Expanded NFC Use on the Horizon: Apple to Offer Third-Party Payment Options in Europe

January 22, 2024 – In a recent development, Apple has proposed to open up its NFC interface to European developers, a move that could significantly expand the use of NFC for payments beyond Apple Pay.

This marks the first time in Apple’s history that it has considered opening up its NFC technology to third-party developers, potentially offering users a wider range of options for contactless payments within iOS applications.

“We are committed to providing a choice for third-party developers in the European Economic Area, enabling their users to make NFC contactless payments from their iOS apps separate from Apple Pay and Apple Wallet,” said Apple in a statement.

The move is seen as part of the European Union’s ongoing antitrust efforts to “correct” Apple’s practices. This includes mandates such as the universal adoption of the USB-C interface and requirements for Apple to open up its App Store by March 7th of this year, allowing users to sideload applications.

However, it’s worth noting that Apple’s proposed openness is limited to NFC payments and does not extend to other features such as access cards. This is a highly coveted functionality on iPhone and Apple Watch, as it would eliminate the need to carry physical cards for entry, a feature that has been widely adopted by Android devices for several years now.

While the partial opening of NFC technology represents a step forward for Apple in terms of openness and flexibility, it remains to be seen how this will impact the company’s ecosystem and user experience in the long run.

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