Apple may be forced to open up the tech that powers Apple Pay to banks and other competitors

Apple may be forced to open up the tech that powers Apple Pay to banks and other competitors
Crystal Cox/Business Insider
  • The EU is considering forcing smartphone manufacturers to share information about their wireless payment technology, according to a report seen by Bloomberg.
  • The proposed laws wouldn't specifically target Apple, but the report mentions an ongoing antitrust investigation into Apple Pay.
  • Apple Pay and other wireless payment services rely on Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.

Apple may be forced to open up the technology that powers its Apple Pay contactless payment service to other companies, according to an EU report obtained by Bloomberg.

The report is due to be put forward next week, and proposes new laws which would stop smartphone manufacturers from concealing information about wireless payment technology in both smartphones and wearable devices.

The upshot is that banks and other providers would be able to offer contactless payment services via their own apps using payment tech currently inside smartphones.

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The report doesn't specifically mention Apple by name according to Bloomberg, but appears to reference an antitrust investigation launched into Apple Pay in June.

"In parallel with its ongoing and future competition enforcement, the Commission will examine whether it is appropriate to propose legislation aimed at securing a right of access under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory conditions, to technical infrastructures considered necessary to support the provision of payment services," the report says.


Apple Pay — like other wireless payment systems in phones and contactless credit cards — uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, which relies on a tiny chip inside the phone.

Apple has argued in the past that allowing other payment systems to access this chip could increase the risk of fraud, as it would separate the chip from Apple's security software.

When the European Commission opened its investigation into Apple Pay in June, the watchdog voiced two concerns around Apple Pay.

The first is that the terms and conditions Apple imposes on merchants wanting to use Apple Pay to take payments may "distort competition and reduce choice and innovation."

The second concern is the fact that iOS devices are only allowed to use Apple Pay and no other wireless payment systems. It's also investigating allegations that Apple restricted access to Apple Pay for specific products belonging to rivals.


Neither the European Commission nor Apple were immediately available for comment when contacted by Business Insider. A spokesman for the European Commission declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg.