Technology

Apple’s restrictions on NFC payments are in the sights of the European Union

The European Commission opened an investigation in June 2020 into Apple Pay, Apple’s banking payment system that allows you to register a bank card directly on your device. The allegations are beginning to clear up, according to a source quoted by Reuters in a report published on Wednesday, October 6.

Apple Pay Terms of Use
It is the terms of use of Apple Pay that would constitute the heart of the Brussels investigation, more particularly the measures imposed by Apple for the integration of its solution in commercial applications and commercial websites on iPhones and iPads.

It is the limit set by the company in access to the functionality called “tap to go” Near Field Communication (NFC) that would question the European Commission. It allows you to pay via your smartphone simply by bringing it closer to the payment terminal.

This feature is open to third-party developers on Android, but you must necessarily go through an Apple Pay account for iPhone users. In other words, iPhone owners can only use NFC payment through Apple’s payment solution. This prevents other operators, including banks, from offering other payment services at these terminals.

A booming market
Indeed, this situation raises competitive questions as the contactless payments market is exploding, driven in particular by the Covid-19 pandemic. Yet so often to justify a restriction on its equipment, Apple uses the security argument. The Apple company claims that access through other payment applications could create security holes and therefore increase the risk of fraud.

Therefore, at the end of its investigation, the European Commission could force Apple to open its payment system to other operators, imagines Reuters. You can also impose a fine of up to 10% of your turnover, or $ 111.4 billion in 2020, if a competition law violation is found.

Apple is also being targeted by the European Commission for its position in the music streaming market. It points to two restrictions that Apple has imposed in its agreements with companies that want to distribute applications through the App Store, such as Spotify. It is concerned that these clauses distort the competition of music distribution services. In fact, the Swedish company competes directly with Apple Music in this market (as well as podcasts).

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