EU COMPETITION COMMISSIONER Margrethe Vestager has heard "many, many concerns" over Apple Pay since she started probing the service earlier this year.
Apple Pay has become a massive business for Cupertino; in the fourth quarter of 2019, the iPhone-based payment service surpassed PayPal to process more than three billion transactions, seeing its revenue more than double year-over-year.
Naturally, the growing platform has drawn regulatory attention, and EU antitrust investigators in August sent a questionnaire to banks and developers of rival payment systems about Apple Pay.
Reuters reports that as part of the probe, the EU regulator is also asking online retailers if they are contractually obligated to use Apple's payment system over rival services.
Speaking at nerdfest Web Summit this week, Vestager revealed that since the questionnaire was sent out, she has high number of complaints about the service.
"We've been asking quite a number of questions because we get many many concerns when it comes to Apple Pay for pure competition reasons," said Vestager, without specifying who had expressed concern.
"People see it becomes increasingly difficult to compete in the market for easy payments."
As per earlier reports, the EU Commission's biggest concern with Apple Pay relates to Apple's proprietary Near-Field Communication (NFC) chip, which the service relies on to enable users to pay at stores by just holding their phones near a card reader.
Vestager has said that she is aware of reports that Apple has been limiting the use of the NFC chip to only cards included in Apple Wallet, noting that no such restrictions on NFC permissions for cards or banking apps exist on Android.
Apple, which last year settled an NFC-related spat with Swiss payment company TWINT, has long argued that limiting access to the NFC chip provides tighter security, and claims this one of the reasons consumers choose Apple Pay in the first place.
It also says that payment providers can access iPhone users using alternative technologies, like QR codes, which once scanned can trigger a payment. µ
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