions has grown 300 per cent in that time."

Similarly, Eftpos, welcomed the opportunity to make Apple Pay service locally available to its 40 million eftpos-enabled debit cards.

Eftpos is currently trialling digital payments for online and mobile with a number of Australian financial institutions and retailers, including a NFC mobile payments solution.

"The new Eftpos payments infrastructure that we are now deploying in market as part of our transformation program, provides an opportunity for Eftpos and Apple to work together in Australia to leverage this important development in mobile payments," said Bruce Mansfield, Eftpos CEO.

In the meantime, Visa has said its Token Service used to power Apple Pay is designed to handle non-US markets and non-Apple handsets.

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