European Regulators Will Soon Approve Apple’s Plan to Open Up Tap-to-Pay to Banks and Payment Providers

As part of the changes introduced in Europe in iOS 17.4, Apple gave third-party payment apps and banks direct access to the NFC chip, allowing for non-Apple Pay tap-to-pay payment options. The European Commission is set to approve Apple’s plan to open up tap-and-go mobile payments “as soon as next month,” according to Reuters.

apple pay feature dynamic island
With NFC access, third-party banks and payment apps can offer contactless payments directly on the iPhone without having to use the Wallet app or Apple Pay. This feature is available in the European Economic Area, and it lets EU users set a default non-Apple wallet app and default contactless payment provider that activates at tap-to-pay terminals or when the ‌iPhone‌’s side button is pressed twice.

The European Economic Area (EEA) is the only area where Apple has opened up NFC access, and developers in other countries cannot access the ‌iPhone‌’s NFC chip for tap-to-pay purposes. Customers will be able to use NFC-enabled apps from their banks and other payment providers with no involvement from Apple.

Apple has long limited the NFC chip in the ‌iPhone‌ and other Apple devices to ‌Apple Pay‌ payments, which has prevented banks and other financial services from providing their customers with direct contactless payment solutions on the ‌iPhone‌.

Apple first announced plans to open NFC payment technology to third-party developers in Europe in January, and Apple made the change in order to address antitrust charges it was facing from the European Commission (EC). The EC has accused Apple of limiting competition by preventing rival mobile wallets from accessing the NFC chip, and Apple’s decision to open it up will prevent fines and other penalties.

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