Germany Passes Law Forcing Apple to Open Up iPhone's NFC Chip to Apple Pay Rivals, But Loophole May Exist

A parliamentary committee in Germany on Wednesday passed an amendment to an anti-money laundering law that would force Apple to open up the NFC chip in iPhones to competing mobile payment providers, according to Reuters. The report claims the law is set to come into effect early next year.

apple pay contactless terminal
In a statement to Reuters, Apple said it was "surprised" about the sudden decision and expressed security concerns.

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

As noted by German financial website Finanz-Szene, however, there appears to be a provision in the law that could allow Apple to keep the NFC chip locked down. Specifically, it appears that Apple might be able to argue that opening up the NFC chip would put the security of its customers at risk.

A rough translation of the passage:

Exceptionally, the system undertaking is not required to comply with paragraph 1 if there are reasonable grounds for refusal to make the provision available. These exist, in particular, if the system undertaking can demonstrate that the safety and integrity of the technical infrastructure services is specifically jeopardized by the provision of such facilities. The rejection must be reasonably justified.

Earlier this month, the European Union's competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager acknowledged that her department has received "many concerns" over Apple Pay and potential anticompetitive issues. Australia's big banks have also sought open access to the NFC chip on the iPhone in recent years.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
Tag: Germany

Top Rated Comments

I7guy Avatar
33 months ago
The future isn’t government micro-regulating the tech industry either.
Score: 53 Votes (Like | Disagree)
swm Avatar
33 months ago
Dear Bundestag, i demand to be able to use my debit card from HypoVereinsBank to withdraw money from my citibank account.
also, how anticompetitive is that i can withdraw money from an ATM of a different bank only if i pay 5-10EUR extra fee?
no one wants to regulate that?
Score: 43 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rychiar Avatar
33 months ago
why would anyone even want to use anything other than Apple Pay?
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rmoliv Avatar
33 months ago
Apple should pull out from Germany in retaliation.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Websnapx2 Avatar
33 months ago

Apple isn't as good at security as google. Android phones can handle google pay and Samsung pay at the same time.
lol, you must be joking. You are praising a low bar. Apple Pay's tokenization method is miles ahead of Google pay. They store on their server where you made purchases, Apple keeps no record. That alone makes them superior.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
turbineseaplane Avatar
33 months ago
I have no idea if this is a good idea or not in particular but it’s asinine that we can’t get all of these tap to pay providers working on all tap to pay devices.

The future is not “everybody having their own locked down solution”
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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