Revolutionizing Transactions: Apple’s NFC Opens to Third-Party Services

The European Commission recently announced a consensus reached with Apple, which will see Apple opening up the NFC functionality on iOS devices for broader use. This move allows more third-party mobile payment and e-wallet services to utilize the NFC feature on iPhones for transaction sensing. The agreement will span a decade and will be monitored by a third party to ensure Apple’s adherence to the adjustments.

Although Apple had previously granted developers access to the NFC capabilities built into the iPhone, strict conditions were often imposed for financial transactions. This made it challenging for most third-party e-wallets and mobile payment services to conduct contactless transactions via the iPhone’s built-in NFC, limiting them to payment methods like QR Codes.

Concerns raised in 2020 about the overly stringent conditions for using the iPhone’s built-in NFC led to the European Commission’s intervention and subsequent investigation. The Commission preliminarily concluded that Apple holds a significant market influence in the mobile device sector. They deemed Apple’s approach as monopolistic, as it made Apple Pay the sole service on iPhones capable of completing payment transactions via NFC.

Following the agreement with the European Union, Apple has agreed to allow third-party mobile payment and e-wallet providers to access the iPhone’s built-in NFC functionality. This will enable these services to conduct contactless payments like Apple Pay.

This commitment will apply to third-party mobile payment or e-wallet services offered within the EU economic area, as well as to users who have registered an Apple ID within the EU. Third-party mobile payment or e-wallet services developed within the EU economic area will also be able to facilitate consumer transactions through NFC sensing and validate identities using methods like Face ID.