Australia's NAB reaches agreement with regulator over rate rigging

Australia's NAB reaches agreement with regulator over rate rigging”

The three banks continue to refuse to offer Apple Pay, after failing to convince the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to allow them to act as a cartel in negotiations with Apple.

The move is a response by the three banks to the threat ot Apple Pay in Australia.

The local banks had been butting heads with the Californian tech powerhouse since July a year ago, when they first banded together to seek permission from the competition regulator to intercept Apple.

Fairfax Media reported yesterday "Westpac is readying to fight allegations by the corporate watchdog that it rigged one of Australia's key interest rates, despite its co-accused, ANZ and National Australia Bank, settling their cases".

The banks said that they hope it will become "an industry-wide payment solution".

Beem has been designed with bank level security and encrypted user account information, with each authenticated and subject to real-time fraud monitoring.

NAB said on Friday that as part of the settlement it has agreed to a A$10 million ($7.7 million) penalty, A$20 million in costs to ASIC and a A$20 million donation to a financial consumer protection fund. ANZ has said it will release details of its settlement soon. The news didn't startle the market and Westpac shares rose 0.6%, Nab shares were also ip 0.6%, as well as ANZ shares while Commonwealth Bank shares eased by 0.15%.

"We are committed to giving our customers more choice by supporting a range of convenient ways for them to pay and transfer their money", Frazis said.

CBA will conduct user testing of a Beem prototype, with the app to be available for download on iOS and Android smartphones later this year. The banks said that any customers of an Australian Authorised Deposit-taking Institution (ADI) with a debit card will be able to use it.

In a statement, the trio said that the joint venture will be run independently and seek to sign up additional participants.

Although Beem is now focused on person to person payments, further initiatives "including digital wallet features and capabilities" are planned, potentially in competition with Apple Pay.

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