Apple Pay draws EU antitrust scrutiny

Apple Pay has drawn the focus of European Union antitrust investigators, who have solicited payment companies for feedback on the service, according to MLex.


One set of questions sent to companies in September focused on how Apple directs users entering an in-app purchase on their iPhone toward Apple Pay, over other payment methods, MLex has learned.

A commission spokesperson said the regulator was monitoring “possible anti-competitive market practices and abusive conduct.”

Apple has attracted criticism in recent years for limiting the use of the NFC chip only to cards included in the iPhone’s wallet. Some banks and rivals have argued that this reduces the attractiveness of alternative payment services on the iPhone. Mobile phones using Google’s Android operating system are said to allow all cards and banking apps access to the NFC chip.

In December, Apple settled a complaint to the Swiss competition authority by a payment company called TWINT, which works by scanning QR codes or inputting codes provided by the merchant. Apple said it would help TWINT override iPhone software that launched Apple Pay when a payment was being processed.

MacDailyNews Take: No, banks and so-called rivals, you cannot have access to iPhone’s NFC chip. With Apple’s iOS, unlike Google’s Android, protecting users’ security is of paramount importance.


  1. Can’t agree more with the MDN take. Security is paramount and I would not trust Google’s method. There are plenty of electronic payment options available on the iPhone and most banks now have adopted ApplePay.
    The biggest restriction in the US is the vendors lack of compatible payment systems. I was amazed when in France this summer that all vendors took ApplePay. Totally seamless and a breeze to use.

  2. American retailers are always several years behind Asian and Eurpean retailers in their use of technology. Yes, I am an American, and have travelled extensively throughout Asia and Europe. I always feel a bit “underwhelmed” when returning to the retail experience of the US.

    It’s no wonder that so many US retail stalwarts are being crushed by the likes of Amazon and other internet retail stores. Leadership in that space is dominated by big box thinking and parking lots bigger than some cities.

  3. Even with iOS 13 making great strides with NFC, there is still a long way to go while Apple still crippled the hardware.

    Transit (no, not using credit cards) and security (doors and elevators) are enormous use cases for NFC, but implementation can’t be done without expressed permission from Apple with the former, and doesn’t seem possible with the current set of APIs with the latter.

    Security seems all the more bizarre given that developers have plenty of freedom with Bluetooth.

  4. “With Apple’s iOS, unlike Google’s Android, protecting users’ security is of paramount importance.“

    Except of course when Apple pimps it’s user base to Google for $12B as default search.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.