European Regulators Will Soon Approve Apple's Plan to Open Up Tap-to-Pay to Banks and Payment Providers

As part of the changes introduced in Europe in iOS 17.4, Apple gave third-party payment apps and banks direct access to the NFC chip, allowing for non-Apple Pay tap-to-pay payment options. The European Commission is set to approve Apple's plan to open up tap-and-go mobile payments "as soon as next month," according to Reuters.

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With NFC access, banks and third-party payment apps can offer contactless payments directly on the iPhone without having to use the Wallet app or Apple Pay. This feature is available in the European Economic Area, and it lets EU users set a default non-Apple wallet app and default contactless payment provider that activates at tap-to-pay terminals or when the ‌iPhone‌'s side button is pressed twice.

The European Economic Area (EEA) is the only area where Apple has opened up NFC access, and developers in other countries cannot access the ‌iPhone‌'s NFC chip for tap-to-pay purposes. Customers will be able to use NFC-enabled apps from their banks and other payment providers with no involvement from Apple.

Apple has long limited the NFC chip in the ‌iPhone‌ and other Apple devices to ‌Apple Pay‌ payments, which has prevented banks and other financial services from providing their customers with direct contactless payment solutions on the ‌iPhone‌.

Apple first announced plans to open NFC payment technology to third-party developers in Europe in January, and Apple made the change in order to address antitrust charges it was facing from the European Commission (EC). The EC has accused Apple of limiting competition by preventing rival mobile wallets from accessing the NFC chip, and Apple's decision to open it up will prevent fines and other penalties.

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Top Rated Comments

Ridge Racer Avatar
5 weeks ago
Every bank will have their own wallet app eventually (they're hardly going to join forces) that works and looks different, and instead of simply double-tapping the side button to open a single Wallet and swiping to switch cards when making a purchase, you'll have to unlock your phone, locate the specific bank wallet, then open that to select your payment card. Far less user-friendly.

No doubt they'll be tracking your purchases much more closely, probably other data too.

Personally, I prefer a single, universal Wallet app that isn't provided by any particular bank.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Freakstyles Avatar
5 weeks ago

Fixed that for you
More half baked solutions allowing your data to get "Stolen" and sold on the market, just like with alternative app stores
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sw1tcher Avatar
5 weeks ago

More [S]fragmentation[/S] open competition and user choice incoming, just like with alternative app stores
Fixed that you
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rootbeerdan Avatar
5 weeks ago
EU looking out for the poor multinational banks who couldn't afford to compete with Apple
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CapitalIdea Avatar
5 weeks ago

Yeah, I see the banks shooting themselves in the foot by doing those things too, resulting in their customers choosing to not use their wallet/payment app. Yup, it totally makes sense.
Yeah, large businesses would never be that stupid, and try to do their own hackneyed thing ('') despite the incredible inconvenience for customers. After all, they would never drive away potential sales (''). And of course, any large business that services huge numbers of customers would be too smart to buck the clear market and customer preference for the sake of [S]data harvesting[/S] competition ('').
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
flexwithmarius Avatar
5 weeks ago

Just about everyone asked for it from businesses, banks and customers.

Many public transportation apps in EU don’t exist in the Apple wallet( does even one have apple wallet?)

Especially where physical cards are largely depreciated in favor of a QR code in the app, or physical tickets being purchased.
Yet China, Japan, Hong Kong and major metros in the US figured out how to integrate it just fine.

One major problem with QR codes: when your phone dies you’re screwed. That’s why Wallet has express transit mode and that’s something only NFC can offer. NFC is far more convenient than QR codes ever will be.

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Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)