Third parties set to gain access to iPhone payment tech thanks to Apple-EU deal

A deal between Apple and the EU to open up its mobile payments system to rivals is expected to be approved in the coming weeks.

The offer from the company to settle a four-year investigation would help it avoid billions in fines and provide competitors with access to the near-field communication (NFC) tech packed into iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches that is used to make payments.

The European Commission in 2022 accused Apple of abusing its position by preventing rival mobile wallet app developers from accessing the tech used by the company’s proprietary Apple Pay and Apple Wallet systems.

Facing major fines, the company in January offered to let rivals access the NFC tech for free and without having to go through its own apps. Developers will also be able to provide additional functions such as allowing users to set a default preferred payment app, utilise biometric authentication and set up dispute settlement mechanisms.

Apple was subsequently asked to make tweaks to some of the terms of the proposal which would stand for at least a decade.

The European Commission is said to be close to accepting the offer according to sources cited by Reuters, who added that it could be accepted as early as May. This timing could change as Apple works out the final technical details, the sources stated.

Apple was last month handed its first ever EU antitrust penalty – a fine of €1.84 billion for using its position to suppress competition from music streaming apps.

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