Technology 2 min read

Germany Wants iPhone NFC Chip be Opened to Other Payment Services



In a late-night session on Wednesday last week, the German parliamentary committee has reportedly voted to force Apple to open its iPhone NFC chip to other mobile payment services.

To date, the iPhone NFC chip is only exclusive to Apple Pay, the mobile payment gateway of Apple. While the company has allowed some third-party apps to use iPhone’s NFC functionalities, the technology remains close to its Apple Pay’s rival mobile payment apps.

According to reports, the new policy comes in the form of an amendment to Germany’s anti-money laundering law that was adopted last Thursday by the whole parliament. It’s set to take effect early next year.

The German legislation has not named Apple or any company but stated that under the new policy, all operators of electronic money infrastructure has to offer access to its rivals at a reasonable fee.

Germany’s move was allegedly a clear indication of the country’s desire to better regulate U.S.-based tech companies.

Opening the iPhone NFC Chip to Rivals

Apple reacted negatively to Germany’s new law. In a statement released last Friday by a spokesperson, the company expressed its dismay.

“We are surprised at how suddenly this legislation was introduced,” Apple said. “We fear that the draft law could be harmful to user-friendliness, data protection, and the security of financial information.”

Reuters further reported that Chancellor Angela Merkel‘s office wanted the committee to withdraw the amendment. However, a senior official denied the rumor and claimed that the German government supports the move.

Apple’s refusal to open its NFC chip to other payment services has been criticized by institutions for years now. Last 2016, three of Australia’s biggest banks called Apple’s action as anti-competitive.

Some speculate that Apple’s currently worried about how other European nations would respond to Germany’s move, fearing that other countries may follow suit.

Apple has reportedly caught the attention of the EU antitrust investigators this year after the latter asked payment companies to provide feedback about Apple’s services.

According to MLex, a commission spokesperson said that a regulator was monitoring Apple for “possible anti-competitive market practices and abusive conduct.”

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Chelle Fuertes

Chelle is the Product Management Lead at INK. She's an experienced SEO professional as well as UX researcher and designer. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with her family and friends.

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