PayPal Played Role in EU Antitrust Complaint About Apple Wallet

Apple Pay competitor PayPal played a role in the EU's decision to target Apple with antitrust complaints about its mobile wallet, reports Bloomberg. PayPal was one of "multiple companies" that filed informal complaints about the way Apple restricts third-party apps from accessing the NFC capabilities of the iPhone, which in turn led to the European Commission issuing a Statement of Objections against Apple.

Apple Pay Feature
The European Commission believes that Apple is unfairly limiting access to the NFC chip, preventing PayPal, Venmo, banks, and other payment services from offering features that are equivalent to ‌Apple Pay‌, which in turn limits the mobile payment options that ‌iPhone‌ users have access to in stores.

No third-party apps are able to access NFC on the ‌iPhone‌, so ‌Apple Pay‌ is the only tap to pay payment method available. Apple claims that the restriction is designed to safeguard user privacy and security, but it will now face an EU investigation.

The European Commission has informed Apple of its preliminary view that it abused its dominant position in markets for mobile wallets on iOS devices. By limiting access to a standard technology used for contactless payments with mobile devices in stores ('Near-Field Communication (NFC)' or 'tap and go'), Apple restricts competition in the mobile wallets market on iOS.

PayPal has an Apple Pay-like tap to pay option that's available to Android users, and the company wants to be able to offer a similar feature on the ‌iPhone‌. Such a feature would require PayPal to use the NFC chip in the ‌iPhone‌, but it is not able to do so with Apple's current restrictions.

Apple does have plans to allow third-party apps to use the NFC chip for the upcoming "Tap to Pay on ‌iPhone‌" feature that will allow compatible iPhones to accept payments through ‌Apple Pay‌, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets with no hardware required, but it is not equivalent to the tap to pay ‌Apple Pay‌ equivalent that PayPal is after.

According to Apple, ‌Apple Pay‌ rivals like PayPal are popular on ‌iPhone‌ without a direct tap to pay option, but the company plans to "continue to engage with the commission to ensure European consumers have access to the payment option of their choice in a safe and secure environment."

This is not the first time that Apple has faced criticism for restricting access to NFC on the ‌iPhone‌. Australian banks back in 2017 wanted access to NFC in order to launch an alternative to ‌Apple Pay‌, but they were not successful.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

Spock Avatar
24 months ago
I have to side with PayPal on this, it is not really right that Apple added a hardware feature into the phone that only Apple applications can access and use. It is my device, I should have the choice in what tap to pay options that I can use with NFC.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dk001 Avatar
24 months ago

Why should Apple Pay for R&D to develop hardware/software and let someone use it for free?
Apple didn't invent NFC. They added it to the iPhone as a feature and then restricted the use of it.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
The Barron Avatar
24 months ago

That's like being upset that you can't use your Visa card to pay with Amex.
That comment makes no sense at all. :(
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
twolf2919 Avatar
24 months ago

Apple didn't invent NFC. They added it to the iPhone as a feature and then restricted the use of it.
Rubbish. They didn't add "NFC" as a feature and then restricted the use of it. "NFC" was never once advertised as a feature of the iPhone. What was advertised was ApplePay and Apple Wallet with the ability to handle contactless payments via NFC.

What right does the EU have - or any other body, for that matter - to dictate to a private company which parts of their products must be accessible to the public? Should the EU force car makers to provide public APIs to all vehicle functions and all sensors? Etc., etc.

Why does the EU need to get into the middle of this at all? If Apple's refusal to create a public API to its NFC chip and mobile payment apps such as PayPal can't provide NFC payments on iOS, then consumers that value PayPal can vote with their wallets and buy an Android device! Let the free market decide these things!
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
4jasontv Avatar
24 months ago

I have to side with PayPal on this, it is not really right that Apple added a hardware feature into the phone that only Apple applications can access and use. It is my device, I should have the choice in what tap to pay options that I can use with NFC.
That's like being upset that you can't use your Visa card to pay with Amex.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
You’re not me Avatar
24 months ago
I’m starting to get the feeling that the EU is jealous of Apple’s success.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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