Apple Inc. [s:AAPL] on Friday advanced its global fight to prevent banks from introducing their own mobile payment services on Apple devices after an Australian regulator barred lenders from bargaining collectively for access, Reuters and other media outlets reported. The banks had hoped to circumvent transaction fees and get customers to engage more frequently with their own apps, over Apple Wallet on the iPhone and Apple Watch. The banks were hoping to unlock more of Australia's contactless payment market valued at an estimated $84 billion a year. Apple does not allow any of its 3,500 bank partners in 15 global markets access to the near-field communication (NFC) technology behind its payment system. Apple shares were down 0.3% in premarket trading Friday.
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