APPLE COULD BE FORCED open up access to the iPhone's NFC chip to Apple Pay competitors Germany.
As per Zeit Online, a German parliamentary committee last week voted that Apple should make its NFC chip available to other payment services and financial institutions in the form of an amendment to an anti-money laundering law that is set to come into effect early next year.
The bill doesn't name Apple specifically, but instead requires "operators of electronic money infrastructure to offer access to rivals for a reasonable fee", Reuters reports. However, while it could charge for access to its NFC chip, Apple wouldn't get the reported 0.15 per cent fee that it currently gets from each Apple Pay transaction.
In a statement, Apple said it is "surprised" at how suddenly the legislation was approved, adding: "We fear that the draft law could be harmful to user-friendliness, data protection and the security of financial information."
German lawmakers aren't the only ones with Apple Pay in their sights. Margrethe Vestager, the EU's antitrust chief, is considering an investigation into the service over concerns that Apple's NFC lockdown is anticompetitive and is squeezing third-party firms out of the mobile payments market.
The EU regulator has asked online retailers if they are contractually obligated to use Apple's payment system over rival services, and Vestager has confirmed that since doing so, she has received a "very high number" of complaints about the service.
"Convenience can come with a very big price if it shuts down competition, because then eventually you may have to pay a higher price either in terms of money or fees or in terms of data," Vestager told Bloomberg earlier this month.
"Payment systems is an obvious place where it is beneficial for consumers that different payment systems can work together." µ
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