Apple finally allows 3rd party banking and wallet apps to use NFC in iOS devices

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Key notes

  • Apple will be introducing new APIs for developers to support contactless payment transactions from within their banking or wallet apps.
Apple Tap To Pay NFC

To comply with the DMA act which will come into effect in March, Apple today announced several new changes to its iOS policies. One of the most important ones was around the access to NFC technology which was exclusive to Apple alone.

Starting with iOS 17.4, Apple will be introducing new APIs for developers to support contactless payment transactions from within their banking or wallet apps using host card emulation (HCE). This feature will be available for users based in the European Economic Area (EEA) with an iPhone running iOS 17.4 or later.

Here’s how the feature works:

  • NFC payments. Users of participating third-party banking or wallet apps can initiate NFC transactions from within the app with compatible NFC terminals.
  • Default app settings. Users can choose any eligible app as their default contactless payments app which will enable the app to support Field detect and Double-click features.
  • Field detect. The default contactless payments app automatically launches when the user places the device in the presence of a compatible NFC terminal and after user authentication (if the iPhone is locked).
  • Double-click. The default contactless payments app automatically launches when the user double-clicks the side button (for Face ID devices) or the Home button (for Touch ID) and after user authentication (if the iPhone is locked).
  • Payment support for non-default apps. Eligible apps running in the foreground can prevent the system default contactless app from launching and interfering with the payment.

To help protect user privacy and security on iPhone, developers who want to build HCE payment capabilities into their apps will need to apply for the HCE Payments Entitlement which will have the following requirements:

  • Be licensed to provide payment services in the EEA or plan to work with licensed entities to offer payment services in the EEA
  • Support in-store NFC payments use cases
  • Provide capabilities only to users based in the EEA
  • Follow the HCE requirements and experience guidelines

More about the topics: apple, Payment