Apple has offered a set of commitments to competition regulators in the European Union (EU) aimed at resolving concerns focused on NFC payments and mobile wallet tech on iOS, reports TechCrunch.
The EU has accused the tech giant of unfairly favoring its own mobile payment tech, Apple Pay, and squeezing out the ability of rivals to develop competing contactless payment offerings on its mobile platform.
TechCrunch notes that Apple is proposing to let third party mobile wallet and payment service providers gain the necessary access to NFC functionality on iOS devices, free of charge, via a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) without having to use its own Apple Pay or Apple Wallet technologies.
To address the European Union’s competition concerns, Apple has offered the following commitments:
- To allow third-party mobile wallet and payment service providers to access and interoperate through a set of Application Programming Interfaces (‘APIs’) with the NFC functionality on iOS devices free of charge, without having to use Apple Pay or Apple Wallet. Apple would create the necessary APIs to allow equivalent access to the NFC components in the so-called Host Card Emulation (‘HCE’) mode, a technology issued to securely store payment credentials and complete transactions using NFC, without relying on an in-device secure element.
- To apply the commitments to all third-party mobile wallet app developers established in the European Economic Area (‘EEA’) and all iOS users with an Apple ID registered in the EEA. Apple will not prevent the use of these apps for payments in stores outside the EEA.
- To provide additional features and functionalities, including defaulting of preferred payment apps, access to authentication features such as FaceID and a suppression mechanism.
- To apply fair, objective, transparent, and non-discriminatory eligibility criteria to grant NFC access to third-party mobile wallet app developers, who will have to conclude an ADP license agreement to have access.
- To establish a dispute settlement mechanism under which Apple’s decisions denying access to NFC input will be reviewed by independent experts.
The commitments offered by Apple would remain in force for ten years. Their implementation would be monitored by a monitoring trustee, who will report regularly to the Commission.
The European Commission is the politically independent executive arm of the European Union. It’s goal is to “promote the general interest of the EU by proposing and enforcing legislation as well as by implementing policies and the EU budget.”
Article provided with permission from AppleWorld.Today