German legislators vote to force Apple to open up Apple Pay and contact-less payments on the iPhone

by Surur
November 15, 2019

We reported in October that Apple was drawing attention from the European Competition Commission over their monopoly over the NFC reader on the iPhone which prevented other payment companies such as banks from supporting contact-less payments directly on the handset.

Instead, banks had to subscribe to Apple Pay and pay Apple a percentage for the privilege. This is in contrast to Android, where users are able to set up any app as their contact-less payment provider.

Today Reuters report that last night a German parliamentary committee voted to force Apple to open up the payment platform on the iPhone.

The legislation, which does not name Apple directly, was added as an amendment to an anti-money laundering law.

Apple was caught by surprise by the process.

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

While Apple is of course not happy about the move, it may serve their purposes in the end, as the European Competition commission has already started speaking to “operators in the sector” looking for possible “anti-competitive market practices and abusive conduct,” and it may be better for Apple to get ahead of any action.

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