A German bill could change the current business model of Apple with its payment platform Apple Pay. The bill submitted by the governing parties could force the company to grant banks and payment services direct access to the NFC chip of iPhones for contactless payment. Currently, this is only about Apple Pay, for which the financial companies have to conclude agreements with the US group.
Banks' payment apps can not access the NFC chip in the iPhone or the Apple Watch without the Apple Pay route, as is the case with Android smartphones. If you want to offer a payment solution on your own without Apple Pay, you have to resort to cumbersome data transfer methods such as reading in QR codes.
The bill by the governing parties stipulates that infrastructure managers must provide access to infrastructure for payment services, "for a reasonable fee and using reasonable access conditions", The Act actually serves to implement the European Money Laundering Directive – the point that is specifically intended to serve the NFC opening, but was added. The draft was approved on the evening of 14 November 2019 in the Bundestag, but must also pass the Bundesrat.
So far, the NFC chip can only be used with Apple Pay
German banks and savings banks have long been calling for direct access to the NFC interface of iPhones. At European level, according to Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, there are several complaints against Apple. The Group justifies its position with ease of use and data security. Access to the NFC antenna is handled by a separate secure chip, the so-called Secure Enclave, in which Apple secures other valuable data such as passwords.
"We are surprised how suddenly this legislative procedure was initiated"Apple said. "We fear that the bill could undermine usability in payments and jeopardize the privacy and security of financial information." The company wants to work with the federal government,
"to understand the technical background of Apple Pay",